Yellowstone is a national park in the USA. Established in 1872, Yellowstone is one of the oldest parks in the US, with an enormous area of 8990 km².

The popular tourist destination is located in the Northern Rocky Mountains in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. 

The park has over 900 miles of trails and more than 600 lakes. It’s also home to grizzly bears, wolves, elk, and many other animals.

The park includes the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest volcanic caldera in North America.

It also contains the largest number of active Geysers in the world.


Yellowstone is among Wyoming’s leading tourist attractions, renowned for its stunning views, varied ecological communities, and remarkable geothermal marvels.

While the park contains a plethora of attractions and fun-filled activities for tourists, visiting it in January can be a little bothersome if you are not dressed according to the weather.

If you plan to visit Yellowstone in January, do not pack your bags before going through this comprehensive guide. 

We have covered everything you need to know, including the weather conditions, must-see attractions, and the type of clothing you will need. 

Yellowstone’s Weather in January

Yellowstone is located in the mountainous region of Wyoming. The climate here is very different from the rest of the USA. The winters are long and harsh, while the summers are short and hot. 

The average daytime temperature remains around 20°F, and the average nighttime temperature is around 7°F.

On the coldest night, the temperature can drop to -10°F, and on the hottest January day in Yellowstone, you can expect the temperature to hit 35°F.

Yellowstone experiences constant overcast during January, which usually keeps clearing up as the end of the month approaches.

So, at the end of the month, you can expect the skies to be mostly clear.

Due to cloudy skies, Yellowstone experiences rains throughout the month, but not heavy ones.

Light showers are almost constant throughout the month, with an average of 0.5 inches.

Yellowstone also gets snowfall during January. However, it follows a declining pattern as the month progresses.

The average monthly snowfall ranges between 14 inches and 27 inches. 

The park also tends to be slightly windy during January, with an average wind speed of 5 miles per hour.

What to Wear for Daytime Activities in Yellowstone?

Yellowstone National Park has plenty of attractions for the daytime. The park contains a large variety of wildlife and is the only national park in North America with an active volcano.

The park offers resorts, lodges, and accommodations. There are several hiking trails in the park too. We recommend going to the Museum of the National Park and the hiking Trails at Mammoth Hot Springs to see a lot of geysers. 

You can tour the park on the grand loop to witness the scenic beauty of this place. There are also many shops where you can buy souvenirs and take them home with you.

The park’s star attraction is the Old Faithful Geyser nearby Black Sand Basin. This is a must-see attraction, so make sure you don’t miss it.

If you want to see more Geysers, you should head out to Upper Geyser Basin, as it contains a wide variety of Geysers to witness and marvel at.

There are numerous other basins, with plenty of different styled Geysers. So, you can pick the locations you want to see at your convenience.

Other noteworthy places include Lamar valley, Hayden Valley, Mount Washburn Trail, and the Grand Canyon.

The weather in Yellowstone in January is freezing, so you must be prepared accordingly. If you are hiking or camping out in the park, you should have an extra layer of thick clothing that you can use if you get cold.

In most cases, fur suits well with the park’s climate conditions. Wear a pair of jeans made from fur-free materials if the weather allows. But, if it’s too cold, wear fur-lined jeans. Furs keep you warm and dry from the cold.

Wear thermal inners to keep your body insulated, and use neck scarves, lined gloves, and winter hats. Use clothes made of only woolen or fleece material.

For shoes, you should only wear snow boots or thermal boots. If you are going to hike, then keep warm hiking shoes.

What to Wear for Nighttime Activities in Yellowstone?

Many people think there is not much to do in Yellowstone after sunset, but that’s not true. The most popular activity for the nighttime is stargazing.

For the most magnificent views, you can stargaze at multiple locations, including Dunraven Pass, Upper Geyser Basin, and Mammoth Hot Springs.

If you want to spend the night watching the stars, you can stay at Under Canvas Yellowstone and enjoy the beauty of the night sky. You can also enjoy campfires, watch the wildlife, or check out the bars and restaurants in the park.

We can’t stress enough how important it is to wear super warm clothes at night. If you plan to sleep in the park, it is advisable to have extra layers of clothing since the temperatures can drop quickly. 

Staying outdoors for extended periods also increases your risk of hypothermia, so keep yourself covered from head to toe. 

In addition to thermal innerwear, go for clothes made of wool or fleece. Keep thick snow coats and down-filled jackets for layering up.

Use all the necessary winter accessories, including scarves, gloves, socks, and hats. You might want to cover your nose as well to prevent frostbite.

Also, make sure to wear only thermal or snow boots at night.

Additional Things to Pack for Yellowstone in January

Packing these additional things while going to Yellowstone in January will make your trip more convenient.

  • Sleeping bag
  • Camping gear
  • Sunglasses
  • Lotion
  • Thick blanket or comforter
  • Insulated water bottle
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Charger
  • Additional batteries
  • Insect Repellant
  • Raincoat
  • Sun Hat

Final Advice

While Yellowstone is a beautiful tourist destination all year long, January is a time of harsh winters in that region, so warm clothing is crucial.

Pack knitwear or fur-lined clothing. You can also wear wool, fleece, or other warm materials. Make sure to keep layers handy, along with other winter accessories.

All in all, just make sure not to expose any part of your body to the raging cold. As long as you feel comfortable in your clothing, you’ll have a great time.