Best time to visit Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Lake

Large and beautiful, settled in the heart of the park, Yellowstone Lake is a great spot for marveling at the beauty of nature

Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park - Best Time
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Neal Herbert | Yellowstone National Park

The biggest body of water in Yellowstone National Park and the largest freshwater lake in the region is located in the centre of the park. Yellowstone Lake is positioned at 2 km above sea level and covers an area of more than 352 square km. The average deapth is 42 metres, while the deepest spot is 120 m. The shoreline of this huge lake is 180 km long.

Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park - Best Season
Morning over part of the East Bay of Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming
Morning over part of the East Bay of Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming

It is a great place to watch the diverse wildlife of Yellowstone. As the lake is influenced by the geothermic activity of the West Thumb, a part of it doesn't freeze in winter. This fact draws animals to its shallow southern shores. The rest of the lake stays frozen till early July. The ice reaches around 1 m thick during this period.

Visitors standing on the shore of Yellowstone Lake (outside the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center)
Visitors standing on the shore of Yellowstone Lake (outside the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center)

There is a variety of fish inhabiting in the lake. Among them are the native Yellowstone cutthroat trout and the longnose dace. This is a famous trout angling destination. The most popular activities on Yellowstone Lake are fishing, boating, and kayaking. Be wary though as the water in the lake is often quite cold and there can be unexpected heavy winds that create large waves. Be careful and don't paddle too far, you should be an experienced boater to enjoy it fully and safely.

Waking up on the shore of Yellowstone Lake
Waking up on the shore of Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake Map & Location

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Yellowstone National Park