Tips for Visiting Yellowstone in July
Visiting Yellowstone in July is an amazing experience. The weather is pleasant, the wildlife is abundant, and all areas of the park are accessible.
July is a busy month with the week around the Fourth of July is especially busy. All it takes is a little planning to escape the crowds and see more of the park!
Arrive early to avoid the crowd. Early morning and late afternoon are the busiest times to visit Yellowstone, so getting there as soon as possible will allow you easy access to the landmarks you want to view, or you can opt for the hidden, secret, and lesser-known vistas.
Hundreds of thousands of geysers, hydrothermal features, and natural landmarks can be found in Yellowstone. Choose a couple of lesser-known landmarks, and you’ll have easy access to some of the park’s more unusual characteristics.
Yellowstone in July Weather
In July, the weather in Yellowstone is usually hot during the day and cool at night. While it is hot during the day there is plenty of shade around the park to cool off.
Mammoth Hot Springs has an average temperature of 81 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 49 degrees Fahrenheit.
The average temperature of Yellowstone Lake is 72 degrees Fahrenheit with a low of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In July, on average, there are 5 days of rain.
Hiking in Yellowstone in July
Visiting Yellowstone in July has a lot of advantages. The most appealing aspect of visiting Yellowstone in July is the ease with which the trails can be accessed.
You can visit all of Yellowstone in July and it’s the perfect time to put on your hiking boots and hit the trail. Since the majority of the snow has melted, you’ll have access to nearly 1,000 miles of trail.
One of the best things to do in July is go hiking. The majority of the snow has gone, and all of the paths are open for hiking, allowing you to go on multi-day backpacking trips or long hikes into the high country.
National Park Entrance Fees
To enter the National Parks, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee or have a National Parks Pass also known as American the Beautiful Pass.
It costs $80 for a yearly America the Beautiful Pass. This gives you access to all national parks and federal areas that charge fees. The America the Beautiful Pass is well worth it! I purchased my first one in 2016 and it’s such a money-saver! Plus 10% of sale proceeds go to the National Park Foundation.
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15 Things to do in Yellowstone in July
Self-Driving Audio Guided Tour
With this all-in-one tour, audio guide, and map, you’ll get the most out of Yellowstone. Explore the towering geysers, prismatic hot springs, and incredible fauna that have captivated the American imagination at your leisure.
With the guidance of your audio guide, make your way around the Grand Loop. Take in the views and learn about the interesting history and legends of this fascinating place along the trip, with additional information and film to help bring each stop to life. At Grand Prismatic, a boiling hot spring, you can also see beautiful color bands, bubbling paint pots like Fountain, and spectacular waterfalls like Gibbon Falls.
Allow your expert audio tour to accompany you as you explore the creatures and natural wonders of this magnificent location.
Upper Geyser Basin
More than half of the world’s thermal features may be found in the Upper Geyser Basin. Learn about the unique geology of Yellowstone’s hot spots and experience it firsthand on a guided hiking tour that includes snacks and lunch.
Gear up with packs, hiking poles, binoculars, and bear spray while enjoying a morning snack and warming beverage. Follow the path to observe geysers, hot springs, and steam vents after a quick safety briefing.
The iconic Old Faithful Geyser, Morning Glory Pool, and many other thermal phenomena can be seen along the Upper Geyser Basin’s boardwalks and trails. Hike with your guide to get a better sense of the surroundings.
Look for some of the world’s rarest wildlife while exploring a giant volcano, and keep an eye out for bison along the way. Some geysers may erupt, including Beehive Geyser, Grand Geyser, Castle Geyser, and others.
Grand Prismatic Viewpoint
One of Yellowstone’s must-see attractions is the magnificent Grand Prismatic Spring. It is not only the largest hot spring in the United States but also one of the world’s most unique natural wonders.
The Grand Prismatic Spring features a rainbow of colors that start in the center and extend out to the edges. Blue predominates in the center, where it is the warmest, but it gradually transforms to green, yellow, and finally orange as you approach the hot spring’s edges.
