Winter Season in Yellowstone Starts December 15
Yellowstone National Park will open to the public for winter season starting next Tuesday, December 15 at 8:00 a.m. The park will be open for travel by snow coach and snowmobile. Winter season in Yellowstone is between December 15 and mid-March.
During that time, visitors will be able to travel Yellowstone interior roads on commercially guided snowmobile and snow coaches. North, West, East, and South entrances will be open, weather permitting. Non-commercially guided snowmobile trips are available to visitors who have proper permits.
In the past, the East entrance Road to Lake Butte Overlook (Sylvan Pass) has opened on December 22. Due to comments from the public, park officials adjusted winter operating dates for that section of road. After evaluating public comments and completing compliance requirements, the park recently made the decision to routinely open the East Entrance on December 15 and close it March 15, depending on weather conditions.
Winter season will end in mid-March to allow plowing crews to clear snow on roads throughout the park. Roads in the park usually reopen to automobiles in mid-April. The only exception is the road from the North entrance at Gardiner, MT through Mammoth Hot Springs to Cooke City, MT. That section of road is plowed and remains open to automobiles year round.
Park officials ask visitors to be advised that winter weather is extremely unpredictable and road closures or delays can occur with little or no warning. Make sure that you're prepared by carrying personal emergency survival equipment and dress appropriately for outside activities in extremely cold weather.
The park also asks that visitors recreate responsibly to reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you are sick, they ask that you don't visit the park and self-quarantine to avoid exposing others.
Visitor services will be limited this winter, and dates may be subject to change. Below, find a list of what visitor services will be available and when they will open:
- Lobby and restrooms only at the Canyon Visitor Education Center – December 15
- Geyser Grill and Bear Den Gift Shop - December 15
- Restrooms only at the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center - December 15
- Old Faithful Visitor Education Center - TBD
Mammoth Hot Springs
- Mammoth Hotel & Cabins, Mammoth Hotel Map Room Barista/Bar, Dining Room,
- Mammoth Gift Shop and Ski Shop - December 15
- Mammoth General Store, medical clinic, campground, and post office - Open year-round
- Albright Visitor Center - TBD
- 24-hour gasoline pumps at Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Junction, Canyon Village, Fishing Bridge, Grant Village and Old Faithful - Open year-round
Warming huts at Fishing Bridge, Indian Creek, Madison, Mammoth Hot Springs, Old Faithful, and West Thumb will provide shelter. Food, restrooms, and water will be available at some huts. All warming huts, except Mammoth Hot Springs, will open on December 15. Mammoth Hot Springs will open on December 16.
If you'd like to plan a trip to the park during winter season, make sure to plane ahead. More information can be found here.