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


    National Park ID,MT,WY

Sylvan Pass Open for Snowmobile and Snowcoach Travel

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Date: December 22, 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
December 22, 2009        09-118
Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2015


Sylvan Pass Open For Snowmobile And Snowcoach Travel

Yellowstone’s East Entrance opened at eight o’clock this morning for the winter season. All park entrances are now open.

Park employees utilized a howitzer to conduct avalanche hazard mitigation operations on Thursday, December 17, and again on Monday, December 21. Several natural avalanches had occurred prior to these missions. Additionally, several large and medium avalanches ran to or across the East Entrance road during avalanche mitigation work. After these missions were completed, the East Entrance road was packed and groomed for motorized oversnow travel. 

Commercially guided snowmobiles and snowcoaches are allowed to travel between Pahaska Tepee and Fishing Bridge Junction over Sylvan Pass when weather and avalanche conditions permit.

Limited, managed snowmobile and snowcoach travel over groomed, snow-packed park roads is permitted this season under a new temporary plan, which allows up to 318 commercially guided, Best Available Technology (BAT) snowmobiles, and up to 78 commercially guided snowcoaches per day in Yellowstone.

All commercially guided snowmobiles and snowcoaches will be allowed on all of these groomed park roads, with the exception of the road from Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris Junction. Due to continued low snowpack, travel over this road remains temporarily limited to rubber-tracked snowcoaches.  A current list of authorized concessioners can be found online at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/wintbusn.htm.  

The Old Faithful Visitor Center, the Old Faithful Snow Lodge, dining room, fast food, and gift shop are open for the season.  The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, dining room, and gift shop opened for the season on Monday, December 21. The Yellowstone General Store, clinic, campground, post office, 24 hour gasoline pumps, and the Albright Visitor Center at Mammoth Hot Springs are open all year.  

The North Entrance and the road from Gardiner, Montana, through Mammoth Hot Springs on to Cooke City, outside the park’s Northeast Entrance, is open to wheeled vehicle travel all year.  Gasoline is also available using 24-hour pay at the pump at Tower Junction.

Yellowstone's weather is very unpredictable and can change quickly. Visitors are advised to be prepared for a range of conditions. Updated information on the park’s oversnow and plowed roads is available 24 hours a day by calling (307) 344-2117. 

All communities near and on the way to Yellowstone are open all year, with local businesses offering a wide range of winter recreation opportunities. A wealth of information and assistance planning a visit to Yellowstone can be found on the park’s web site at http://www.nps.gov/yell

- www.nps.gov/yell -


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