This Grand Prismatic is a must-see, regardless of weather or conditions, and is one of Yellowstone’s top attractions! You should visit this celebrity early in the morning or late in the afternoon, as it is one of Yellowstone’s most visited sights.
Storm Point Hike
Storm Point Loop is a 4.0-kilometer moderately trafficked loop path with a lake that is suitable for all skill levels and is located near Yellowstone National Park.
The easy and popular 2.3-mile loop hike to Storm Point on the north shore of Yellowstone Lake is unlike most others in the park in that it passes through forest and grassland before arriving at a strip of sand dunes, beaches, and a rocky promontory, a landscape more likened to the California coast than this high altitude location in the middle of the Rocky Mountains.
This trail starts in broad meadows with views of Indian Pond and Yellowstone Lake. Before turning right (west) into the woodland, it runs alongside the pond. The trail continues through the woods to Storm Point, a picturesque, wind-swept location. A huge colony of yellow-bellied marmots lives on the rocky area near the point. The trail finally circles back through the lodgepole forest and returns to Indian Pond, following the shoreline to the west.
The Storm Point path in Yellowstone is a great family hike. It’s a short walk that’s generally flat, and you’re nearly certain to spot some wildlife. In Yellowstone, this is an excellent starting trail.
West Thumb Geyser Basin
The West Thumb Geyser Basin is unique in that it is situated directly on the coast of Yellowstone Lake. Various gorgeous ponds can be found along the boardwalk that rims the area. When you go down to the lakeshore, look for the geyser cones that stick out of the water!
The 0.5-mile boardwalk promenade stretches alongside Yellowstone Lake’s western bank and among the features. The finest feature of the West Thumb Geyser Basin is the Abyss Pool, a beautiful teal-blue pool over 50 feet deep.
In addition to the Abyss Pool, the Fishing Cone, Black Pool, Thumb Geyser, Seismograph Pool, and Lakeshore Geyser are also worth seeing.
Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces
Mammoth Hot Springs is a historic location of Yellowstone with a lot to see and do. It is a one-of-a-kind hot spring in the park. If you only have a few days in Yellowstone, this is a must-see attraction. It’s near Gardiner, Montana, in the park’s northwestern corner.
Mammoth Hot Springs is a large network of hot springs atop a travertine slope near Yellowstone National Park’s Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District. As the spring’s hot water cooled and deposited calcium carbonate, it took thousands of years to create (over two tons flow into Mammoth each day in a solution).
Due to the obvious number of geothermal vents, travertine thrives. Despite their location outside of the caldera, these springs are powered by the same magmatic system that powers other Yellowstone geothermal regions.
Microorganisms called Thermophiles are responsible for the color you see in hot springs, from Mammoth to Grand Prismatic. The terraces are painted in a variety of colors, including orange, brown, purple, and yellow. Waterfalls cascade down the terraces, forming a spectacular cascading hot spring.
The easiest way to see Mammoth Hot Springs is to take a short walk across the Lower Terraces. A lovely drive leads to the Upper and Main Terraces, but there isn’t as much to see here. Mammoth Hot Springs has a lot to offer, including stunning terraces and a one-of-a-kind town.
Uncle Tom’s Trail
Uncle Tom’s Trail, which goes from the top of Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon to the base of the 308-foot-tall Lower Falls, is a fantastic hike. Almost usually, a rainbow can be seen cutting through the mist and splash of the falls.
It’s simple to down the 328 stairs, but keep in mind that you’ll have to climb back up. There are various benches and steel platforms to rest on as you climb over 500 vertical feet.
Follow Artist Point Road to the Artist Point parking lot once you’ve arrived in the Canyon section of Yellowstone. Look for a sign that says Uncle Tom’s Trail. You must first descend a pair of paved switchbacks before reaching the steel grate steps.
