It’s official folks: Yellowstone National Park’s winter season opens tomorrow, December 15!
Starting at 8 a.m., visitors will be able to travel via snowmobile and snowcoach through the North, West, and South Entrances. The East Entrance (and Sylvan Pass) are expected to open December 22. And, of course, visitors can drive along the road from Mammoth Hot Springs to Cooke City, Montana, just outside the Northeast Entrance. Fair warning though: you won’t be able to take the Beartooth Highway as it’s closed for the season.
In addition to those roadways, portions of Old Faithful will be opening tomorrow for the winter season: Geyser Grill, the Bear Den Gift Shop, and the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center. The Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins, as well as the Obsidian Dining Room are slated to open December 20.
Meanwhile, the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Dining Room, as well as the gift shop, will open December 18 for the winter season. The Yellowstone General Store, clinic, campground, post office, and Albright Visitor Center are open year round. Gas is available at the 24-hour pumps in Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Junction.
Since Yellowstone conditions can change at a moment’s notice (give or take) especially during the winter season, it’s important to stay abreast of the latest in Yellowstone National park road conditions. Luckily, you can see the latest here.
Yellowstone’s winter season generally runs from December 15 to March 15 of the next year; start time depends on how much snow cover there is in the Park. Most facilities close up by September or October, which gives Park employees and concessionaires enough time to prepare for the winter season. Read here for complete opening and closing dates for the 2015/16 season.