At a time when the East Coast is socked in with unseasonably high levels of snow, the western side of Yellowstone National Park is lacking the white stuff — leading to some changes in Yellowstone winter policies.
Basically, a combination of above-normal temperatures, limited snowfall and oversnow traffic have all resulted in a dramatic reduction in the snowpack on the road segments linking West Yellowstone and Old Faithful. That’s leading the National Park Service to alter Yellowstone winter policies on private snowmobile access for now, with guided visitor travel on West/Old Faithful road segment limited to commercial snowcoaches with rubber tracks or commercial wheeled vehicles.
Guided snowmobile tours will still be allowed in, as park officials have worked with groups who had planned a guided snowmobile tour into the park originating from West Yellowstone, finding ways ways for most if not all of them to travel into the interior of the park.
According to an NPS press release, conditions on all other interior park roads which are groomed for commercial and non-commercially guided snowmobiles and commercial snowcoaches remain fair to good.
Now, one g0od day or two of snow could reverse this policy quickly. And there’s still a lot of snow in the area: take a look at the photo below from the Cooke City Chamber of Commerce. If you’re looking for deep, lovely snow, shift your gaze from Yellowstone to the Silver Gate/Cooke City part of Montana.
Top photo courtesy National Park Service.