Yellowstone set for last summer holiday weekend
by Yellowstone National Park
September 2, 2009
For many visitors, Labor Day marks the end of the vacation season and the start of fall.
In Yellowstone National Park, the holiday weekend signals the onset of fall, cooler weather, decreasing visitation and reduction in visitor services.
The National Weather Service’s extended forecast calls for daytime highs in the 50s and 60s with overnight lows in the mid-30s to 40s under mostly cloudy skies, with a chance of showers and thunderstorms for the holiday weekend.
All roads to and in the park remain open except for the road linking Norris and Madison through Gibbon Canyon. That section of road is closed for the remainder of the season due to extensive construction. Despite this closure, visitors can still travel to and between all major locations in the park. It may take more time than normal to travel between some locations.
All lodging, campgrounds, stores, restaurants, gift shops, and other services remain open for the start of the Labor Day weekend. However, some visitor services begin to close for the season starting Sunday, September 6. Details are available online at
http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/index.htm, by consulting the park newspaper handed out at entrance stations, or by asking the staff at visitor centers and information stations in and near the park.
Fall can be a great time to view wildlife in the park. While the end of bison mating season is at hand, the elk mating season is just getting underway. The aggressive behavior of these animals during mating season brings with it a potential threat to people and property. Visitors viewing elk and bison frequently get too close for their own safety. Several vehicles are damaged by elk and bison every year, and on occasion people who are charged by animals are injured.
Park regulations require people to stay at least 25 yards away from most animals and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves at all times. Visitors desiring a closer look at animals should use binoculars, a spotting scope, or the zoom lens on their still or video camera.
Maps and additional details on visitor services and seasonal park road closures are available at all visitor centers and online at http://www.nps.gov/yell. Updated Yellowstone National Park road information is always available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.