Explore in Winter

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Learn how to #PlanLikeAParkRanger by following our top 10 tips for a winter visit to Yellowstone! Restricted vehicle access and limited services make winter visits far different than a summer experience. So, plan ahead, recreate responsibly, and help ensure this iconic landscape may be enjoyed by future generations.


Top Things to Know in Winter

1. Most Park Roads Closed to Automobiles
Roads statuses can change quickly due to weather conditions and certain restrictions may apply, so check the road status map before you leave.

  • The road between the North and the Northeast entrances is open to automobiles year-round.
  • Most park roads are open to limited snowmobile and snowcoach travel from mid-December to mid-March.

2. Anticipate Icy and Snowy Conditions
Drive cautiously and watch out for snow plows. Do not stop, stand, or walk in the road—use a pullout if you need to stop for any reason. Boardwalks can also be slippery, especially near thermal areas. Wear traction aids over your footwear and navigate carefully.

3. Want to See Old Faithful?
Park partners, concessioners, and authorized businesses offer a variety of guided tours throughout the park during the winter months.

4. Services are Limited
Most facilities are closed during winter. Check winter operating dates to see which visitor centers, stores, restaurants, campgrounds, lodges, and warming huts are open.

5. 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 currently no campgrounds open for the winter.

6. 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 the current weather conditions, pack proper clothing and equipment, and review winter safety tips!

7. Do Not Approach or Feed Wildlife
Animals always 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. Be aware that in some areas, ravens have learned to unzip packs and scatter the contents.

8. Stay on Boardwalks
People have been severely injured or killed by breaking through the thin ground in thermal basins or falling into hot springs. Exercise caution and wear traction aids when navigating snowy or icy boardwalks.

9. Enhance Your Experience
Download the free National Park Service app (and offline content) before you arrive.

10. Connectivity is Limited
You will likely not receive calls or texts, even in the few areas you have cell reception.


Warming Huts

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    Tags: warming hut
    A pair of skiers on the Barronette Trail.
    Winter Safety

    Prepare for cold air, deep snow, and slippery boardwalks.

    People bundled up while waiting for an eruption of a geyser.
    Winter Clothing and Equipment

    Review tips for staying comfortable in the cold.

    Two skiers explore the mountains of Yellowstone.
    Ski & Snowshoe

    Make tracks in a winter wonderland.

    Snowmobiles and a snowcoach ride by a small group of bison
    Ride a Snowmobile or Snowcoach

    Take a guided tour of wintry Yellowstone.

    Snowmobile rider taking photo
    Snowmobile Access Program

    Learn about our non-commercially guided snowmobile program.

    A group of people gather during sunrise
    Join a Guided Tour

    Professional guides can help you make the most of your visit.

    Photo of people waiting at an eruption of Old Faithful
    Plan Your Visit

    Yellowstone is seasonal. Plan your visit by learning about current conditions, seasons, road conditions, services, activities, and more.

    Fog fills a river valley in a landscape

    Explore Yellowstone's seasons.

    People line the boardwalk, looking out and taking pictures of a steaming hot spring.
    Explore in Summer

    Planning is crucial to a good summer visit, as this is the time when most people come to the park.

    Last updated: December 20, 2023

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    Contact Info

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    PO Box 168
    Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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