It’s springtime in America’s first national park, as the first Yellowstone roads open April 19, with the rest of the park slated to open in stages up through Memorial Day.
Friday, April 19 will see the opening of three sections of roads:
- West Entrance to Madison Junction
- Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful
- Norris to Canyon Village
In addition, the road between the North and Northeast Entrance, serving Mammoth Hot Springs, the Lamar Valley, Silver Gate and Cooke City, is open year-round.
As a bonus, there’s no charge to enter Yellowstone National Park on April 20, as the National Park Service celebrates National Park Week.
If you go, be prepared for a few things. First, snow. There’s still plenty of snow on the ground, and the possibility of snow is always present in April. (In fact, it snowed earlier this week. Second, most services will not be open during the early season. If you visit, know that these are the only Yellowstone services open this weekend:
- Canyon Visitor Education Center
- Old Faithful Visitor Center
- Old Faithful Upper General Store
- Old Faithful Upper Service Station
- Snow Lodge Geyser Grill Fast Food/Bear Den Gift Shop (opens April 20)
- Albright Visitor Center (Mammoth Hot Springs)
- Mammoth General Store
Photo of Yellowstone from the beginning of April by Jacob W. Frank, courtesy National Park Service.