Does Yellowstone Lake Freeze Over?

Yellowstone Lake of Yellowstone National Park is known for its glorified beauty and vastness. However, specific weather patterns and temperatures alternations make it more striking. Usually, people ask, does Yellowstone Lake freeze over? Not only this, I’ll tell you when and how.

Yellowstone Lake is marked as the largest water body in Yellowstone National Park with a surface area of 132 square miles. The highest elevation of this lake above sea level is 7,732 feet and hence, in North America, it is the largest freshwater lake above 7,000 feet. Does Yellowstone Lake freeze over during winters? Here is the reply to this.

During winters in December and January, Yellowstone Lake freezes over utterly, and the thickness of ice fluctuates with the underwater geological features of the lake. The ice thickness is about 3 feet in the coldest spots, and it is a few inches thick where underwater hot springs exist. The lake remains frozen till late May and thaws in early June.


Yellowstone National Park becomes a wonderland covered with frost during winters, and you will get a whole new experience if you tour the Yellowstone during winters.

Yellowstone Lake is cold year-round as it remains frozen during winters, and even during summers, the lake water is icy with an average temperature of 41°F.

Lake’s Weather

Weather conditions at Yellowstone Lake show abrupt changes during summers. At one hour you see clear skies and the next hour, loud lightning thunders and wind storms hit the lake area. The winds can stimulate waves up to the height of 4 feet. The weather patterns of Yellowstone Lake are intermittent but still enjoyable.


The Yellowstone National Park is famous for its variant geological features, in the same way, Yellowstone Lake also has geographical topographies like hot springs, fumaroles, and geysers beneath a million gallons of lake water.

Researchers have found this information through seismic imaging, and it reveals that the underneath land of the lake is just like the structures of Yellowstone lands. However, the depth of the Yellowstone Lake varies from 139 feet to 390 feet.


As the water of Yellowstone Lake is freezing even in summers, swimming is not recommended. Also if you have won awards for physical fitness, you can only survive for up to 30 minutes in this icy cold water. To maximize the odds of survival, the National Park Service recommends wearing a wetsuit.

However, they allow boating and fishing in Yellowstone Lake during summers.

Due to the greater surface area of the lake, you can cherish the charms of motorized boating as well. Yellowstone Lake acquires the largest population of cutthroat trout, and it makes angling more entertaining for the summer tourists.

Yellowstone Lake is counted among the most popular tourist attractions of the Yellowstone National Park. This park presents completely different views during winters and summers, and so does the Yellowstone Lake. I hope you found the best answer to your question about the freezing water of Yellowstone Lake.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *