Yellowstone's Change of Seasons: From Winter to Road Construction
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2015
National Park Service
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone’s Change of Seasons: From Winter To Road Construction
Road crews in Yellowstone National Park continue to clear roads, pullouts, and parking lots in order to reopen the park for automobile travel in a few weeks.
Yellowstone’s high elevation roads take a lot of abuse from icy, frigid winters, the baking heat of the summer sun, and geologic instability due to geothermal features and volcanic forces. Decades of use by cars, trailers, and RVs have also taken their toll on older road segments.
Unfortunately, the only time the weather is good enough to do road work is the same time the park hosts the greatest number of visitors – late spring, summer, and early fall. Yellowstone works hard to minimize the impacts road projects have on visitors. But there are three projects park visitors need to be aware of during 2010.
Work will resume shortly on the road between Madison and Norris through Gibbon Canyon. Visitors can expect up to 30-minute delays from the time the road opens to travel on April 16 through October 20. This section of road will also be closed to travel between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. every night from April 16 until September 1. There will be no overnight closures or daytime delays during the Memorial Day or July 4 holiday weekends. The project is scheduled for completion this fall.
There will be no way to travel from West Yellowstone, Madison or Old Faithful to Norris, Canyon, or Mammoth Hot Springs between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. until the road between Old Faithful and West Thumb opens for the season on May 14. After that date, late night and early morning travelers should allow extra time for the alternate route around the construction closure through West Thumb and Canyon.
Due to the construction through Gibbon Canyon, anglers this summer will be allowed to access the Gibbon River between Artist Paint Pots to the bridge north of the Monument Geyser Basin trailhead, and from one mile south of Gibbon Falls to the Tuff Cliff Picnic Area, as long as they don’t walk on, along, or near the road.
A small road project on the park’s East Entrance road over Sylvan Pass may also result in up to 30-minute delays – but no nighttime closures or holiday delays - during the spring, summer and fall.
Delays are also likely during the last two weeks of June along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, as the road from Chittenden Bridge to Artist Point is repaved.
Updated Yellowstone National Park road information is available at park visitor centers, on the web at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm, or by calling 307-344-2117.
- www.nps.gov/yell -
Did You Know?
There were no wolves in Yellowstone in 1994. The wolves that were reintroduced in 1995 and 1996 thrived and there are now over 300 of their descendents living in the Greater Yellowstone Area.