The scheduled Dunraven Pass and Beartooth Highway openings hit snags this morning, with bad weather indefinitely delaying the opening of the Beartooth Highway.
UPDATE II: The road between Canyon and Tower-Roosevelt over Dunraven Pass will open for the season at noon.
UPDATE: The latest word from Park officials: the opening of the Dunraven Pass will happen at 10 a.m. at the earliest. Because of overnight snow on the Beartooth Pass, the opening of the Beartooth Highway has been indefinitely delayed and may not happen at all today.
When last we heard, the road plowing in both instances was a casualty of sequester funding — or the lack thereof — and openings for both were pushed off to early June. In a happy turn, the plowing crews managed to finish works in both stretches of road.
What to Expect This Weekend
Be warned: Not everything in the Park is open. Lake Lodge, for instance, does not open until June 10, and the Grant General Store doesn’t open until June 7. Still, there is plenty to see and do, and judging by the traffic we encountered this past week in the Park, you’ll encounter plenty of other folks decided to take in the major areas — and some surprising out-of-the-way spots as well.
With the opening of road over Dunraven Pass linking Canyon Village, Tower Fall and Tower Junction, all roads in Yellowstone National Park will be open for the 2013 summer season. It’s already been a busy spring in the Park: traffic was fairly brisk at the major intersections, and hotels, such as Lake, were reporting good numbers for the week. (Speaking of Lake: We’ll have information about the changes there in tomorrow’s newsletter. Not a subscriber? You can subscribe here.)
Here’s the forecast from the National Weather Service forecast:
Partly cloudy skies and a chance of afternoon or evening thunderstorms for the three-day holiday weekend, with high temperatures in the 50s and low 60s, and overnight low temperatures near freezing. Spring visitors to the park are encouraged to have flexible travel plans and to be prepared for a wide range of weather conditions.
So throw a raincoat, sweater and maybe a pair of gloves in the car before heading out.
Beartooth Highway Opening: An Occasion
One nice thing about the Beartooth Highway opening: it will be an event. Locals turn out in droves for the opening of the Beartooth Highway and the pass, taking the occasion to head from Red Lodge and Billings into Cooke City and the Northeast Entrance. It is a beautiful time of year in Yellowstone National Park.
Photo of Beartooth Pass plowing from 2011.