Best time to visit Yellowstone National Park

Canoeing and Kayaking in Yellowstone National Park

Come and enjoy your favourite summer activity among Yellowstone's beautiful natural scenery

Best time: May–October

Canoeing and Kayaking
Canoeing and Kayaking
Canoeing and Kayaking

Paddling in Yellowstone is a perfect way to explore the area and enjoy the scenery. It also offers a great chance to see the wildlife of the park as you smoothly and quietly pass by in your canoe or kayak. While on the water you can discover new beautiful spots that can't be seen from a car or while walking.

The most fascinating paddling opportunities are offered on the big lakes. All the rivers and creeks are closed to boating inside the park, although you can find a large variety outside it. The Snake, Henry's Fork, Gallatin, and Madison lakes are just a few to enjoy your favourite activity.

Lewis Lake, Jackson Lake, Hegdbon Lake, Green River Lakes, Brooks Lake, and many others are perfect spots for paddlers. One of the most popular places to go paddling in the Yellowstone Park is the route from Lewis River Channel to Shoshone Lake. This 17 km route is ideal for beginners.

The open waters of Lewis Lake and Yellowstone Lake are not recommended for beginners due to heavy winds and sudden storms. Although some advanced paddlers may find it an exciting adventure.

Practical info

When is the best time to go paddling in Yellowstone National Park?

The ideal season for paddling in Yellowstone National Park is from May to October when the lakes are usually without ice. However, weather conditions may differ seasonally, with June and July having more stable weather conditions while August and September are prone to sudden afternoon showers. Show more

Where can I rent a kayak or canoe in the park?

Numerous rental points offer kayaks, canoes, and rowboats both within and outside the Yellowstone National Park. Equipment rental services by Bridge Bay Marina, Lake Village Marina, and Grant Village Marina make equipment rental easy, as well as rental shops in towns such as West Yellowstone and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Show more

What are the regulations for paddling within the park?

Boating in Yellowstone National Park is subject to specific regulations, particularly because some lakes are open for boating to conserve wildlife habitat and preserve the park's natural resources. Park rangers enforce safety rules, such as wearing life jackets and prohibiting boating in inclement weather. Show more

What type of wildlife can be seen while on the water in Yellowstone?

When paddling in Yellowstone National Park, it is common to see waterfowl, elk, moose, and deer mingling on the shoreline or swimming alongside lakes. Additionally, paddling often allows tourists to experience exciting moments such as spotting bald eagles, ospreys, pelicans, grizzly bears, and wolves, the park's top predators, ruling the land. Show more

Are there any guided paddling tours available in the park?

Yes, Yellowstone National Park offers guided paddling tours through Yellowstone Forever. With these tours, patrons become equipped with safety equipment, including paddles, life jackets, kayaks, and canoes. The guides provide insight into the park's conservation efforts, making for an outdoor, educational adventure that departs from various locations in the park. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin