As the summer season winds down, crowds begin to thin and forests transform from vibrant green to vivid orange, red, and gold. It will soon be fall in Yellowstone and a truly unique time to experience the park in its beautiful transition. It is also a great time for wildlife viewing as bears, bison, and wolves prepare for the approaching winter and bull elk battle and bugle.
Cooler fall temperatures create photo opportunities in Yellowstone Park and West Yellowstone area. We suggest an evening drive into the Canyon area of the Park to experience the elk bugles. For fabulous fall colors, one of our favorite scenic drives, called “around the block,” takes you along the north shore of Hebgen Lake, then south along Henry’s Lake, and back into West Yellowstone along Hwy 20.
The national forests and mountain ranges surrounding West Yellowstone are a hiker’s dream, offering an abundance of options on millions of acres of public land. Miles of trails wind past aspen and pine, tranquil meadows, and impressive peaks. From town, you can hike into Yellowstone Park along the Riverside Trail, north on the Boundary Trail, or meander on the Rendezvous Trail System. North of town, the Witt’s Lake and Kirkwood Trails are very popular, and easily accessible.
Mountain biking and road cycling are also popular. West Yellowstone is very close to the Continental Divide Trail, and the TransAmerica Trail goes directly through town. Oct 5th, we host the Annual Old Faithful Cycle Tour, a supported ride into the iconic geyser of the Park and back again.
Weather depending, hundreds of miles of ATV trails are open for enjoying the area. A couple of favorites include the Two Top Trail and Horse Butte Lookout. Trails start at the edge of town, and become our snowmobile trails in the winter.
We do advise, when recreating during the fall, to be bear aware, as the wildlife are preparing for the upcoming winter and become more active at lower elevations. Also, plan for changing weather conditions by dressing in layers. Mornings can be in the 30s, but daytime temps can rise into the 60s and 70s.
West Yellowstone offers a wide range of comfortable and unique lodging properties. From full-service hotels and resorts to guest ranches and lodges to personal cabins and campgrounds, West Yellowstone offers a variety of options to a variety of travel styles.