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What to wear in Yellowstone in Summer (Packing List inc)

What to wear in Yellowstone in Summer (Packing List inc)

Heading to Yellowstone and worried about what to pack and what to wear to Yellowstone National Park in Summer? Well fear not, with our ultimate Yellowstone Packing list we tell you everything you need to include no matter whether you are visiting the parks in June, July, August or September. 

Note: This guide has been written from personal experience. We visited Yellowstone towards the end of Summer o this list is based on personal experience, including the things that would have been useful and we didn’t have but wished we did.

Yellowstone Summer Weather 

Weather during the summer in Yellowstone is highly changeable and you need to be prepared for all conditions. For instance, when we visited there was one day when  I was wearing my thickest jacket and hoodie in the morning and by afternoon in a t-shirt and shorts so you need to be prepared for all weather.

Fun Fact: It can snow any month of the year in Yellowstone! We were worried we wouldn’t be able to drive the Beartooth Pass which was a key part of our Yellowstone itinerary because it had been shut in the preceding days due to snow and ice. However, we got lucky but shows how prepared you need to be. 

In Summer you can usually expect temperatures between 20-27C / 68-80F however if you are going to any elevation in Yellowstone or are there in an unseasonable cold snap these temperatures can be much lower. Therefore layers should be a key part of your packing list. 

What to Wear in Yellowstone in Summer (June, July, August and September)

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Where to Stay Near Yellowstone

Note: we are not campers and stayed near Yellowstone in West Yellowstone. Therefore our packing list is designed to be used that are vacationing in Yellowstone but are not staying in a RV or camping. The list covers what to wear and what to pack in Yellowstone for day visitors rather than those staying overnight in Yellowstone. 

The Best Shoes For Yellowstone National Park

Now I always think that any national park vacation can be made or broken by the type of shoes you pack. Now I like to pack light for national parks but I would recommend having at least two pairs of shoes for Yellowstone from the following: 

Hiking Boots 

Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped, Beetroot/Deep Madeira, 5
  • ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: The Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot features a seam-sealed construction, combined with our TECHLITE lightweight midsole, for long-lasting comfort with superior cushioning and high energy return.
  • DURABLE HIKING BOOT: This women's boot is inspired by classic mountaineering style. A durable mid cut waterproof hiker that provides great traction and comfort. This classic Columbia hiking boot, will deliver years of comfortable service.
  • ALL TERRAIN TRACTION: Our signature Omni-GRIP non-marking traction rubber outsole provides high grip across a wide variety of terrain, and versatile three season use.
  • HANDY FEATURES: Treacherous days out on the trail are comfortable and worry-free with this hiking boot's waterproof combination of supportive leather and suede construction.
  • REINFORCED TOE AND HEEL CONSTRUCTION: Designed for extended years of use, we’ve reinforced the toe and heel barriers, and extended the outsole toe overwrap to guard these key wear points.

I never go to a national park without having my hiking boots with me and no Yellowstone wardrobe is complete without hiking boots. I always keep them in the trunk of the car . Firstly because I hate driving in hiking boots, and secondly so I can get an idea of the trailhead before heading out. If I know the trail is more challenging or looks difficult when we arrive I always change into my hiking boots!If you look for one thing when buying hiking shoes, then I would definitely make sure you look at the sole to make sure it has good grip and is non slip! Even in summer you can experience rain and ice. 


Sneakers are one of my favorite things to wear in National parks on boardwalk trails and in the nearby towns. Some people may be able to pack sneakers in place of hiking boots if they plan on only going on short hikes and sticking to the boardwalks. 

Hiking Sandals

Viakix Acadia Hiking Sandal – Comfortable, Stylish Women's Sandals
  • CUSTOMIZED FIT – Take the guesswork out of purchasing sandals online. The Acadia outdoor sandal has five adjustable straps to get the perfect, customized fit for your feet. These sandals even accommodate wide widths for those who need the extra room. If you are between sizes, we do recommend you size DOWN to the next hole size.
  • EXCEPTIONAL QUALITY – With Viakix, you can always expect quality outdoor sandals and shoes. The Acadia sandles are crafted by hand using the best quality materials that provide superior heel and toe, all-day comfort. We reject expensive marketing campaigns so that we can deliver exceptional quality at affordable price points.
  • SO CUTE! – The Acadia sandals will get you endless complements with our trendy and fashionable colors that provide you with the perfect look. Ok, just remember that we did try to warn you. LOL.
  • OUR GAURANTEE – The footwear that you put on your feet is your trusted 'vehicle' to your outdoor adventures. So, we feel an unwavering commitment to only sell high quality, dependable sandals. We are confident that once you try our footwear, you will be a customer for life. However, should decide that these are not the most comfortable shoes you've owned, we'll gladly accept your return. Our return policy is simple and straightforward, making it an easy decision to try us out.

