We’re gearing down for the end of the 2014 Yellowstone summer season, with most services shut down and many roads set to close in coming weeks. Still, this is a great time to visit the Park.
Week by week has seen various Yellowstone National Park services close: for instance, last weekend was the last one of the season for Lake Hotel and Dining Room. Past weeks saw closing of facilities in Canyon and Grant Village.
If you go — and we’d recommend you do if you can — there’s still plenty of time for that last Yellowstone trip of the season. You will have many parts of the Park to yourself: no hordes of tourists descending on Fountain Paint Pots, no fighting for parking spots outside the Old Faithful Visitor Center.
There are still plenty of visitor facilities open in Yellowstone. Old Faithful Inn and its services — Gift Shop, Dining Room, Bear Paw Deli — is still and closes Oct. 12. The Upper General Store is open through Oct. 13. Old Faithful Snow Lodge and its restaurant, are open through Oct. 19. And you’ll be able to grab a bite in the Old Faithful area until Yellowstone roads close: the Snow Lodge Geyser Grill is open through Nov. 2.
Many services in Mammoth Hot Springs will remain open, though this is the last day for the hotel. The General Store remains open all year, as does the campground. As long as Yellowstone roads are open, gas pumps will remain available for credit-card purchases.
Some closings to remember as you plan that last visit to Yellowstone. On October 14, the Beartooth Highway closes at 8 a.m. On October 15, the Dunraven Pass closes at 8 a.m. And on November 3, all roads except the road between the North and Northeast Entrance close at 8 a.m. Now, not all of the Park will close: the road connecting Gardiner, Mammoth Hot Springs and the Northeast Entrance remains open year-round, allowing access at all times to Silver Gate and Cooke City. And, of course, the break is temporary: while the roads are closed until next spring, Old Faithful Snow Lodge opens for the winter season on Dec. 18, 2014.
Fall photo of Buffalo Ranch in Lamar Valley courtesy National Park Service.