Only a few cascades, such as the Lower Falls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Fairy Falls, are taller than Tower Fall in Yellowstone National Park. The 132-foot waterfall cascades into a lake through a small spire-filled canyon.
While the walk to the bottom of the waterfall is no longer accessible due to erosion, the Tower Fall Overlook provides amazing views of the cascade. The view of the waterfall from this vantage point is spectacular.
The Tower Fall parking lot is only a short distance from the viewpoint, making it a relatively easy sight to get from the Grand Loop Road.
Norris Geyser Basin is one of Yellowstone’s most important hydrothermal sites, located several miles north of Old Faithful on the park’s west side.
Porcelain Basin and Back Basin are the two sections of Norris Geyser Basin. Each location has its trail system. Two easy boardwalk loops can be found on the Porcelain Basin side of Norris Geyser Basin.
The main loop is about a half-mile long, and an auxiliary loop adds another 1.1 miles to the total. You’ll be fascinated by a bleached basin of steaming vents, spouting geysers, bubbling and boiling springs, and multicolored runoff channels if you hike the entire distance.
Porcelain Basin was named from the milky color of the material that was deposited here. As the water travels across the ground and the mineral settles out, the mineral, siliceous sinter, is brought to the surface by hot water and forms a “sheet” over this flat area.
This is the part of the Norris Geyser Basin that is changing the fastest, and the siliceous sinter is one of the agents of change. If a mineral accumulates at the vent of a hot spring or geyser, the hot, pressurized water may run underground to a weak spot and blast through it.
Geyserite is another name for siliceous sinter. Most geyser basins include geyser cones and mounds formed by deposits that increase slowly, less than one inch (2.5cm) each century.
Sunset Wildlife Encounter Tour
Yellowstone National Park is a 3,500-square-mile wilderness recreation area located on the edge of a volcano crater.
The Park is primarily in Wyoming, although it also includes parts of Montana and Idaho. Yellowstone is home to dramatic gorges, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs, and erupting geysers, including Yellowstone’s most famous, Old Faithful.
It is home to hundreds of animal species, including bears, wolves, bison, elk, and antelope.
Furthermore, because of its massive and visible populations of huge animals, the Lamar Valley, which runs along the Lamar River, is known as America’s Serengeti.
The members of the Junction Butte Wolf Pack are among the area’s most well-known residents; wolf enthusiasts come with spotting scopes on most days in the hopes of witnessing these gorgeous canines in action.
These tours depart Mammoth/Gardiner by 4:00 p.m. and go to Lamar Valley, the breathtaking “American Serengeti.”
You’ll learn about wolves, bears, moose, elk, badgers, coyotes, bald eagles, and other local wildlife while searching for them. Its an amazing experience and you can find further info here.
Mystic Falls Trail
On the west side of Biscuit Basin, the Mystic Falls Trail begins. Cross the Firehole River on the footbridge from the Biscuit Basin parking area and proceed down the boardwalk to the far side of the basin.
The Mystic Falls Trail leaves the boardwalk on the left at the 0.2-mile mark, at Avoca Spring, and proceeds into the forest. The trail follows the north side of the Little Firehole River for the first 0.9 miles, gradually ascending to the base of Mystic Falls.
Two trail intersections will be encountered along the trip. The first is Fairy Creek Trail, which enters from the right and descends steeply from a magnificent overlook. The Summit Lake Trail, which forks to the left, is the second option.
Mystic Falls is a 70-foot waterfall that cascades spectacularly over erosion-resistant canyon rhyolite. It is divided into two portions, each with several steps. Along the trail, look for playful yellow-bellied marmots.
You should retrace your steps back to the trailhead unless you intend to make this a loop trip to see the picturesque overlook high above you.
The Mystic Falls Trail continues to the right after the falls and climbs sharply up more than 500 feet in less than a half-mile to the summit of the Madison Plateau.
