Backcountry Situation Report


Last Updated: March 13, 2024

Please note, that the majority of the park's roads are currently closed to wheeled vehicle traffic and many of the park's trailheads are inaccessible.

Please review the Roads page to review road closing dates and locations.

This Backcountry Situation report will not be regularly updated throughout the winter. Up to date conditions will start back up in early May.

Before heading out on the trail, please review the Winter Backcountry Camping Page, Explore in Winter page, Winter Safety Page, current avalanche conditions, and road conditions.

Backcountry Permits:

Currently there are no locations open for in-person permits.Reservations can be made on

Backcountry Permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. Permits may be printed or downloaded at home within 5-days of the trip's start date after receiving a backcountry orientation from the backcountry office staff.

To contact the Central Backcountry Office call 307-344-2160 or email provide us with your reservation number. The Central backcountry office is minimally staffed over the winter please leave a message on our voice mail or email and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Permits are only available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Permitting staff is not available on the weekends or holidays. Please plan accordingly.

  • Due to extreme temperatures and weather conditions overnight winter trips should be attempted only by experienced winter backpackers/skiers and well-equipped parties.


  • Bears have begun to come out of hibernation. Make sure to carry bear spray, stay alert, and have your food and scented items attended or properly hung / stored at all times.

Bear Management Areas:

Before heading out into the backcountry please review Yellowstone's Bear Management Areas and how they may effect your travel. Some bear management areas have area closures, some restrict travel to trails.

General Conditions:

Snow Levels:

Backcountry conditions are not updated over the winter. All trails are currently snow covered. Snow conditions vary widely across the park. See the snowpack model to get a sense of current snow levels Yellowstone Climate Dashboard ( or take a look at the park's webcams.


Please note that wood fires are not allowed in the winter. If prior to December 1, dead and down wood is no longer accessible, or you cannot locate the fire ring then wood fires would not be permitted.

Fishing Season:

Fishing season closed and will reopen the Saturday of Memorial Day.

Boating Season:

Boating season is now closed and will reopen the Saturday of Memorial Day.

Horse & Llama Use:

For information regarding late season horse use, please call the Central Backcountry Office 307-344-2160.


With exception of service animals, pets are not allowed on trails, unplowed roads, in the backcountry, or off leash. Dog sledding and ski-joring are prohibited.

Other Information:

  • Bicycles including bicycles modified for oversnow travel, are prohibited on oversnow routes.

  • Fires are not allowed in the backcountry during the winter.

  • Do not leave food unattended at any time. All food, trash, and odorous items must be properly stored (hung 10 feet above ground and 4 feet from side supports or kept in one of the installed metal bear proof boxes, or an approved bear resistant food container) whenever the items are not in immediate use. See the list of bear resistant food containers (canisters, panniers, and coolers) that are approved for use in Yellowstone's backcountry.
  • Survival during the long winter is difficult for wildlife. Human contact only adds unnecessary stress. Avoid approaching or startling any animals or birds. Exercise extreme caution in bear and mountain lion country.
  • There are no avalanche reports available for Yellowstone National Park but we recommend that you review the avalanche reports from the surrounding areas.Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center Forecast or Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center (

Backcountry Map

Index Map
Yellowstone Backcountry Map: click a region to jump to conditions for that area.

Contact Us

Please email the Central Backcountry Office if you have any questions about specific areas.


More Information

Last updated: March 28, 2024

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



Contact Us