• Steam rises off of the colorful Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces. Photo courtesy Jacob W. Frank


    National Park ID,MT,WY

Seasonal Challenges in Yellowstone

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Date: October 9, 2009
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2015
Contact: Stacy Vallie, 307-344-2015

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
October 9, 2009      09-105    
Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2015


Seasonal Challenges in Yellowstone

The beauty of winter has descended on Yellowstone in the form of early season snowstorms that have passed through the area.  For the next few days, park visitors should be prepared for winter weather and driving conditions, including temporary road closures and delays.

Roads are being plowed as conditions allow.  Snow tires are advised and may be required at times.  Please call 307-344-2117 at any time for up-to-date road information.   Current forecasts call for conditions to begin improving slightly by Sunday night, but temperatures are expected to remain cold.

Limited facilities are still open at Canyon, and Mammoth Hot Springs.  At Old Faithful, lodging is available until October 18. After that, the Geyser Grill, a gift shop and the visitor center will remain open until November 1.  At Mammoth, the Yellowstone General Store, clinic, campground, and Albright Visitor Center are open all year. A complete list of facility and road closing dates can be found on the web at www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/open_closedates.htm.

The road between Madison and Norris is closed for the season due to road construction.

The Beartooth Highway (outside Yellowstone’s Northeast Entrance), from Long Lake to the summit at the Montana/Wyoming state line, is set to close for the season at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 13.  

The road between Tower Fall and Canyon over Dunraven Pass, is also set to close for the season at 8:00 a.m. on October 13.  Weather permitting; it may be open intermittently through October 25.  Please inquire at park visitor centers or call the park’s road update line at 307-344-2117.

The road from Gardiner, Montana, at the park’s North Entrance, to Cooke City, Montana, at the park’s Northeast Entrance, is open to wheeled vehicles all year.  This provides access to a wide range of recreational opportunities including wildlife viewing and fall hiking.

For the upcoming winter season, Xanterra Parks & Resorts provides lodging, food service, and guided winter recreation opportunities inside Yellowstone National Park. Details are available online at www.travelyellowstone.com or by calling 866-GEYSERLAND. 

As visitation is winding down and wildlife watching opportunities are still plentiful, this can be an especially good time to visit Yellowstone for those who come prepared.  While the western alpine weather can change quickly and dramatically, there are likely to be many more beautiful days to enjoy the park before the interior roads close for the season on November 1.  We do, however, highly recommend that visitors check the following resources before traveling:

Yellowstone’s 24-hrs road updates line at:  307-344-2117
National Weather Service forecast for Yellowstone and Grand Teton:  http://www.crh.noaa.gov/riw/?n=ynp_gtnp
WYDOT Road Information  888-WYO-ROAD   or http://www.wyoroad.info/
M-DOT Road Information   800-226-7623 or http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/

-www.nps.gov/yell -


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