At the 1.3 mile mark, the trail comes to an end and joins the Fairy Creek Trail. Turn right at the trail intersection to form a loop and return to Biscuit Basin via the picturesque overlook (this adds just 0.2 miles to the hike).
Harlequin Lake Trail
Due to the long distances required to reach the various locations of Yellowstone National Park, visitors will undoubtedly spend a significant amount of time in their cars.
A short hike that doesn’t take long but gives the body and minds a break is a great way to unwind. Harlequin Lake is an excellent choice for such a hike.
The trailhead has a spacious parking space and is conveniently positioned right on the west entrance road, not far from Madison Junction.
The hike passes through a young lodgepole pine forest, which is a good example of fire recovery. The 1988 fire reduced this area to ashes.
The seeds were ready for germination by the high temperatures of the fire, and millions of them germinated. The forest surrounding Harlequin Lake is now tightly packed with new pines, concealing a tangle of downed, charred trunks.
The trail steadily ascends through an impenetrable maze of tiny trees until it reaches the lovely lily pad-strewn lake. The trail follows the lake’s west bank until it disappears at the inlet.
This easy cruiser is suitable for day treks with the kids or a low-key overnight in Yellowstone’s stunning wilderness. Begin by following the Wolf Lake Trail north.
Since you stroll past new lodgepole pines and the increasingly fertile forest floor, you’ll see an ecology lesson in action, as most of the area’s lodgepole forest was burned in the 1988 Yellowstone Fires.
At mile 1.3, you’ll pass the beautiful Little Gibbons Falls and join the Howard Eaton Trail, which will take you to Ice Lake at mile 2.1.
The trail passes by campsite 4D2, the first of three situated along the lake’s picturesque northern coast, just before arriving at the lake. The next two campsites are only 0.4 miles apart and are suitable for casual overnights as they’re only 15 feet from the lake.
Pick up the Ice Lake Trail and travel south along the lake’s western coast until you reach another parking lot to complete the loop (0.4 miles down the road from the trailhead). If you have two cars, park one in each parking lot before beginning your hike and carpool back to the trailhead. If not, complete the loop by hiking back to the trailhead along the wide shoulder of Norris Road.
Undine Falls, located immediately east of Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park, is a beautiful cascade.
Although the falls can be seen from the road, the 8.85-mile round-trip climbs up Lava Creek Trail provides a fantastic view of not only the falls but also the beautiful Gardner River and Lava Creek canyons.
Gardner Canyon is the trail’s starting point. After crossing a suspension bridge over Lava Creek, the trail continues east into dense sagebrush. The trail follows Mount Everts’ contours. Mount Everts was once a valley basin, but the Gardiner River’s fast rise and erosion molded it into the magnificent mountain it is today.
The numerous layers of ridge tuff, shale, and sea bed sediments provide a striking visual picture of Yellowstone’s long geologic history. The creek’s floodplain is frequently blanketed with wildflowers, making for excellent possibilities for a Creekside picnic or a refreshing bath. Remember to allow these animals plenty of room if you come across them on the paths.
Near Yellowstone National Park, Wraith Falls is a 1.4-kilometer out-and-back trip with a cascade that is suited for hikers of all levels.
Most people can do this short climb, but strollers and wheelchairs are not permitted. Since the trip is just around 0.5 miles one-way, there is a small turnout, and the out-and-back route gets several visitors.
The trail starts out heading south, with a few sections where a boardwalk has been installed to keep your feet dry. Squirrels and chipmunks lurk beneath the boardwalks, so keep your eyes open.
Fishing in Yellowstone in July
July is an excellent month for getting out on the water, whether fishing, boating, or kayaking. The Gardner River, Lamar River, Slough Creek, and Soda Butte Creek are the best places to go fishing. Any fishing in the park requires a permit, which may be acquired at any visitor center or fly shop outside of Yellowstone. On Yellowstone Lake, boats can be rented near Bridge Bay. Grant Village, on Yellowstone Lake, also offers guided kayak cruises.
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