Yellowstone National Park reopens for winter season Friday

Winter temperatures in the park range from zero to 20 degrees, according to the National Park Service.

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. – After a month-and-a-half-long hiatus, Yellowstone National Park will reopen some of its roads and facilities for winter visitors Friday.

The park closed most of its roads, plus three out of four entrances, starting on Nov. 1. These annual closures were done to allow park officials to prepare the roads, along with snowmobile and snowcoach travel, for winter, the National Park Service said.

Starting on Friday, park ​​visitors will be able to travel most of the park’s roads from the West, South, East and North entrances. However, the only approved travel will be by commercially guided snowmobiles and snowcoaches and via the non-commercially guided snowmobile access program.

This means that visitors interested in seeing Old Faithful and other popular attractions in Yellowstone will need to do so by way of "oversnow" travel with guides from park partners and other authorized businesses, park officials said.

Otherwise, visitors without a commercial guide will need to apply for the permit lottery at to snowmobile to those areas.


Cars and other automobiles will not be able to access many areas of the park until mid-April, according to the NPS. By that time, plowing crews will have cleared away snow accumulated from the winter.

This winter, automobiles will only be able to access the roads between the North Entrance in Gardiner, Montana, and the Northeast Entrance in Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana, said the NPS. Officials advised caution and recommend staying up-to-date on road closure information, as quickly changing weather may lead to dangerous driving conditions.

Whether by automobile or snowmobile, visitors must keep in mind that the winter temperatures in the park range from zero to 20 degrees, according to the NPS. Sub-zero temperatures are common, particularly at night and at higher elevations.


Officials also noted that most facilities are closed during winter in Yellowstone. They recommended winter park visitors remain informed about winter dates and hours of operation for visitor centers, stores, lodging and other facilities and services.