From Staff Reports
All National Park Service sites across the nation, including Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, will waive admission fees Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr., federal holiday.
No matter how you enter either park—by car, RV, bus or on a guided snowmobile or snowcoach trip—the entrance fee will be waived on Monday, January 21.
The special free day is the first of 11 days throughout 2013 when the Park Service will waive entry fees as a way to encourage people to get outdoors and enjoy the national parks, according to a release form the Yellowstone public affairs office.
Access to the interior of Yellowstone during the winter months is restricted to guided snowmobile and snowcoach trips from the North, West, South and East entrances. At Old Faithful, the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins and the dining room, the Geyser Grill, the Bear Den Gift Shop and the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center are all open for the winter season.
The road from the North Entrance at Gardiner, Mont., through Mammoth Hot Springs on to Cooke City, Mont., outside the park’s Northeast Entrance, is open to auto travel year-round.
At Mammoth Hot Springs, the hotel, dining room and gift shop, Yellowstone General Store, medical clinic, campground, post office, and the Albright Visitor Center are open all year. Fuel is available from 24-hour gasoline pumps all year at both Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Junction.
Weekend visitors to Grand Teton can enjoy winter activities from auto touring, wildlife viewing and photography to cross-country skiing, skate skiing and snowshoeing across the snow-covered landscape.
A popular winter trail that spans the unplowed Teton Park Road from Taggart Lake parking area to Signal Mountain Lodge was last groomed on December 30, 2012. It will be groomed on an intermittent basis throughout the winter, but only when higher-priority road plowing operations are not required.
In addition to skiing, photography and wildlife watching, ranger-led snowshoe hikes take place each day at 1:30 p.m. from the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose, Wyo. Previous experience is not necessary and snowshoes are provided for a cost of $5 for adults and $2 for children 8 years or older. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (307) 739-3399.
A seven-day pass to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks is normally $25 for a private, non-commercial vehicle.
Additional fee-free days at all national parks this year will include:
- April 21 – 27 (National Park Week)
- August 25 (National Park Service Founder’s Day)
- September 28 (National Public Lands Day)
- November 9 – 11 (Veterans Day weekend)