What are the typical seasons and road closures in Yellowstone?
While the park is "open" year-round, access is limited in the fall, winter, and spring.
- Always Open: No matter what time of year, 24 hours a day. You can always access the park via the North as the road between the North Entrance at Gardiner, through Mammoth Hot Springs, to the Northeast Entrance at Cooke City is open year-round (note that the road is closed east of Cooke City between mid-October and late-May).
- Fall: The Beartooth Highway (east of Cooke City) and Dunraven Pass (between Tower Junction and Canyon) typically close around mid October (weather dependent). By early November, ALL park roads close (with exception of the road between the North Entrance and the Northeast Entrance).
- Winter: This is the season for snowmobiling and snowcoach tours. Snow permitting, snow-groomed roads are open to snowmobile and snowcoach travel from mid-December through early-March from the east, west and south entrances. The only road open to vehicles is between the North Entrance and Northeast Entrance.
- Spring: Weather permitting, roads will slowly open to vehicles on the following schedule:
- 3rd weekend of April: Mammoth to Old Faithful; Madison to West Entrance; Norris to Canyon.
- 1st weekend of May: Canyon Junction to Lake; Lake to East Entrance (Sylvan Pass).
- Mid May: Lake to West Thumb, West Thumb to Old Faithful (Craig Pass), and South Entrance to West Thumb; Tower Junction to Tower Fall.
- Last weekend of May: Tower Fall to Canyon Junction (Dunraven Pass); Beartooth Highway.
- Spring is a great time to explore some of the park roads via bicycle.
- Summer: All park roads are open. On occasion, road construction can cause delays. Check the Road Construction Map.
Maps and Resources
- Current Park Road Conditions
- Road Opening and Closing Schedule
- Park Maps
- Winter Road Map
- Wyoming Road Information - for WY roads outside of park
- Montana Road Information - for MT roads outside of park
When are the Visitor Centers open?
- Mammoth Visitor Center: Open daily, all year. 307-344-2263.
- Canyon Visitor Education Center: Open April 21st to November 5th, 2017. 307-344-2550.
- Old Faithful Visitor Center: Open April 21st to November 5th, 2017. 307-344-2750.
- Fishing Bridge Visitor Center: Open May 26th to October 9th, 2017. 307-344-2450.
- Grant Visitor Center: Open May 26th to October 9th, 2017. 307-344-2650.
- Madison Information Station (and Junior Ranger Station): Open May 26th to October 9th, 2017. 307-344-2821.
- Norris Geyser Basin Museum & Information Station: Open May 20th to October 9th, 2017. 307-344-2812.
- West Thumb Information Station: Open May 26th to October 9th, 2017. 307-344-2650.
- West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center: Open April 21st to November 5th, 2017. 307-344-2876.
When are Park Campgrounds and Lodges open?
While Mammoth Campground is open year-round, all other remaining campgrounds are only open in the summer months from either May or June through September or October. See the complete list of Park Campgrounds.
Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel are the only two lodges open during the winter season (mid-December to early-March). All lodges are open during the summer season (May/June through Sept/Oct depending on the lodge. See the complete list of Park Lodges.
What if I have more questions?
Give the park a call:
- Phone (Information): 307-344-7381
- Phone (Camping & Lodging Reservations): 1-866-GEYSERLAND
Questions & Answers
Maybe. Spring at high elevations is a lot harsher than other places. The park closes to motorized traffic in March to clear out snow-packed roads and prepare for the summer tourist season. While this is a fantastic time for cyclists to tour the park without competing with car traffic, most of the park won''t be accessible by car until mid April or even May. You’ll want to confirm opening dates with the park before planning your stay at https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/conditions.htm
While Old Faithful Geyser Basin is accessible in October, most of the services within the park and around the geyser basin will close for the season starting the first week in October. These services include campsites, lodges, hotels, restaurants, gift shops, and service stations. By November 1, Old Faithful Visitor Center closes and the park is only accessible by snowcoach, cross-country skis or snowmobile.
The North Entrance by Gardiner, Montana stays open year-round. The West Entrance via West Yellowstone, Montana usually opens on the third Friday in April. The park will be fully accessible through all five entrances by mid-May. Once the park opens for the year, the gates remain open around the clock until the park closes for the season in November.