Yellowstone Summer Packing List: What to Wear and Pack in Yellowstone

What to Wear in Yellowstone Sumer Packing List

Planning for an epic vacation in Yellowstone National Park? From the park’s geothermal features to its vast landscapes and wilderness, you’re in for a treat at the USA’s first National Park. One thing that surprised me the most during our 2 days in Yellowstone was how cold it got during summer. Therefore, I’ve created this complete Yellowstone summer packing list so you will be fully prepared to have the best time visiting Yellowstone! 

Grand Prismatic Springs is a must-see on any Yellowstone Itinerary
Grand Prismatic Springs in Yellowstone National Park

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I may make a small commission at no cost to you. Disclosure.

Clothing to Pack for Yellowstone

Although it may be summer in Yellowstone, the temperatures can still hit below the freezing mark in the morning and night.

One thing I think many people forget is that Yellowstone is in fact a part of the Rocky Mountains. Areas in Yellowstone reach over 8,000 ft of elevation! 

Therefore, packing layers is important. I’d recommend packing a couple of long sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, and long pants for the mornings and nights. 

It is also a good idea to check the weather a week out to get an idea of what temperatures are being predicted. 

During the days, you will find the summer temperatures you’d expect. Tank tops, light cotton shirts, shorts, and yoga pants should be your go-to. 

For our Yellowstone summer trip in July, I personally added a light sweatshirt and loose sweatpants to my packing list and wore them in the mornings over shorts and a tank top.

How much you pack for each item will depend on how many days you plan to spend in Yellowstone, but here is a short list of your other summer essentials for your packing list.

Mud pot in Yellowstone. Make sure to pack a sweater to your Yellowstone summer packing list
A mud pot at Fountain Paintpot

Shoes to Wear in Yellowstone

One of the questions I get a lot from my Yellowstone itinerary is what kind of shoes to wear. This really depends on how much hiking you plan on doing.

We saw many of the main attractions in Yellowstone and did some short hikes (no more than 2 miles).

For this, my regular Nike sneakers did just fine. I found that my hiking boots would have been heavy and annoying for the amount of walking we did. 

If you plan on doing more than two-mile hikes, I’d probably recommend hiking boots instead. I personally love my Salomon Hiking boots. I have a more narrow foot.

Keen hiking boots are known to be one of the best/ favorite hiking shoes for those with a wider foot.

If you plan on hiking, don’t forget your hiking socks. Darn Tough hiking socks are by far my favorite. 

Grand Prismatic Springs wearing sneakers Yellowstone summer packing list
At Grand Prismatic Springs in Yellowstone National Park. Sneakers were fine in the summer.

Binoculars and Camera Gear

One of the most exciting things about Yellowstone is the amount of wildlife to be seen. Since it is very important to remain a safe distance from all wildlife, binoculars come in real handy to pack for Yellowstone.

We were lucky one family member happened to pack a pair. It made spotting animals so much more fun. Check out these binoculars.

Additionally, if you even remotely love photography, you won’t want to forget your camera gear. I was reluctant to invest in a telephoto lens during our time in Yellowstone, and I certainly regret it.

I’d recommend a lens that can reach at least 250mm. The further, the better, and then a wide-angle lens to capture landscapes. 

Don’t have a fancy camera? Point and shoot cameras can do the job as well. Check out my camera gear here.

Add binoculars to see buffalo is an important yellowstone summer packing list item

Satellite GPS

There is little to no cell phone reception in Yellowstone, therefore adding a Satellite GPS to your packing list will be extremely beneficial.

This will allow you to tour the park without worrying about losing service and having your Google maps disappear.

I’d also recommend getting a paper map of the park, just in case along with downloading the Yellowstone National Park app! Find Satellite Car GPS here.

Bug Repellant

If you are planning on doing more hiking or camping, I’d recommend adding bug spray to your Yellowstone packing list. If you forget it, you can always get some while in Yellowstone.

Bear Spray

Yellowstone has both Grizzly bears and Black bears present throughout the park. While they may seem cuddly, people have been seriously injured by bears.

We personally did not carry bear spray during our trip. However, if you know you will be hiking a lot, you might want to consider getting some. 

Yellowstone Tip: You are not allowed to fly with bear spray, so it is best to get it once you are near Yellowstone. Here are Yellowstone bear safety tips.

Grizzly Bear in Yellowstone National Park. Add bear spray to your Yellowstone Summer packing list
Grizzly bear spotting on the East side of the upper loop heading toward Lamar Valley


During the day, it can get really hot in Yellowstone. That is why you will definitely want to bring sunscreen with you.

I love using Juice Beauty (I prefer this one more) or Blue Lizzard. I have very sensitive skin, and both work well and are mineral-based. 

Day Bag/Backpack

If you are more of an adventure traveler, I’d recommend a small backpack to carry your things. Some of the most popular backpacks are Osprey backpacks. I personally like using the Lowepro backpack which is designed to hold my camera gear.

Reusable Water bottle

I always pack my Lifestraw reusable water bottles no matter where I go, however, any reusable water bottle will work!

Battery Pack or USB Outlet Car charger

A battery pack is one of my favorite travel accessories. Mainly because as a content creator I use my phone a lot, therefore, having this battery is a life-saver!

Small battery | larger battery

Depending on how many people you have in the car, you might want to also consider one of those cigarette outlet chargers so you can charge multiple phones at once.

Guide Books

I have quite a few detailed guides covering Yellowstone National Park within my Wyoming section, however, if you’d like to do some light reading, you can also consider bringing a Yellowstone Guide Book.

Frommer’s Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks | Lonely Planet Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks | Fodor’s Compass American Guides: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

Make sure to add Lamar Valley to your Yellowstone Itinerary
Buffalo herd Pronghorn

Other Toiletries and Items for Your Yellowstone Packing List

Here are some of your other basic Toiletries to pack for your Yellowstone National Park vacation.

Yellowstone Summer Packing List: Wrap-up

I hope you have found this Yellowstone National Park Summer Packing List helpful! Did I miss something or you have a question about this complete Yellowstone packing list? Let me know in the comments below and I will get back to you!

Additionally, make sure to check out my other Yellowstone National Park resources including Yellowstone travel tips!

Did you find this Yellowstone Summer Packing List Helpful? I’d appreciate it if you could share it below!

Yellowstone Summer packing list
Photo of author

Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.