File photo. Courtesy of Park County Sheriff's Office

Two Visitors Get Stuck in Snow on Beartooth Highway

Two visitors got stuck on the Beartooth Highway after trying to drive to the Northeast Entrance of Yellowstone National Park.

The Beartooth Highway is currently closed due to snow. It is slated to reopen May 25, weather-permitting.

According to KULR8, John Ray Elmore Jr., 60, of Los Angeles, California and his father John M. Elmore Sr., 85, of Nashville, Indiana drove past several “Road Closed” signs and ended up stuck in deep snow. The incident happened one mile northwest of the Pilot Creek parking area, west of the Chief Joseph Highway intersection.

Reportedly, the pair were following directions on a GPS device and drove past at least two “Road Closed” signs. In addition, the GPS device promised the pair the Beartooth was open. From KULR8:

The visitors were following directions from their GPS device when they became stuck in about a foot of snow on the highway. They passed at least two “Road Closed” signs prior to becoming stuck but said that their navigation device indicated the road to be open, so they continued around the signs.

Search and Rescue (SAR) was sent out after a cell phone call from the men disconnected before detailed information about their condition and exact location could be obtained. SAR deployed two ground teams equipped with snowmobiles to search the area.

After locating the men, SAR members solicited the help of a local resident who was able to tow the victims back onto the pavement using a 4-wheel drive pickup equipped with tire chains. The men were unharmed and decided to take another route into the park.

According to Park County Sherriff Scott Steward, residents and visitors alike should take care and pay attention to road and weather conditions. They should also heed “Road Closed” signs, even if things look okay.

“The road at the location of the closed signs may look clear and dry, but conditions can change rapidly,” Sheriff Steward told KULR 8. “Those signs are there for a reason and should not be ignored even if your electronic navigation device indicates otherwise.”

Currently, only the North and West Entrances of Yellowstone National Park are open. Weather-permitting, the East Entrance road will reopen tomorrow, May 4, 2018. However, the Sylvan Pass may stay closed due to high snowpack and potential avalanche danger.

In addition, the road connecting Canyon to Lake through the Hayden Valley will reopen tomorrow, weather-permitting.

About Sean Reichard

Sean Reichard is the editor of Yellowstone Insider and author of Yellowstone Insider For Families 2017.

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