Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks are joining all National Park Service sites across the nation in waiving admission fees on January 20, in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr., federal holiday.
No matter how visitors choose to enter either park—by car, RV, bus or on a guided snowmobile or snow coach trip—the entrance fee will be waived Monday.
The Park Service is waiving entrance fees on nine days in 2014, according to a statement from the Yellowstone public affairs office. The fee-free days are meant to encourage people to get outdoors and enjoy the remarkable landscapes and historical and cultural sites national parks have to offer.
Other fee free dates for 2014 are:
- Feb. 15-17 for the Presidents’ Day Weekend
- April 19-20 for the opening weekend of National Park Week
- Aug. 25 for the National Park Service’s 98th birthday
- Sept. 27 for National Public Lands Day
- Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans Day
A seven-day pass to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks is normally $25 for a private, non-commercial vehicle.
In Yellowstone, 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 autos year-round. Access to the interior of Yellowstone and iconic locations like Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is restricted to guided snowmobile and snow coach trips from the North, West, South, and East entrances during the winter months.
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. At Mammoth Hot Springs, the hotel, dining room and gift shop are open for the winter season. The Yellowstone General Store, medical clinic, campground, post office, and the Visitor Center are open all year. Fuel is available from 24-hour gasoline pumps all year at both Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Junction.
Visitors to Grand Teton can enjoy winter activities from auto-touring, wildlife viewing and photography to cross-country skiing, skate skiing and snowshoeing. A popular winter trail that spans the unplowed Teton Park Road from Taggart Lake parking area to Signal Mountain Lodge is open, and although not machine groomed, it is packed and tracked by previous skiers.
In addition to skiing, photography and wildlife watching, ranger-led snowshoe hikes take place each Tuesday, Friday and Saturday day at 1:30 p.m. from the Taggart Lake parking area. The two-hour guided walks offer an opportunity to learn about snow science and winter ecology. Previous experience is not necessary, and snowshoes are available for a rental fee of $5 for adults and $2 for children, 8 years or older. Reservations are required and can be made at 307-739-3399.
Check online for complete information about winter activities in Grand Teton National Park or the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway.
Visitors can also obtain winter season information about Grand Teton from the park’s website; The Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center on North Cache Street in Jackson; and the park’s information line at 307-739-3399, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday.