Yellowstone Park’s south entrance opens to autos for the season

The south entrance to Yellowstone Park has opened for the 2012 summer season. (Jim Peaco/NPS file photo - click to enlarge)

The south entrance to Yellowstone Park has opened for the 2012 summer season. (Jim Peaco/NPS file photo - click to enlarge)

From Staff Reports

The south entrance to Yellowstone National Park opens for automobile travel at 8:00 a.m. today, allowing spring visitors from the Jackson, Wyo., area access to Lake and Old Faithful. All other entry roads into Yellowstone have opened for the season already.

Most visitor facilities will be open at Mammoth Hot Springs and Old Faithful, and limited facilities will be available at Canyon, Fishing Bridge and Grant Village. Some popular campgrounds and trails, especially those in the backcountry, are not yet open. A complete list of facility and road closures can be found on the Yellowstone Park website.

Yellowstone 2012 road map

Yellowstone National Park 2012 road openings. (click to enlarge)

In the case of extreme weather conditions, temporary road closures are also possible, often with little or no advance warning. Due to the snow present in the park’s interior, walking on trails including those along the Canyon Rim or on boardwalks through thermal areas may also be difficult until the arrival of warmer weather.

Bears have emerged from hibernation in the greater Yellowstone area and are on the hunt for food, so hikers, skiers and others using the backcountry are advised to stay in groups of three of more, make noise on the trail and carry bear spray.

Yellowstone regulations require visitors to stay 100 yards from black and grizzly bears at all times. The best defense is to stay a safe distance from bears and use binoculars, a telescope or telephoto lens to get a closer look.

This year, construction projects will include ongoing bridge repair along the northeast road at the Lamar River Bridge, with possible 30-minute delays expected, along with new road repair between Tower-Roosevelt Junction and Chittenden Road and new parking lot repair at Canyon Village, both of which will include nightly closures.

Colter Pass between Cooke City, Mont. and Cody, Wyo. is open. Dunraven Pass inside the park and the Bearthooth Highway between Cooke City and Red Lodge, Mont. are not yet open. For information on roads outside of the park, travelers in Wyoming may dial 511 or 888-996-7623, or visit the Wyoming Department of Transportation website.

Updated Yellowstone National Park road information is available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2117, or online at the National Park Service website.

Contact Yellowstone Gate at 307-213-9818 or [email protected]


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