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NPS: Be Careful if Using Yellowstone East Entrance Friday

The Yellowstone East Entrance is still scheduled to open Friday, May 2 at 8 a.m., but National Park Service officials are warning about the potential of heavy, wet snow slides that could halt traffic.

The issue: deep snowpack above the Sylvan Pass has the potential to release large, heavy, wet snow slides which can reach and cover the road, especially under sunny, warm conditions. Yellowstone avalanche forecasters are closely monitoring the weather, snowpack, moisture, and all of the complex factors that go into determining the safety of travel across Sylvan Pass past the Yellowstone East Entrance.

If there are snow slides — or the potential of heavy snow slides — there can be temporary or extended closures of the Yellowstone East Entrance road, implemented at any time with little or no advance notice.  In the meantime, a no-stopping zone is in place through Sylvan Pass.

The potential for temporary closures of the Yellowstone East Entrance road could exist for several weeks until more snow melts and the snowpack stabilizes. This situation is more frequent than you’d think: A similar situation occurred in 2008 when the road opened for the season on May 6 but was subsequently closed to all travel on May 11. It reopened to limited travel during periods of cool temperatures on May 22, and opened to unrestricted travel on June 6.

Travelers are encouraged to check the park’s 24-hour Road Report Hotline at 307/344-2117 for the latest updates before planning to travel between Cody and the Fishing Bridge area.

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