Yellowstone National Park is opening additional groomed roads after seeing snowfall every day this week.
Commercial and non-commercially guided snowmobiles and commercial snow coaches with rubber tracks or large tires may now travel all the way from Mammoth Hot Springs south through Norris to Madison, and from Norris east to Canyon Junction continuing south all the way to West Thumb. Snowmobiles and all types of snowcoaches may travel from the park’s South Entrance through West Thumb to Old Faithful.
From West Yellowstone to Old Faithful, travel is still limited to snowcoaches with rubber tracks or large tires or other high clearance commercial wheeled vehicles. However, commercial operators have the option to trailer snowmobiles to Madison or Old Faithful to begin guided oversnow trips from those locations.
The park’s East Entrance will open to guided snowmobile and snowcoach travel over Sylvan Pass to Fishing Bridge as scheduled on Monday, December 22.
Park staff members continue to closely monitor oversnow road conditions and weather forecasts. Travel between Old Faithful and West Yellowstone will switch to all types of snowcoaches and to commercially and non-commercially guided snowmobiles once conditions improve. The temporary restrictions on travel by snowcoaches with metal cleated tracks will also be removed when groomed roads can support their operation.
The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Mont., through Mammoth Hot Springs and on to Cooke City, Mont., outside the park’s Northeast Entrance is open to automobile travel all year.
The Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins, the Obsidian Dining Room, the Geyser Grill, the Bear Den Gift Shop, and the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center are all open for the season. The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, dining room, and gift shop will open for the season on Saturday. The Yellowstone General Store, the medical clinic, campground, post office, 24-hour gasoline pumps, and the Visitor Center at Mammoth Hot Springs are open all year.
All communities around and on the way to Yellowstone are open year-round, with local businesses offering a wide range of winter recreation opportunities. Extensive information and assistance for planning a visit to Yellowstone is available on the park web site at http://www.nps.gov/yell.