Yellowstone National Park Access
Latest Updates and useful information.
Yellowstone is open every day of the year through the North & North East Entrances only.
The West Entrance to Old Faithful & Mammoth Hot Springs is now
OPEN for the Summer season.
Please see the Spring Openings below for the South & East entrance openings.
Spring Road Openings: (Provisional dates)
These are the latest dates for the Park opening.
Update: April 15th 2013
The North Entrance to Northeast Entrance at Silver Gate and Cooke City, Montana is open all year. Please note that this road is closed to east/west travel just east of Cooke City from late fall to early spring.
The approximate dates that roads will open to motorized, wheeled vehicles are as follows:
May 3 – Norris to Canyon opens
May 3— The road linking Canyon, Fishing Bridge, & the East Entrance opens to wheeled vehicles.
May 10 —Travel from the South Entrance to Grant, West Thumb, Fishing Bridge, & Lake over Craig Pass to Old Faithful open to wheeled vehicles. Also, Tower to Tower Fall opens to wheeled vehicles. The road from Cooke City over Colter Pass to the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway intersection to the Long Lake gate shall open as soon thereafter as possible.
Mid June —Long Lake Gate over the Beartooth Highway to Red Lodge, Montana, which usually opens the Friday before the Memorial Day Holiday weekend.
PLEASE NOTE – All these dates are subject to Weather permitting
Travelers in Montana may dial 511; those outside Montana may call 1-800-226-7623, or visit the Montana Department of Transportation website.
Additionally in the spring, before park roads open to motorized vehicles, some roads are open to non-motorized recreational vehicles such as bicycles, roller skis, and roller blades. There will be some administrative vehicles traveling the roads at this time so be careful.
The summer season runs from approximately mid-April to the beginning of November.
Park Areas, Entrances and Roads open on different dates and are dependent on weather condition. Once an Entrance/Road opens, it is open 24 hours a day. The only exceptions are caused by road construction and weather-related restrictions.
2013 Approximate closing dates
October 9 —Roads close to the public at Tower Fall to Canyon Jct. and Long Lake via Beartooth Pass to the Montana Stateline. (GATES CLOSE AT 8 A.M.).
November 4 —all park roads closed to the public at 8 a.m. except from the North Entrance to Upper Mammoth Terrace, and Mammoth via Tower Junction to Northeast Entrance. Cooke City via Colter Pass to the Long Lake gate is not maintained for wheeled vehicle travel.
Fall weather is unpredictable; roads may be closed temporarily by snow or other weather conditions. Snow tires or chains may be required. Please Note: The section of the Beartooth Highway (Highway 212), between the junction of Highway 296 and Red Lodge, Montana, closes in winter on a schedule determined by amount of snowfall. Travel between Red Lodge and the Northeast Entrance is not possible on Highway 212 until it opens again in the spring.
2013-2014 Winter Oversnow Vehicle Road PROVISIONAL Opening and Closing Schedule
Winter Opening Dates are Snow Permitting and all dates are subject to change
December 15, 2013—Most roads open to oversnow travel (weather and snow conditions permitting).
December 22, 2013—East Entrance Road (between East Entrance and Fishing Bridge) opens to oversnow travel.
Only two park roads are plowed in the winter and remain open for wheeled-vehicle use:
The road between the North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, to the Northeast Entrance at Silver Gate and Cooke City, Montana.
From Mammoth Hot Springs to the parking area at the Upper Terraces (approximately 1/2 mi. of road)
They are maintained only during daylight hours and may close during severe storms. Expect snowpack, ice, frost heaves, drifts. Mud/Snow tires or tire chains may be required and are recommended always. Speed limit for all vehicles is 45 mph (73 kph), or lower where posted—such as from North Entrance to Mammoth. Do not stop on the road or block traffic when viewing wildlife or scenery. Use pullouts. Trails and overlooks may be snow-covered, icy, and dangerous. Obey all trail closures. Walk cautiously at all times and watch your children.
Oversnow travel ends in March. Roads close at 9 PM on the days listed:
March 1, 2014—East Entrance to Lake Butte (Sylvan Pass.)
March 4: Mammoth to Norris
March 6: Madison to Norris to Canyon
March 11: Canyon to Fishing Bridge
March 15, 2013—All other groomed roads in the park are closed.
Closing dates are subject to change
We recommend that visitors check the following resources before traveling:
National Weather Service forecast for Yellowstone and Grand Teton
WYDOT Road Information 888-WYO-ROAD
M-DOT Road Information 800-226-7623
2013 free access days
The National Park Service have designated the following dates in 2013 for Free access into the Park:
- April 22-26
During National Park Week
- August 25
National Park Service Birthday
- September 28
National Public Lands Day
- November 9-11
Veterans Day weekend
Update: September 7th 2012
The Park Service announced that they would extend the existing “one-year rule” for another season.The Winter Season 2012-2013 for snowmobile and snowcoach access to Yellowstone National Park will open on December 15, 2012.
What does the extension of the “One-Year Rule” for 2012-2013 Winter Season mean?
This means that starting December 15, 2012 318 commercially guided Best Available Technology snowmobiles and 78 commercially guided snowcoaches will be allowed. The proposed extension will also continue to provide access for motorized travel from the East Entrance road over Sylvan Pass. The extended one-year rule allows the same level of activity as the 2011-2012 season.
It means that our combined efforts during the first draft SEIS comment period ending August 20, 2012 made a difference!
The Park Service has now determined that many issues need to be further analyzed before a new long range Winter Use Plan can be put in place for the 2013-2014 season and beyond. This additional analysis will be conducted using the current Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) process which will include the winter season 2012-2013 in Yellowstone.
In closing this update let us state, please enjoy our continued access to Yellowstone and make your plans to come and enjoy your National Park this winter on a snowmobile!
In a nut shell, The Park will be open this year to snowmobiles, snowcoaches, cross country skiing and snowshoes. The same restrictions will apply this year as last. There is plenty of space available. Give us a call for any of your winter needs, complete packages or individual snowmobiles rentals, snowcoaches, lodging etc. We are celebrating our 41st year showing people the beauties of Yellowstone. We hope you will come and see us.