All travelers are welcome in West Yellowstone, Montana, and for those who like to be prepared, we have put together all the information you need to travel like a local.
West Yellowstone sits at an elevation of 6,666 ft above sea level, and this high altitude can affect you in unexpected ways. We recommend making sure to stay hydrated and taking it easy for a day or two until you get your mountain legs. An example is that the effects of alcohol can be more dramatic, so take it easy at our local bars until you adjust.
What To Pack
The high altitude makes the sun more intense and the weather more variable. Dressing in easily removable layers ensures you’re always comfortable. Always pack an assortment of layered clothing, a jacket, footwear appropriate for the season and elements, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Below are some examples of appropriate clothing for each season.
Winter – Warm, water-resistant coat, hat, gloves, scarf, fleece or flannel shirt, long underwear, snow pants, and water-resistant boots.
Spring/Fall – T-shirt, rain jacket, fleece jacket, jeans, and shorts. As a reminder, we can get snow any month of the year, so always pack a warm jacket.
Summer – Light jacket, shorts, jeans, and hiking boots.
West Yellowstone receives an annual average of 25” of precipitation and 166” of snowfall, meaning we are one of the snowiest places in Montana. On average, we receive about 107 days per year of some form of precipitation, rain, snow, sleet, or hail.
July continues to be the hottest month in West Yellowstone, with average temperatures of 78.4 degrees Fahrenheit, but even with the warm days, temperatures average in the 40s or colder at night.
Humidity is very low in West Yellowstone, leaving the air dry. This can lead to cracked, itchy skin and dry eyes. Remember to be kind to your skin, and bring lotion and lip balm during all seasons.
Average Temperatures and Precipitation
(Fahrenheit & Inches)
Before You Explore
We are excited to get to share our natural wonders with you, and we know you’re excited to get out and see them, but before you go there are some things to know:
Cell Coverage – You won’t have trouble staying connected when you’re in town, but when you head out on a trail, river, or back road, that could change. Let others know when you expect to be back. Cell coverage is sparse traveling from West Yellowstone on 191 towards Bozeman.
Sparse Services – Cell service isn’t the only service that is sparse between towns and outside of West Yellowstone. Gas will also be limited once leaving the town, so be sure to fill up before traveling.
Driving – Don’t let the scenery distract you; drive cautiously and watch for animals. If you need to stop for any reason, use a pullout. Do not block traffic. Winding roads and traffic often increase the drive times significantly, so be sure to pack your patience. In the winter, expect longer drive times due to icy, snow-covered roads. For road condition updates for Montana, visit 511mt.net, and for Idaho visit 511.idaho.gov
Hikes, Roadtrips, and Other Excursions – Always pack more food, water, and cold-weather wear than you expect to need. Being over-prepared is always the safest option.
Traveling With Pets
Pet-friendly lodgings can be found all over West Yellowstone, and you can find more information on them here. The Boundary Trail is also pet-friendly for skiing and hiking.
Pets are allowed in Yellowstone National Park, but there are strict guidelines you will need to follow. Pets are allowed in public areas, parking lots, and within 100 feet of any road. They must be on a leash that is no more than six (6) feet in length at all times. Visitors are not allowed to tie their pets to trees or other objects or leave them unattended. Pet kennels cannot be left outside of vehicles.
There are NO boarding facilities available in West Yellowstone. The closest boarding facilities are Ennis, Belgrade, or Bozeman, Montana, or Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Check out our travel planner to learn more about traveling in and around West Yellowstone.