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What to Pack for Yellowstone In Spring, Summer & Fall

The following packing list contains general recommendations for a Yellowstone safari. If you are currently booked on a Yellowstone adventure with Nat Hab, please consult your pre-departure materials for the most up-to-date packing list specific to your trip. You will receive these materials 60-90 days before your departure.

Simplify your packing—shop at Nat Hab’s online Gear Store for key items recommended for your adventure. Look for this icon in the list below, then go to the Nat Hab Gear Store to start shopping.


  • The weather in Yellowstone can be unpredictable, so you need to be properly prepared. Please bring extra layers with you every day (i.e., T-shirt, fleece and wind/waterproof jacket) to ensure you'll stay warm during outdoor activities. You can remove layers throughout the day if the temperature rises.
  •  Please note that the clothing list below is geared more toward travel in May and September. If you're traveling from June–August, bring more warm-weather clothes, as temperatures will be warmer and sometimes hot, in high summer. You may want to bring shorts and/or short-sleeved shirts for summer travel.
  • High-powered spotting scopes and binoculars are provided for your use on the trip (you don't need to bring your own unless you prefer your personal optics). 


  • Warm, windproof fleece jacket
  • Lightweight, waterproof (not just water-resistant) rain gear  (we recommend a rain jacket with hood and rain pants)
  • Waterproof hiking boots (broken in, to prevent blisters)
  • Warm hat, gloves & neck gaiter or scarf  (for cooler mornings and evenings, especially in May and September.)
  • 2 pairs of long pants (or nylon zip-off pants—perfect for cool mornings and evenings, converting to shorts for warmer afternoons)
  • 2–3 long-sleeved shirts (1–2 for travel June–August)
  • 1–2 short-sleeved shirts (2–3 for travel June–August)
  • 2 pair of shorts (For travel June–August. You may not need extra pairs of shorts if you take zip-off pants)
  • Silk, polypropylene or lightweight wool thermal underwear (For travel in May and September.)
    — Bottoms and top—for layering in cooler temperatures
  • Socks (preferably wool or wool-blend for hikes)
  • Extra pair of comfortable shoes (to wear following outdoor excursions)
  • Undergarments
  • Sleepwear
  • Swimsuit (optional)


  • Cash
    — For discretionary gratuities (you may want to bring envelopes for discreet presentation)
    — For personal spending (souvenirs, Internet use, or food and beverages not included in your trip fee)
  • Hair dryer
    — Provided at all accommodations, but some hotels keep only a few at the front desk, and there is a possibility they may already be taken by other guests.
  • Water bottle
  • Binoculars
    — Optional. High-quality binoculars are provided for each traveler, but if you have a personal pair you like, you are invited to bring them.
  • Sunglasses (With U.V. filter and secure strap)
  • Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries and bulb 
  • Earplugs
  • Toiletries
  • Prescription medications and favorite remedies (for headaches, colds, upset stomach, etc.)
  • Insect repellent and anti-itch ointment
    — Repellents containing DEET are most effective against mosquitoes, but please be aware that DEET is a very strong chemical that can damage plastics, clothing and equipment.
  • Lotion, sunscreen and lip balm (At least SPF 15, preferably SPF 30 or higher —Western mountain air is dry, and we will be outdoors at high elevations)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Eye drops (optional—if your eyes are sensitive to dry air)
  • Prescription glasses/contact lenses
  • Battery-operated alarm clock/wristwatch
  • Reusable waterproof bags  (bring several sizes for wet or dirty clothing, and to protect camera equipment)
  • Phone card (Cooke City does not have cell phone coverage)
  • Trekking poles
    — A limited supply will be available on our adventure, but we cannot guarantee their availability to all guests at all times, so plan bring your own if you require their use throughout the itinerary or have a style you especially like.
    — If you are bringing poles, they must be able to fit into your checked luggage, as you will not be allowed to carry them on the plane.

Header Credit: Henry Holdsworth

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Hidden Yellowstone & The Grand Tetons

A small-group exploration of Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons in the spring and fall—scout for wildlife and discover secret places with our naturalist guides who know this region intimately.
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