News Release

Yellowstone National Park's winter season begins Dec. 15, 2023

Snowcoach along the Madison River with bison
Snowcoach along the Madison River with bison

NPS / Jacob W. Frank

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News Release Date: December 13, 2023

Contact: Morgan Warthin, (307) 344-2015

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY – Yellowstone National Park’s winter season begins Friday, Dec. 15. Annually from mid-December until mid-March, visitors can travel most of the park’s roads from the West, South, East and North entrances by approved commercially guided snowmobiles and snowcoaches and via the non-commercially guided snowmobile access program.

Currently, there is limited snowfall on roads in the eastern, western and northern parts of the park. This means that visitors will be able to travel in the park, however, the type of transportation used on park roads by commercially guided snowmobile or snowcoach tour companies will depend on road conditions. Throughout the winter season, park staff will work closely with all operators and provide updates as conditions change.  

Winter travel ends in mid-March when plowing crews begin to clear a winter’s worth of snow. Roads will start to re-open to automobiles in mid-April.

Top Things to Know in Winter
  • Most Park Roads are Closed to Automobiles
The only roads open year-round are between the North Entrance in Gardiner, Montana, and the Northeast Entrance in Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana (via Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Junction and Lamar Valley). Anticipate possible road closures due to quickly changing weather and dangerous driving conditions. Check the road status map before you leave. Drive cautiously and watch out for snowplows. Do not stop, stand, or walk in the road. Use a pullout if you need to stop for any reason.
  • Want to See Old Faithful?
Park partners, concessioners and authorized businesses offer a variety of guided tours throughout the park during the winter months.
  • Services are Limited
Most facilities are closed during winter. Check winter operating dates to see which visitor centers, stores, restaurants, lodges and warming huts are open.
  • Camping and Lodging
Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel are open during winter. Make reservations as far in advance as possible. Lodging is also available in nearby communities. There are no campgrounds open for the 2023/2024 winter season.
  • Prepare for Winter Conditions
Winter temperatures range from zero to 20°F (-20°C to -5°C) throughout the day. Sub-zero temperatures are common, especially at night and at higher elevations. Check current weather conditions, pack proper clothing and equipment and review winter safety tips.
  • Do Not Approach or Feed Wildlife
Animals have the right of way. Expect to encounter bison and other wildlife on park roads. Slow down or pull over until they pass or move off the road. Stay 100 yards (91 m) from bears and wolves and 25 yards (23 m) from all other wildlife. The safest way to view wildlife is through a telephoto lens, a spotting scope or a pair of binoculars. Store food properly and be aware that in some areas, ravens have learned to unzip backpacks to obtain contents.
  • Stay on Boardwalks
People have been severely injured or killed by breaking through thin ground in thermal basins or falling into hot springs. Exercise caution and wear traction aids over footwear when navigating snowy or icy boardwalks.
  • Enhance Your Experience
Download the free National Park Service App (and offline content) before you arrive.
  • Connectivity is Limited
You will likely not receive calls or texts, even in the few areas you have cell reception.

Last updated: December 13, 2023

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PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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