Heading to Yellowstone and worried about what to pack and what to wear to Yellowstone National Park ? Fear not with our ultimate Yellowstone Packing list we will have guide you through what to pack for Yellowstone in summer from the best clothes, best shoes for Yellowstone to what other non-clothing things you need to take too Yellowstone.
We visited Yellowstone towards the end of Summer last year so 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 – What to Expect visiting Yellowstone in Summer
Weather during the summer in Yellowstone is highly changeable and you need to prepared for all of the extremes! On the same day I was wearing my thickest jacket and hoodie in the morning and by afternoon in a tshirt 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 actually worried we wouldn’t be able to drive the Beartooth Pass because it had been shut in the preceding days due to snow and ice!
Yellowstone, although can get seriously cold in Winter with many of the entrances closing because of the bad weather, in summer can actually get pretty hot with temperatures sometimes reaching 25.
Therefore when going to Yellowstone, I definitely recommend layers and being prepared for every eventuality especially when you are at altitude in the park or if you plan to drive the bear tooth highway as we did on our Yellowstone itinerary!
When we visited in late August/early September and I can safely say I wore literally all the layers and then a strappy top and shorts easily on the same day! !
Ultimate Yellowstone Packing List Summer Edition – What to Wear in Yellowstone
Note about this What to Wear in Yellowstone packing list for summer – This Packing list is intended to be used on a four day Yellowstone itinerary! However if you have more or less time, you may need to alter the amount of some of the tops you take with you. what to wear in yellowstone
The Best Shoes For Yellowstone
Now I always try to limit the amount of shoes I take and I love a capsule wardrobe. However in Yellowstone, you definitely need a few different pairs of shoes
- Hiking Boots 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.
- Water Shoes
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!
Note: These are only required if you plan on swimming in Boiling River near Mammoth Hot Springs!
Trainers definitely belong on your Yellowstone packing list summer edition as while I recommend using hiking boots on the trails some of the more boardwalk hikes and around the lake, I found that trainers were sufficient especially in the afternoons but I would not use on longer hikes!
What Clothes to Pack for Yellowstone National Park (Yellowstone clothing packing list)
Dressing appropriately can make or break a vacation in my opinion. Here is our guide to the best Yellowstone clothes:
- Rain jacket
The Weather can change quickly at Yellowstone so I recommend always keep a lightweight and easily foldable rain jacket with you at all times! We were lucky that we didn’t get rain during our trip to Yellowstone but it is best to be prepared and should definitely be one your Yellowstone clothing packing list
- Windbreaker or Sports Jacket
For that inbetween weather. As you can see from the above photo although we visited Yellowstone in summer we still needed warm coats.
- Lightweight Fleece My biggest tip for travelling to Yellowstone is make sure you are in the park early. If you are in before sun up as we were you are definitely going to want a light weight fleece that can be easily put over and under things!
- T Shirts – (quantity – 4) – need to be on your Yellowstone summer packing list
T Shirts definitely need to be on your Yellowstone summer packing list.
- Zip Off Walking Trousers (quantity – 2)
I recommend bringing these instead of trousers and shorts separately as it will save on space. They are also very comfortable when doing long hikes and dry quickly if they get wet.
- Swimwear (optional) – an essential for packing for Yellowstone in summer
A swimming costume is essential for packing for Yellowstone in summerd if you are going to swim in the Boiling River or if you are staying on one of the many Yellowstone hotels with a pool!
- Hiking socks – a Yellowstone wardrobe essential (6 pairs)
I don’t know about you but I hate blisters and also hate having wet feet so I recommend packing more socks than you actually required.
- sunglasses – a must for your packing list for Yellowstone in summer
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!
What Kids Should Wear in Yellowstone
Clothing wise I don’t recommend really adding anything ffferent to your Yellowstone packing list for children to adults in general.
Rather than packing just a rain jacket, for my little one we found it better to have a full lightweight rain suit!
Also when travelling with small children, again check their shoes have a good sole and they can’t be kicked off if you are carrying them.
Yellowstone with Kids Packing List
If you are travelling with kids, other than clothes there are a couple of other things we recommend packing:
- Back Pack Reins
I know that these can be divisive amongst parents but I found them an essential when we were at Yellowstone. Travelling and walking so close to geysers and hot springs you will want to keep hold of young children at all times.I personally recommend the back pack style reins as I fell these are less restrictive to the child and are attached to the backpack rather than around the child.For more information about the Geysers of Yellowstone click here!
- 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!
Should you take a stroller or carrier with you to Yellowstone?
You could definitely use a stroller in Yellowstone National Park on some of the boardwalk trails. However if there are peak times this would probably become unwieldy and annoying very quickly – for you and others!
I therefore think that the best option if you are travelling with a baby or toddler in Yellowstone is to take a carrier! As it gets hot in Yellowstone you might want to consider a carrier that is good for hot weather!
What Else Should I pack for Yellowstone (non clothing)
Days in Yellowstone are long. I recommend getting into the park before sunrise for a chance to beat the crowds and to have some awesome wildlife encounters! As such, you are going to need to a have everything with you when you set off in the morning
- Reuseable Water Bottle
When 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
Getting in the park very early means that places in town (if you are staying near but not in Yellowstone) will not be open before you leave for a full breakfast. I always fill up a coffee thermos before we go into a national park to help with the early start!
- Lunch Box/Picnic Box/Cool Boz, Blanket and chairs
The food at the lodges isn’t fantastic and the queues at peak times can get really long. To make the most of your day we recommend taking a picnic with you. There are plenty of designated picnic areas in the park so be sure to eat there.If you are camping in Yellowstone be sure that you have bear proof food storage solutions!Be sure to have a cool box type as you don’t want the food going off in the car if you have good weather in Yellowstone.
- Back Pack with Rain Cover
With changeable weather, having a rain cover for your back pack is an essential in case you get caught in a downpour!
- Quick Dry Towel
Especially useful if you are going to swim in 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 lens that work best for wildlife photography. Although in some destinations if 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 definitely pack one for each of us so we didn’t have to share and miss things!
- Sun Screen
You can be pretty exposed in Yellowstone so make sure you have enough sun screen with you
- Insect Repellant
If you are wondering what to pack for Yellowstone in summer then definitely do not forget your bug spray! There are lots of bugs in Yellowstone especially around the lakes and still water so be sure to make a good quality insect repellant with you
- Phone and spare battery pack
At Yellowstone if using your phone to take photos, and with the phone constantly looking for signal in remote areas your battery will drain pretty quickly. Be sure you have spare battery pack with you to recharge your phone on the go!
- 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 this toilets so I would advise taking your own! Especially the latter!
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
Is there any special needed for packing for Yellowstone in July and August ?
If you are packing for Yellowstone in July all of the above applies. As Yellowstone in July is one of the hottest months then be sure to add plenty of sunscreen and water on to your list for what to pack for Yellowstone in July.
If you are wondering how to dress for Yellowstone in July then again I recommend layers. The mornings can be cold especially if you get into the park early (which we always recommend).
The same can be said for your packing list for Yellowstone in August or June too.
Further Yellowstone National Park Reading
- Yellowstone Itineraries -1-4 Days
- Yellowstone Packing List
- Where to Stay Near Yellowstone National Park
- Best Things to Do in Yellowstone with Kids
- National Park Bucket List
- Best National Parks with Kids
Wednesday 30th of September 2020
hi! I saw the picture where there is a stairs and sunset? Where is this taken at? Very nice picture!