Hiking sandals can be a better pick than hiking boots for those visiting during hot summer days. 

Water Shoes (optional)

Water Shoes for Women Men cruise essentials Quick-Dry Aqua Socks Swim Beach Barefoot Yoga Exercise Wear Sport Accessories Pool Camping Must Haves Adult Youth Size 3-4 Women/2-3 Men
  • 𝗖𝗢𝗠𝗙𝗢𝗥𝗧𝗔𝗕𝗟𝗘- Athmile water socks are made of breathable,quick-dry and elastic fabric.And its thick insole make you feel great soft when you are in a happy outdoor time.
  • 𝗣𝗥𝗢𝗧𝗘𝗖𝗧𝗜𝗩𝗘 - Water shoes for men women are made available for both water use and dry land.The special anti-slip sole can not only protect your feet from sharp things like rocks,shells and gravel,but also prevent burns from hot sand in beach or water park.And beach shoes' smooth neck design would take care of your ankles.
  • 𝗖𝗢𝗡𝗩𝗘𝗡𝗜𝗘𝗡𝗖𝗘 & 𝗗𝗨𝗥𝗔𝗕𝗜𝗟𝗜𝗧𝗬 - Our swim shoes are lightweight, flexible and foldable,really easy to put on and carry out.Compared with ordinary beach aqua socks,the special thick sole design can effectively help the upper not easy to be damaged and more durable.
  • 𝗢𝗖𝗖𝗔𝗦𝗜𝗢𝗡𝗦 - The Athmile socks shoes of summer stuff are suitable for beach,swimming,yoga,surfing,pool,lake fishing,water park,boating,camping and other outdoor activities.
  • 𝗩𝗔𝗥𝗜𝗢𝗨𝗦 𝗦𝗧𝗬𝗟𝗘 & 𝗦𝗜𝗭𝗘 - There are a variety of colorful styles for you to choose.And our barefoot shoes of beach accessories have lots of size suited for men,women,boys,girls.

Now I always associate water shoes with beaches and snorkelling in tropical destinations such as Bora Bora or the Maldives however water shoes are actually quite useful for Yellowstone.

A once hidden gem, but an increasingly popular attraction at Yellowstone is to swim in the boiling river. The river bed can be stony and shoes are definitely necessary so don’t forget to pack your water shoes!

Rain jacket

Avoogue Lightweight Raincoat Women's Waterproof Windbreaker Packable Outdoor Hooded Rain Jacket Army Green S
  • WATERPROOF& WINDPROOF RAINCOAT: This hooded rain jacket is made of super waterproof material, it's lightweight , breathable , packable , skin-friendly, comfortable to wear, It will keep you dry and cool in every rainy days.
  • PACKABLE RAIN JACKET: AVOOGUE lightweight raincoat windbreaker with packable carrying pouch,easy to carry when in the outside,great to keep in your backpack, purse, or car.casual loose fashionable style.
  • UNIQUE DESIGN WINDBREAKER: Waterproof and quick drying- easy to deal with light rain.Drawstring hooded and drawstring hem - keep the jacket pulled tight to you so no rain gets in and keep you dry. Two big pocket placement, which is ideal for putting things in and release your hands.
  • FALL CASUAL JACKET: Perfect ideal raincoat windbreaker on kinds of outdoors, you also can wear as a light coat in spring, summer, autumn and winter, it is casual loose fashionable style,you can layer clothes underneath as you like.
  • OUTDOOR HOOD RAIN JACKET: Our ladies rain jacket great for outdoor activities in all season, such as camping, hiking, riding, cycling, climbing, picnic, running, walking, traveling ,etc.

