We have been to Yellowstone National Park twice. One time several summers ago and recently was September of this year. I throughly enjoyed the fall season of Yellowstone. The geysers were very beautiful at lower temperature. We saw many elk due to their mating season. Hiking was also enjoyable since it is not so hot during this time of the year.
There were still many visitors at the end of September, while many areas of YNP will be closed at beginning of October. It is not surprised, since there are not many places for vacations during the pandemic time. Be sure to bring winter clothes in the fall. We were lucky that out of our total 8 day stay, 7 days were very comfortable. But, the temperature changed a lot, we had to wear heavy winter coats in one of the mornings.
The geysers in the late of September are incredibly beautiful when the weather is cold. My iPhone also caught the moment when a bison was covered by the mist of geysers while eating of grasses.
There were many elk around the area. The male elk also made loud noises to warn other male elk and attract female elk.
On Sep 18, a grizzly bear (#791) took down an injured bull elk after chasing him into the Yellowstone River. 791 dragged the dead elk to the river bank where he feasted and rested. He also fought with other predators to protect for his kill. Many tourists and photographers were attracted by the his actions and nature. Although we don’t like to see animals suffering, it is part of nature. That is the way how the animals survive. The link below gives interesting stories about the grizzly 791.
Hiking at YNP is very enjoyable in the fall, but remember to bring the bear spray and avoid hiking alone. When we got out from the brink of lower falls, a couple came running to us and said a bear was chasing them. We got them into our and brought them to the safety of the packing area. Yellowstone park is the bear world. Prepare for bear encounters no matter where you go.
About lodging in YNP: We stayed several places inside park and outside park. I enjoyed the nature environment inside the park, while I like the west part outside the park the most. It is convenient with restaurants, small shops around, and with good signal of internet. Be sure to plan for lodging inside the park at least one year ahead of your stay.