Yellowstone Opens For Winter Season
Contact: Nash, (307) 344-2010
Contact: Vallie, (307) 344-2012
The interior of Yellowstone National Park opens for the winter season Wednesday morning, December 20th.
Visitors can take commercially guided snowcoach or snowmobile trips over snow covered, groomed roads to popular destinations including Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. This is the third year the park will operate under temporary regulations which include the use of cleaner, quieter snowmobiles, daily entrance limits, and all-guided access.
The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, to the Northeast Entrance at Cooke City, Montana, is open all year to automobile traffic.
Due to the danger of avalanches, which have claimed lives recently in Cooke City, Montana, and near Jackson, Wyoming, Sylvan Pass on the park’s East Entrance road is temporarily closed to motorized oversnow travel. A helicopter and crew won’t be available to conduct aerial avalanche control operations for several days. Use of a howitzer to control the avalanche danger is restricted to emergency situations only, as employees have to cross four avalanche zones just to reach the cannon. The park’s East Entrance will be open for cross country skiing and snowshoeing from Pahaska Tepee Resort.
Xanterra Parks and Resorts provides lodging, food service, cross-country ski rentals and lessons, snowmobile rentals and snowcoach tours of the park. Details are available online at
Information on other authorized winter operations providing snowmobile and snowcoach trips into the park is available on the web at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/wintbusn.htm or by calling the park’s Business Management Office at (307) 344-2271.
Visitor centers will be open at West Yellowstone, Old Faithful and Mammoth. Naturalist-led activities and evening programs will be available throughout the winter. Information on programs is contained in the park winter newspaper available at entrance stations and visitors centers, or by calling (307) 344-2251.
Visitors are encouraged to call park headquarters at (307) 344-2117 for the latest road and weather conditions.
Did You Know?
At peak summer levels, 3,500 employees work for Yellowstone National Park concessioners and about 800 work for the National Park Service.