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Just Like That

Changing leaves in Yellowstone signal fall and winter tour opportunities!

And just like that—our summery, late-August days recede, and Yellowstone’s natural calendar tells us autumn is fast approaching. Willows, cottonwoods, and aspen trees crisp yellow at their leafy edges–with this shift at high elevations our first intimation of the change of seasons.

Grasses and wildflowers wave brown, white headed, and weather beaten, testifying the passage of time and an eventual change in temperature and daylight. The colorful flowers and shrubs still remaining— the purple showy daises and golden-headed rabbitbrush—blend perfectly with the bacteria-laden waters of the Mammoth Terraces.

In the shaded crevices of the Gallatin Mountains, stubborn patches of snow cling to blocky sedimentary and volcanic outcrops. The mountains reflect the shadows of cumulous clouds overhead, the clouds themselves a reflection of warm air rising and expanding, forming condensation. These predictable afternoon thunderstorms subside as August in Yellowstone moves into September.



Even the wild animals and birds in Yellowstone have internal calendars indicating the change of seasons.

Bears race against time grubbing and scavenging as many calories as possible before hibernation. Pronghorn bucks, does, and fawns march up and over mountains and down to lowlands outside the park’s North Entrance–moving along ancestral routes to better winter forage.

Bull elk scrape bloody scraps of velvet from their antlers in preparation for battle during the mating season, and songbirds and raptors shrink and grow internal organs to make room for increased fat and better heart and lung function for fall migration.



At Yellowstone Wild, our calendar at the end of August tells us we have approximately six weeks left to help our guests immerse and engage themselves in the natural environment during our summer season, and then a break to prepare ourselves to start taking our guests on adventures during winter. 

Every day in Yellowstone is different, and there is something absolutely amazing happening somewhere in the park every single day. It is our job and passion as guides and a company to help you find it! For more information on booking an autumn or winter tour with us please click here.

Content and top photos courtesy Yellowstone Wild Assistant Manager Chelsea DeWeese. Elk photos courtesy NPS – Yellowstone. Bear photo courtesy Yellowstone Wild Guide Kyle Dudgeon/KDudgeon Photo.

Chelsea DeWeese is assistant manager of Yellowstone Wild Tours.

To learn more about Chelsea and the rest of the Yellowstone Wild team visit our “About Us” web page.