Another sign of a Yellowstone spring: the East Entrance opens this morning, allowing access to Lake and Canyon via the Sylvan Pass, with services in Mammoth and Old Faithful opening as well.
The beginning of May sees the first serious visitation to the Park for the season; April is merely a light aperitif to the millions of visitors expected in the summer. Today’s road opening connects Cody to Lake and Canyon, which then allows visitors to drive all the way through to Norris Junction and then south to Old Faithful or north to Mammoth Hot Springs.
Roads in the Park are expected to be relatively clear. The only thing to note at this time: Construction is underway north of the entrance to the Norris Campground on the road to Mammoth Hot Springs. Crews are rebuilding a 5.4-mile section of the road, as well as the bridge over the Gardner River. Visitors should expect daytime delays of up to 30 minutes throughout the summer season.
Intrepid travelers will see newly opened services in Mammoth and Old Faithful, including dining facilities in Mammoth and Old Faithful Snow Lodge, as well as hotel rooms in both areas. Next weekend will see the opening of Old Faithful Inn.
Two other road stories to note. First, Highway 212 between Cooke City and the Hwy. 296 intersection (Chief Joseph Highway) is now plowed and open. The Beartooth Highway is scheduled to open on May 22, the Friday before Memorial Day. Second, the visitor facilities at Grand Teton National Park open today: Teton Park Road and Moose-Wilson are now open, as is the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center and the Gros Ventre campground. Note the Yellowstone South Entrance doesn’t open until May 8.