Dec 17, 2015

Yellowstone starts winter season; East Entrance to open next week

Yellowstone National Park opened to the public for motorized over-snow travel as scheduled Tuesday morning.

Visitors can now travel the park’s interior roads on commercially guided snowmobiles and snow coaches from the North, West and South entrances. Visitors with permits can also participate in the Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program.

Travel through the park’s East Entrance over Sylvan Pass is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 22, according to the National Park Service.

A bison and snowmobilers share the road at Fountain Flats in Yellowstone National Park back in January. File photo courtesy Diane Renkin, National Park Service

The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, through Mammoth Hot Springs and on to Cooke City, Montana, outside the park’s Northeast Entrance is open to wheeled vehicles all year.

Old Faithful’s Geyser Grill, the Bear Den Gift Shop and the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center opened for the season on Tuesday. The Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins and the Obsidian Dining Room open Sunday.

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, and facilities, will open Friday. The Yellowstone General Store, medical clinic, campground, post office and the Albright Visitor Center at Mammoth are open all year, as are the 24-hour gasoline pumps at Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Junction.

Communities surrounding Yellowstone are open year-round, and local businesses offer a wide range of winter recreation opportunities. The Park Service offers online information and assistance for planning a winter visit to Yellowstone.

Park staffers will continue to monitor road conditions and weather forecasts that can impact travel. Weather during the winter season is extremely unpredictable in Yellowstone and road closures or delays can occur with little or no warning. Visitors should come prepared, carry personal emergency survival equipment in their vehicles and dress appropriately for outside activities in extremely cold weather.

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