Although the rain is sporadic in Yellowstone, when it comes it can be heavy. For this reason I always recommend putting a compact packaway rain jacket into your Yellowstone day pack for those unexpected downpours.  

Lightweight Fleece 

Whenever you are planning a trip to Yellowstone my biggest tip is make sure you are in the park early. In the summertime Yellowstone gets great weather but is filled with crowds and traffic jams.

However the one thing I noted was how much cooler the temperatures were in the mornings. For this reason I recommend packing layers for those early starts. Personally my favorite top layer for Yellowstone is a lightweight fleece as it is easy to pack away but is also very insulating. 

T Shirts

T shirts are always on my summer packing list. We recommend packing a mix of sleeve lengths and sticking to natural fabrics which are more breathable for long days in the sun. 

Zip Off Walking Trousers 

Little Donkey Andy Women's Convertible Zip Off Pants Quick Dry Stretch Hiking Travel Camping Pants Black XS
  • CONVERTIBLE- Zip-off legs convert pants to 7 inch inseam shorts, careful design of the zip-off part for the ultimate adjustable comfort
  • 6 POCKETS- This women's hiking pant features multi pockets, 2 hand pockets, 2 thigh zippered pockets and 2 rear pockets
  • COOLING SYSTEM- This women's convertible pant is made of silver fiber that can quickly dissipate the temperature of the skin to give you a cool feeling
  • STRETCH and LIGHTWEIGHT- 4-Way stretch for comfort and an ideal fit, lightweight fabric wicks moisture dries quickly, packs light
  • MOVING FREELY- ¾ elastic waist and adjustable drawcord on the leg opening for moving freely

Although many people can be tempted to pack jeans for Yellowstone, we recommend leaving these at home in favor of zip off walking trousers. These can be worn as trousers in the morning when the temperatures are cooler but can be converted to shorts for later in the day. 

Swimwear (optional)

I packed a swimming costume for Yellowstone as our hotel in West Yellowstone had a pool which was a great day to cool off after a long day in the park. If you are staying in a hotel with a pool or plan on doing some water-based activities or heading to the Boiling River you may want to add swimwear to your packing list. 

Hiking socks

As I tend to wear hiking boots in national parks, hiking socks are essential for me to help prevent blisters. However if you plan on just wearing sneakers we recommend having sneakers socks on your list. 


Sunglasses are a must for summer visitors in Yellowstone. The sun in the park can be dazzling so you need to protect your eyes. 
No packing list for Yellowstone in summer in complete without sunglasses. Some of the sights in Yellowstone can be quite dazzling when you’re there in the middle of the day. I recommend taking sunglasses with you even if the day starts out cloudy!


Again for sun protection reasons, we recommend packing a hat with a wide brim. 

What to pack for Yellowstone National Park non clothing

Now we have looked at the best Yellowstone outfits to put together, we will turn our attention to other Yellowstone essentials to add to your packing list. 

Reusable Water Bottle

Seeing such amazing natural experiences, it always reminds me how important it is to try and reduce plastic when we travel. Be sure to take a refillable water bottle with you and top it up at lodges as you travel around the park.

Coffee Thermos and Mugs

As I have said early starts will greatly improve your Yellowstone experience. If you are anything like me you will be wanting a cup of coffee at the start of the day. Therefore I recommend packing a coffee thermos and mugs to take into the park 

Lunch Box/Picnic Box/Cool Boz, Blanket and chairs

In my opinion, the food at the lodges isn’t fantastic and the queues at peak times can get long. On top of these, the lodges are quite disparate so it can be hard to plan your days around lodge rest stops.

Instead, we recommend packing a cooler with food storage solutions.  This will ensure you have food when you want and save your budget. Just be sure that the food storage you have is bear proof.

Back Pack with Rain Cover

With changeable weather, having a rain cover for your back pack is essential in case you get caught in a downpour!

Quick Dry Towel

This is another optional but I recommend that you take one if you plan on fishing, doing watersports or going to the Boiling River. 

Camera, lens and spare batteries

Trust me, your camera will be out all the time at Yellowstone so be sure to have spare batteries with you and a lens that works well for wildlife photography. Although in some destinations it can be tempting to think that your iPhone camera will be enough this is definitely a place I would say take the best camera you can. If you can afford a DSLR camera I definitely recommend taking one. 


