Old Faithful snowy May 23

North, Northeast entrances open for Silver Gate, Cooke City access

With no public notice, Yellowstone officials opened the North and Northeast Entrances, with visitors allowed to drive directly through the park for Silver Gate and Cooke City access.

The West Entrance remains closed. 

The order from Yellowstone is pretty specific: the gate is only open to those recreating in Cooke City and Silver Gate, with no stoppages or recreation in the park.

With the Beartooth Highway closed to traffic (more on that later), the only way for traditional Memorial Day visitors to make a run to Cooke City is via the highway running between the North and Northeast gates. It also opens up through traffic between Cody and Bozeman: With Wyoming Hwy. 296 (the Chief Joseph Highway) open to Hwy. 212 east of Cooke City, regional cross-country traffic is now open. Yes, the bad weather hitting Yellowstone National Park is also bringing a drizzle and cold temperatures to Cooke City, but a look at the Cooke City webcam shows plenty of folks in town, with most businesses now open for the season.

Once you’re in Yellowstone, be warned that there’s not much open being gas pumps, restrooms, and the Old Faithful Snow Lodge Geyser Grill Fast Food/Bear Den Gift Shop. Check out our guide to Yellowstone opening and closing dates to plan ahead.

A word of warning: check the weather forecasts and the weather cams before you make the long drive to Old Faithful and other popular Yellowstone areas. A winter storm has hit the entire region, causing the closing of the Beartooth Highway through the afternoon of May 24 (and blanketing the west side of the park with snow, along with some chilly temperatures. However, to the south the weather has only brought rain to U.S. Hwy. 14/16/20 between Cody and the East Entrance, as well as U.S. Hwy. 26/287 between Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone. 

In another twist, the Beartooth Highway is closed, with the Montana side only open some 15 miles between Red Lodge and Vista Point, just short of the Wyoming State Line. Check the local weather forecast before heading toward the Beartooth / Absaroka Mountains, as the area is operating under a Winter Weather Advisory. As a matter of fact, at the time of this writing, the Beartooth Highway between Red Lodge and Vista Point was closed due to adverse weather conditions, with the potential of six-to-12 inches of accumulated snow. The storm expected to end around mid-day on May 24.

About Kevin Reichard

Check Also

Yellowstone National Park

If it’s August, it’s Yellowstone fire season

If it’s August, you know it’s Yellowstone fire season–and sure enough, with the fire danger …