The only road generally open year-round to automobiles is from the North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana through the park to Cooke City, Montana (via Tower Junction). Most park roads are closed to regular vehicles from early November to late-April, and are open to limited oversnow travel (snowmobiles and snowcoaches) from mid-December to mid-March. When open, roads are not gated at night and people may enter/exit the park 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Yellowstone has five entrance stations, and it takes several hours to drive between them. Anticipate possible road closures, and check the road status of the entrance you intend to use before traveling.
Road & Entrance Status
For up-to-date information, check out the live road status map (above), call (307) 344-2117 for recorded information, or sign up to receive Yellowstone road alerts on your mobile phone by texting 82190 to 888-777 (an automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions). Before traveling, it's also a good idea to:
Click on the arrows below to expand the selection and find out projected road dates. All dates are subject to change depending on weather conditions.
Open year-round: North Entrance to Northeast Entrance Open April 21 - October 31, 2023*: West Entrance to Madison Junction, Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful, Norris to Canyon Village Open May 5 - October 31, 2023*: East Entrance to Fishing Bridge (Sylvan Pass), Canyon Village to Lake Village Open May 12 - October 31, 2023*: South Entrance to West Thumb, West Thumb to Old Faithful (Craig Pass), West Thumb to Lake Village, Tower-Roosevelt to Tower Fall Open May 26 - October 31, 2023*: Canyon Village to Tower Fall (Dunraven Pass). This is a high elevation pass that generally experiences winter weather earlier than other roads in the park — as with all other roads, the closing date is subject to change. TBD: Beartooth Highway (US-212), Chief Joseph Scenic Byway (WY-296)**
*The last day to enjoy the park in a regular vehicle, weather depending, will be October 31, 2023.
**See below for more information on these roads outside of the park's Northeast Entrance.
Open year-round: North Entrance to Northeast Entrance Open December 15, 2023 - March 3, 2024: Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris Open December 15, 2023 - March 5, 2024: Norris to Madison, Norris to Canyon Open December 15, 2023 - March 10, 2024: Canyon to Fishing Bridge Open December 15, 2023 - March 15, 2024: West, South, and East entrances, and all remaining groomed roads
It's important to be aware of all planned road improvement projects, as they can cause major traffic delays throughout the park. Drive slowly through construction zones and be alert to workers, heavy equipment, wildlife, and other hazards. The following road improvement projects in Yellowstone will cause traffic delays:
Location: Nearly 10 miles north of the South Entrance on the South Entrance Road Access: Expect up to 20-minute delays between May – Oct. 31, 2023. Work will continue through fall 2024. Improvements: This project includes the removal and replacement of the Lewis River Bridge. The existing bridge will be removed, and a new bridge will be constructed immediately downstream, with additional parking and viewing opportunities.
Location: East of Tower Junction between Lamar Canyon and the Northeast Entrance Access: Expect up to 30-minute delays beginning early summer 2023 through fall 2023. Improvements: This project includes the completion of work to address flood-damaged areas of the Northeast Entrance Road. Construction will include completion of a two-lane realignment in Lamar Canyon, paving a second lift north of the Trout Lake Trailhead, stabilization of streambanks adjacent to the road, and work in the Pebble Creek Campground and Warm Creek Picnic Area. Additionally, some guardrails, culverts, and other drainage structures will be replaced.
From August 16 - September 30, 2023, Yellowstone National Park will resurface the road between Norris Junction and Canyon Junction. Drivers can expect up to 25-minute delays.
Location: Grand Loop Road between Old Faithful and West Thumb Access: Expect up to 30-minute delays between May – Nov. 1, 2023. Improvements: This project includes the rehabilitation of over 20 miles of the Grand Loop Road between Biscuit Basin and Grant Village, including Old Faithful and West Thumb. This is one of the most heavily traveled road corridors in the park. Construction will include repaving the roadway and replacing guardrails, culverts, and other drainage structures.
Location: Near Tower Junction along the Northeast Entrance Road Access: Expect occasional and short traffic delays during 2023. Work will begin in summer 2023 and continue through fall 2026. Hiking trails in the area may close temporarily (visit the Backcountry Situation Report for details). Improvements: This project includes the replacement of the structurally deficient Yellowstone River Bridge. A new bridge upstream will replace the existing 604-foot-long bridge to preserve year-round access to/from the Northeast Entrance and communities of Silver Gate/Cooke City, Montana. Additionally, construction will include new pullouts and paved parking areas, and the Yellowstone River Picnic Area will be expanded.
Additionally, chip sealing occurs every summer and preserves Yellowstone's roads. Plan for delays of up to 30 minutes. Drive slowly and maintain the recommended speed limit on chip seal pavement to reduce the risk of loose gravel damaging cars or windshields.
After initial opening, weather causes occasional closures. Please check locally or at WY DOT and MT DOT before traveling.
US-212, Cooke City to Red Lodge, Montana
Open the Friday of Memorial Day weekend to mid-October. Open for the season.
Chief Joseph Scenic Byway
WY-296, Cooke City, Montana, to Cody, Wyoming, or Laurel, Montana
Open year-round to from WY-120 to Pilot Creek Parking Lot (4 miles toward Cooke City from the junction of WY-296/US-212). In winter, 9 miles of road are closed to wheeled vehicles (oversnow travel only) from Cooke City to Pilot Creek. This segment of road is open to wheeled vehicles mid-May through early November. Please check locally or at WY DOT.