Last Updated: December 18, 2020
The backcountry office is minimally staffed over the winter. If you wish to obtain a backcountry permit for a winter trip we recommend contacting us at least 5 days before your trip. Please also 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 are required for all overnight stays in the Backcountry. Please review our Winter Camping Page for information on how to obtain a backcountry permit during the months of November through early April.
Review the park roads page, and / or learn about the non-commercially guided snow mobile access program.
Review safe winter travel techniques. Check this map to get an idea of current snow depths.
Wildlife & Pets
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.
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.
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.
On March 10th, several Bear Management Areas go into effect. if you are traveling during that time make sure to familiarize yourself with these closures.
Other Notable Regulations
Please email the Central Backcountry Office if you have any questions about specific areas.
Last updated: December 18, 2020