Yellowstone Park Road Construction Info

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Yellowstone Road Construction Info

Construction may cause delays or road closures at any time of year. Specific dates for road openings and closings vary from year to year, and are directly related to weather conditions. If you are planning a spring or fall trip to Yellowstone, we urge you to call park headquarters for current road and weather information (307) 344-7381 . Conditions often change rapidly, so stay informed by calling or stopping at visitor centers for information. Read More

For the most up to date road construciton and condition report:

Road Conditions

Winter
The winter season of snowmobile and snowcoach travel runs from the second Saturday of December to mid-March. All roads and entrances, with one exception, are closed to motor vehicle travel and are groomed for oversnow vehicles. The exception is the North Entrance and the road from Gardiner, MT, through the Northeast Entrance to Cooke City, MT, which is open only to wheeled vehicles. Plowing stops at Cooke City, so you must return to the North Entrance to leave the park.

Spring
Plowing begins in early March. Depending on weather, the first stretches of road to open to motor vehicles include Mammoth-Norris, Norris-Madison, and West Yellowstone-Old Faithful; these roads open in mid-April. Roads on the east and south sides of the park, including East and South Entrances, typically open in early May. The Sunlight Basin Road, between Cooke City, MT and Cody, WY and Craig Pass, between Old Faithful and West Thumb, open by early May as conditions allow. Dunraven Pass, between Tower and Canyon Junctions, and the Beartooth Highway, connecting Cooke City to Red Lodge, MT generally open by Memorial Day weekend. Weather can especially affect road openings over the higher passes. Spring storms may cause restrictions or temporary closures on some roads.

Summer
Park roads are generally open for travel, barring accidents, rock/mud slides or road construction.

Fall
Storms may cause temporary restrictions (snow tire or chain requirements) or closures of park roads. Large road reconstruction projects are underway in Yellowstone resulting in some closures of major sections of road. The Beartooth Highway, connecting Cooke City to Red Lodge, MT closes for the season in mid-October. Depending on weather, park roads close for the season on the first Sunday of November. The only exception is the year round road from Gardiner to Cooke City, MT. The winter season of snowmobile and snowcoach travel begins in mid-December.

Road Construction

Road construction is perennial in Yellowstone National Park. In general, park roads have either been recently repaired or reconstructed, or are scheduled for repair or reconstruction. Approximately 80% of main park roads (about 185 mi or 295 km) are in a structurally deficient state, with poor quality road bases failing under the weight, speed, and volume of modern traffic for which they were not designed. Harsh winter weather and short construction seasons provide additional challenges.

These needs are now being addressed under a 20-year, $300 million Federal Lands Highway Program for Yellowstone National Park. In addition to the major construction addressed below, park road repair crews will be working in other areas of the park throughout the 2000 season. Thank you for your patience with our road construction efforts.

Other road closures or delays are possible. For current road information, call (307) 344-7381.

Additional construction zones and schedules may be announced as construction contracts are awarded.

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