Last Few Days to Drive to Old Faithful and Canyon Until Spring
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2015
National Park Service
Yellowstone National Park
Falling temperatures and falling snow both signal the end of the fall season in Yellowstone National Park. Few services remain open in the park, and temporary road closures are occurring almost daily as winter storms move through the area.
The road from the North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, through Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Junction, the Lamar Valley, and on to Cooke City is open to wheeled vehicle travel all year. However, roads into the interior of the park and all other locations close to automobile traffic at 8:00 a.m., Monday morning, November 8. After that date, there will be no auto travel to places like Old Faithful, Canyon, and Fishing Bridge until the deep winter snowpack is cleared from the roads in the spring. The road over Dunraven Pass between Tower Fall and Canyon has already closed for the season.
Visitors planning to take a fall or winter automobile trip into the park need to have flexible travel plans and be prepared for changing winter weather conditions, which can temporarily close some park roads at any time. Snow tires or tire chains may be required. Recorded information on road conditions is available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.
The seasonal road closure beginning November 8 allows the park to make preparations to reopen for snowmobile and snowcoach travel which begins December 15, 2010.
Limited, managed snowmobile and snowcoach travel over groomed, snow-packed park roads will be permitted again this season under a temporary plan, which allows up to 318 commercially guided, Best Available Technology snowmobiles, and up to 78 commercially-guided snowcoaches per day in Yellowstone.
The National Park Service is working on a new long-term winter use plan for the park. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement will be released for public review and comment in the spring of 2011.
Xanterra Parks &Resorts provides lodging, food service, and guided recreation opportunities inside Yellowstone National Park during the winter season. Details are available online at www.travelyellowstone.com or by calling 866-GEYSERLAND. At Mammoth Hot Springs, the Yellowstone General Store, Post Office, medical clinic, campground, and the Albright Visitor Center remain open all year. Pay-at-the-pump fuel is available 24 hours a day all year at the Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Junction service stations.
All communities near and on the way to Yellowstone are open all year, with local businesses offering a wide range of services and fall and winter recreation opportunities depending on the weather, including hiking, fishing, hunting, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. 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.
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.