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Yellowstone in the Spring

Escape the Crowds and Enjoy Yellowstone National Park as it Opens in the Spring

Spring is one of the most dynamic times of the year in the Yellowstone National Park. The landscape changes almost daily as the hillsides start turning green and the days grow longer. The rivers run higher and the waterfalls become more prominent from the snowmelt while snow still lingers in higher elevations. As the temperatures go up, wildlife including grizzly and black bears will start coming out of hibernation and becomes more active in the meadows. 

While most visitors don't come to Yellowstone National Park until the months of July and August, there is a certain beauty to the park in the spring time making it worth a visit before the crowdy summer months. 

Spring Roads Open to Traffic

Conditions permitting, the park roads are planned to open at 8AM on the following days for Summer 2021. The one closest to Big Sky is the West Entrance, in West Yellowstone.

  • April 16: West Entrance to Madison Junction, Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful, Norris to Canyon Village.
  • May 7: East Entrance to Lake Village (Sylvan Pass), Canyon Village to Lake Village.
  • May 7: Tower Junction to Calcite Springs.
  • May 14: South Entrance to West Thumb, Lake Village to West Thumb, West Thumb to Old Faithful (Craig Pass), Tower Junction to Tower Fall.
  • May 28: Beartooth Highway

Please check the National Park Service website for current road conditions. 

Travel Tips

  • Dress warm! While the weather is generally milder than in March, it can still be variable in April with occasional snow storms and temperatures dropping under freezing on some days.
  • Rise early, before sunrise if possible. Yellowstone in the spring boasts some of the most exciting wildlife watching and rising early provides the best opportunity to observe animals in their natural habitat.
  • Be prepared! If you plan to hike, make sure to bring bear spray, water, sunscreen and raingear. Yellowstone is a mountain wilderness and coming prepared will ensure you have the most enjoyable trip.
  • Pack your lunch. Most in-park restaurants and services will still be closed for the season, so make sure to bring lunches for full-day trips into the park.

Biking in Yellowstone National Park

Every spring, biking, including e-bikes are allowed on Yellowstone National Park roads while they are still closed to motorized, public travel. Spring bicycling season usually starts by early April with no set date as designated routes are opened once they are cleared from snow. The closest route to Big Sky that is open to biking is from the West Entrance to Mammoth Hot Springs.

This is a wonderful way to explore the vastness and wildlife of the park in all tranquility while getting some exercising in as well!

Yellowstone Wildlife in the Spring

Spring is the best season to view wildlife in Yellowstone. Baby animals start appearing all over the park, including grizzly and black bear cubs starting mid March, bison calves in April and elk calves later on from May to June. While bears and bison are incredibly exciting to observe, please be sure to respect wildlife, follow all park safety guidelines and keep your distance for your safety and theirs.

Bison calves tend to be born from late March through May and have a fuzzy, orange-reddish fur, earning them the nickname "red dogs". The bison calves are able to keep up with their mothers just a couple hours after they are born and they are protected from danger by the rest of the herd surrounding them at all times. You will be able to see the herds with the red dogs in the meadows, make sure to watch from a distance as bison can get aggressive if too close.

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After each full day of exploring Yellowstone National Park, hiking or biking around Big Sky, retreat to your luxurious, comfortable vacation home for an evening to remember. We proudly boast one of Big Sky's largest selections of vacation rentals, so you’re bound to find one that perfectly suits your group’s size, style, and budget. Luxuries include private hot tubs, lavish outdoor patios and incredible mountain views. Please give us a call today at +1-888-915-2787 or email us at to inquire, or simply browse through our available properties