Yellowstone’s East Gate may see slides, closures

Early travel through the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park could be complicated by snow slides as warm weather sets in.

Park officials advised Thursday that deep snowpack above Sylvan Pass has the potential to release large, heavy, wet snow slides which can reach and cover the road, especially under sunny, warm conditions.

The East Gate was scheduled to open at 8 a.m. Friday, May 2.

Yellowstone avalanche forecasters are monitoring the weather, snowpack, moisture, and other factors that go into determining the safety of travel across Sylvan Pass, the park’s public affairs office said.

Changing weather conditions or warmer temperatures may result in temporary or extended closures of the East Entrance road. Closures may be implemented at any time with little or no advance notice.

A no stopping zone is in place through Sylvan Pass.

The potential for temporary closures of the East Entrance road could exist for several weeks until more snow melts and the snowpack stabilizes.

Travelers are encouraged to check the park’s 24-hour Road Report Hotline at 307-344-2117 for the latest updates before planning to travel between Cody and the Fishing Bridge area.

Similar conditions in 2008 resulted in the road opening for the season on May 6 but being subsequently closed to all travel on May 11.  It reopened to limited travel during periods of cool temperatures on May 22, and opened to unrestricted travel on June 6.

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