Although you will see plenty of wildlife up close, not all wildlife will be right next to your car. For better chances to see wolves, bears and of course birds we recommend buying a good pair of wildlife binoculars. We only had one pair between us and if we went again I would pack one for each of us so we didn’t have to share and miss things. 

Sun Screen

Although you will see plenty of wildlife up close, not all wildlife will be right next to your car. For better chances to see wolves, bears and of course birds we recommend buying a good pair of wildlife binoculars. We only had one pair between us and if we went again I would definitely pack one for each of us so we didn’t have to share and miss things! 

Insect Repellant

You definitely need bug spray or insect repellant for summer in Yellowstone. The mosquitos are fierce in the summertime especially near water so having a good supply of insect repellant is a good idea. 

Phone and spare battery pack

When we were at Yellowstone we used our phone for navigation and maps and for taking photos. On top of this the lack of signal and your phone constantly searching for one you will find that your battery drains very quickly. Therefore we recommend having a spare battery pack with you. 

Bear Spray and Bear Bells

If all you are going to do is see the main sites and not go on hikes then this probably isn’t necessary but for anyone wanting to go further into Yellowstone, going on a hike and for those wanting to escape the crowds then this is an absolute essential.

Hand Sanitiser and toilet roll

There are plenty of toilets around the park but I didn’t find there to be much soap or toilet roll in these toilets so I would advise taking your own.

what to pack for yellowstone in summer

Have you been to Yellowstone? What was on your Yellowstone Packing List and what did you wear to Yellowstone? Let us know in the comments if you think we have left something off our list!

What to pack for Yellowstone if you want an outdoor adventure 

One of the things I loved about visiting Yellowstone and national parks, in general, is how many outdoor pursuits you can partake in. In this section of the guide, we round up what to pack for Yellowstone if you fancy having an outdoor adventure – these obviously aren’t essential and probably not all that practical to take if you are flying to Yellowstone but you might want to consider if you are considering driving to Yellowstone:

Inflatable Kayak 

There are some amazing lakes in Yellowstone and we saw numerous people out kayaking and it was something I wish we had organised. When we return when our daughter is older I definitely want to add this to our Yellowstone Bucket List. There aren’t actually any kayak rentals in the park itself though we did see some in West Yellowstone however it would be more convenient if you had your own inflatable kayak with you. You might also want to add a life preserve to your shopping basket too! 

Fishing Gear 

Another popular outdoor pursuit in Yellowstone is fishing so if this is one of your favourite pastimes be sure to remember to pack your fishing gear. Be sure you know what type of angling is permitted where before you start. 

FAQS about what to pack for Yellowstone in summer

What to pack for Yellowstone with kids

Yellowstone Packing List - Yellowstone with kids

Yellowstone Packing List – Yellowstone with kids

Generally speaking we recommend packing the same type of clothes for kids as for adults for visiting national parks. However, there are some additional items you may want to add especially if you are visiting Yellowstone with toddlers. The things you may want to consider packing are: 

Back Pack Reins

I know that these can be divisive amongst parents but I found them essential when we were at Yellowstone. Travelling and walking so close to geysers and hot springs means you will want to keep hold of young children at all times. I found the best way of doing this was with reins.  Personally recommend the backpack-style reins as I feel these are less restrictive to the child and are attached to the backpack rather than around the child.

Portable Potty

You will be spending a lot of time in the car and away from facilities so it is definitely good to have a portable potty with you especially if you have a newly potty-trained child with you. 


You could definitely use a stroller in Yellowstone National Park on some of the boardwalk trails in the low season. However, if you are traveling in peak times this would probably become unwieldy and annoying very quickly – for you and others as well as potentially being dangerous with crowds. Therefore I recommend packing a carrier or hiking backpack for those traveling with babies or toddlers. 

Also as it gets hot in Yellowstone during the Summertime you might want to consider a carrier that is good for hot weather! 

Is there any special needed for packing for Yellowstone in July and August?

If you are packing for Yellowstone in July and August all of the above applies. As Yellowstone in July and August are some of the hottest months then be sure to add plenty of sunscreen and water to your list for what to pack for Yellowstone. 

Further Yellowstone National Park Reading

Ultimate Yellowstone Packing List - what to pack for yellowstone in summer