Yellowstone Spring Road Opening On Track
Contact: Al Nash, (307) 344-2010
Contact: Stacy Vallie, (307) 344-2012
Favorable weather is aiding maintenance crews who are working to open the interior roads in Yellowstone National Park to motorists for the spring and summer season.
Crews use bulldozers, rotary plows, and trucks with large V-blade plows to remove the deep snow from park roads in the spring. Beneath the snow pack is a thick layer of ice which must be removed. That reveals frost heaves, potholes and other road damage caused by severe winter conditions which has to be repaired. Finally, shoulders, pullouts, and picnic areas must be cleared before park roads can open to visitors.
The road from Gardiner and Mammoth Hot Springs to Cooke City and Silver Gate is open all year.
The roads from West Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris, Canyon, Madison, and Old Faithful will open to vehicles on Friday, April 20.
This is the final year of the current East Entrance road construction project. National Park Service maintenance crews accelerated their snow removal efforts on the road this spring so contractors could start work early, and reduce construction impacts to visitors by Memorial Day. During the next few weeks, H-K Contractors, Inc., will clear snow from the job site, work on the road near the entrance station, and use a large crane to anchor large rock bolts into rock cuts. The road linking Pahaska Tepee and Fishing Bridge traditionally opens to visitors the first Friday of May. It will be open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., with half-hour delays beginning Friday, May 4. The road will be open 24 hours a day starting Friday morning, May 25, until it closes for the season in early November. Construction delays of up to 30 minutes are possible during the summer and fall.
The road from Lake through Hayden Valley to Canyon is set to open on Friday, May 4. The road south from Lake to West Thumb and from the South Entrance over Craig Pass to Old Faithful will open to visitors on Friday, May 11. The road from Canyon over Dunraven Pass to Tower Fall will open to visitors on Friday, May 25.
Did You Know?
Prior to the establishment of the National Park Service, the U.S. Army protected Yellowstone between 1886 and 1918. Fort Yellowstone was established at Mammoth Hot Springs for that purpose.