Winter Storm Halts Most Travel in Yellowstone
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2015
National Park Service
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Heavy snow and gusty winds associated with a major winter storm over the Northern Rockies have created hazardous conditions which have led to the temporary closure of most roads in Yellowstone National Park.
The road between Gardiner, Montana, at the park’s North Entrance and park headquarters at Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming, is the only road open to travel this afternoon. It was temporarily closed for a short period this morning to allow crews to remove a car that slid off the road.
Blowing and drifting snow led to the temporary closure of the road between Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Junction, the Northeast Entrance and Cooke City, Montana, before 9 o’clock this morning. This road is normally open to wheeled vehicles all year.
Heavy snow along the park’s East Entrance road prompted rangers to halt all oversnow travel across Sylvan Pass before 8 o’clock this morning. Deteriorating conditions prompted park managers to close all other park roads and entrances to snowmobile and snowcoach travel by early afternoon.
Up to 18 inches of new snow has fallen along the park’s Grand Loop road in the past 18 hours. Snow depths at developed areas in the interior of the park range from three feet at Madison Junction to over five feet at Grant Village.
A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 6 o’clock Monday evening. Snow accumulations ranging from six inches to two feet are expected by the time the storm subsides. Gusty winds and decreasing temperatures are forecast on into Wednesday.
It is not possible to estimate the duration of these temporary closures, since they are entirely dependent upon changing weather conditions. Park staff members will re-evaluate the status of each road segment Tuesday morning. The park anticipates a delayed, phased opening of road segments to begin no earlier than 10 o’clock Tuesday morning.
Visitors are to call the park’s 24-hour road condition report at 307-244-2117 for current updates before traveling to or within Yellowstone National Park.
– www.nps.gov/yell -