The snow began early the morning and impacted most of the Park, leading to the closure of the Grand Loop Road between Tower and Canyon because of snow and poor driving conditions on the Dunraven Pass. In addition, the Beartooth Highway is closed at the Wyoming-Montana boundary.
The good news: the snow and rain is causing the Arnica Fire to shrink, leading crews to remove sprinklers from the Lake Village area; buildings in the area, including the Lake Hotel, had been watered down as a preventative measure if the Arnica Fire moved that way. Nothing closed down at Lake Village, as service went on as normal at Lake Hotel and Lake Lodge; the Lake General Store had closed earlier in the month to make way for a renovation.
The cool temps and snow also gives road crews a chance to remove downed trees from the Grand Loop Road, a process that started this afternoon. As of mid-afternoon the road was still closed, however, and it’s not expected to open until tomorrow at the earliest. The fire is drastically impacting travelers in the Park: with the closure of the Madison to Norris portion in the western part of the Grand Loop Road, the route is the only way to move between the south and north parts of the Park. Going from north to south means a reroute through Old Faithful and West Yellowstone or all the way down to Riverton and then up to Cody.
We’ll continue to monitor road conditions today and tomorrow.