Yellowstone National Park
The North Entrance to Northeast Entrance at Silver Gate and Cooke City, Montana is open all year. Please note that this road is closed to east/west travel just east of Cooke City from late fall to early spring.
The West Gate to Old Faithful & Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is now OPEN for Commercial Over snow travel only.
Please see below for current information on other road openings.
Latest Updates and useful information.
Winter Use UPDATE
Update: February 16th 2014
The “Winter Use” plan in Yellowstone nears completion.
Over the past 15 years, much uncertainty regarding snowmobile and snowcoaches access has existed as Yellowstone completed a number of Environmental Impact Statement. Each of these had different outcomes. During these years public access in the winter was sometimes quite tenuous. Through it all we have championed the charge to keep Yellowstone open.
Finally, October 23, 2013 the Federal Register published the Final Rule which provides for snowmobile and snowcoach access over the next ten years. Once again the public will be able to plan with certainty their vacations well in advance, knowing the Park will be open.
Operator’s applications for a ten year contract were due February 10, 2014. Three Bear Lodge, See Yellowstone Tours and Yellowstone Arctic Yamaha have submitted their requests for contracts. Contracts will be awarded in April of 2014.
Exciting times are ahead. The vehicles that will be used in the future must meet the new NPS standards using the Best Available Technology (BAT). These oversnow vehicles will be less intrusive on the environment and will also provide greater visitor comfort and safety.
For example, See Yellowstone Tours Inc. helped design and has contracted with SnoBear USA to build a new snowcoach from the ground up to be environmentally friendly and more economical while providing greater guest comfort. We unveiled this new concept snowcoach, named the “Yellowstone Grizz”, Dec. 15, 2014 exclusively for use in Yellowstone. The Yellowstone Grizz pictured here has the allure of a unique over snow vehicle that “begs” to be ridden through the beauties of Yellowstone in the winter. It was built with many environmental features not available in the retrofitted snowcoaches that we and other operators currently use.
Whether by snowmobile or snowcoach, you may plan on your Yellowstone vacation with certainty. Some of the operators may change but the public is assured access into Yellowstone Park in the winter for the Next 10 years and probably beyond.
We will update this page as and when new information is made available.
2013-2014 Winter Oversnow Vehicle PROVISIONAL Road Opening and Closing Schedule
Winter Opening Dates are Snow Permitting and all dates are subject to change
December 15, 2013—Most roads open to oversnow travel (weather and snow conditions permitting).
December 22, 2013 - East Entrance Road (between East Entrance and Fishing Bridge) opens to oversnow travel.
Only two park roads are plowed in the winter and remain open for wheeled-vehicle use:
The road between the North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, to the Northeast Entrance at Silver Gate and Cooke City, Montana.
From Mammoth Hot Springs to the parking area at the Upper Terraces (approximately 1/2 mi. of road)
They are maintained only during daylight hours and may close during severe storms. Expect snowpack, ice, frost heaves, drifts. Mud/Snow tires or tire chains may be required and are recommended always. Speed limit for all vehicles is 45 mph (73 kph), or lower where posted—such as from North Entrance to Mammoth. Do not stop on the road or block traffic when viewing wildlife or scenery. Use pullouts. Trails and overlooks may be snow-covered, icy, and dangerous. Obey all trail closures. Walk cautiously at all times and watch your children.
Oversnow travel ends in March. Roads close at 9 PM on the days listed:
March 1, 2014—East Entrance to Lake Butte (Sylvan Pass.)
March 4: Mammoth to Norris
March 6: Madison to Norris to Canyon
March 11: Canyon to Fishing Bridge
March 15, 2014—All other groomed roads in the park are closed.
Closing dates are subject to change
Spring Road Openings:
The approximate dates that roads will open to motorized, wheeled vehicles are as follows:
April 26, 2013 - The west side roads open, Visitors will be able too travel through the North & West Entrances Mammoth Hot Springs and Old Faithful.
May 3, 2013 – Norris to Canyon Road opens.
May 3, 2013— The road linking Canyon, Fishing Bridge, & the East Entrance opens to wheeled vehicles.
May 10, 2013—Travel from the South Entrance to Grant, West Thumb, Fishing Bridge, & Lake over Craig Pass to Old Faithful open to wheeled vehicles. Also, Tower to Tower Fall opens to wheeled vehicles. The road from Cooke City over Colter Pass to the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway intersection to the Long Lake gate shall open as soon thereafter as possible.
Mid June, 2013—Long Lake Gate over the Beartooth Highway to Red Lodge, Montana.
PLEASE NOTE – All these dates are subject to Weather permitting
Travelers in Montana may dial 511; those outside Montana may call 1-800-226-7623, or visit the Montana Department of Transportation website.
Additionally in the spring, before park roads open to motorized vehicles, some roads are open to non-motorized recreational vehicles such as bicycles, roller skis, and roller blades. There will be some administrative vehicles traveling the roads at this time so use caution and be aware of potential vehicles sharing the road with you.
The summer season runs from approximately mid-April to the beginning of November.
Park Areas, Entrances and Roads open on different dates and are dependent on weather condition. Once an Entrance/Road opens, it is open 24 hours a day. The only exceptions are caused by road construction and weather-related restrictions.
Approximate closing dates
October 9 —Roads close to the public at Tower Fall to Canyon Jct. and Long Lake via Beartooth Pass to the Montana Stateline. (GATES CLOSE AT 8 A.M.).
November 5 —all park roads closed to the public at 8 a.m. except from the North Entrance to Upper Mammoth Terrace, and Mammoth via Tower Junction to Northeast Entrance. Cooke City via Colter Pass to the Long Lake gate is not maintained for wheeled vehicle travel.
Fall weather is unpredictable; roads may be closed temporarily by snow or other weather conditions. Snow tires or chains may be required. Please Note: The section of the Beartooth Highway (Highway 212), between the junction of Highway 296 and Red Lodge, Montana, closes in winter on a schedule determined by amount of snowfall. Travel between Red Lodge and the Northeast Entrance is not possible on Highway 212 until it opens again in the spring.
We recommend that visitors check the following resources before traveling:
National Weather Service forecast for Yellowstone and Grand Teton
WYDOT Road Information 888-WYO-ROAD
M-DOT Road Information 800-226-7623