Yellowstone begins opening for Winter season Dec. 15
by Yellowstone National Park
December 15, 2009
Yellowstone National Park begins opening interior park roads for motorized oversnow travel for the 2009-2010 winter season as scheduled on Tuesday, December 15.
Limited, managed snowmobile and snowcoach travel over groomed, snow-packed park roads will be permitted this season under a new temporary plan, which allows up to 318 commercially guided, Best Available Technology (BAT) snowmobiles, and up to 78 commercially guided snowcoaches per day in Yellowstone.
The road from the South Entrance to West Thumb and on to Old Faithful will open to public travel by commercially guided snowmobiles and snowcoaches on Tuesday at 7:00 a.m., and at 10:00 a.m. from the West Entrance to Madison and on to Old Faithful.
As of 7:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, the road from West Thumb through Lake to Canyon and Norris; and from Mammoth Hot Springs through Norris on to Madison will open to the public for travel by commercially guided snowmobiles and snowcoaches.
All commercially guided snowmobiles and snowcoaches will be allowed on all of these groomed park roads with the exception of the road from Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris Junction. Due to low snowpack, travel over this road will be temporarily limited to rubber-tracked snowcoaches only.
The Fountain Freight Road will remain closed to travel until it receives sufficient snow, but most other side roads will open to commercially guided oversnow travel Wednesday.
Commercially guided snowmobile and snowcoach travel over the East Entrance road and Sylvan Pass is scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, December 22.
The Old Faithful Visitor Center opens for the season Tuesday, December 15. The Old Faithful Snow Lodge, dining room, fast food, and gift shop will open for the winter season on Friday, December 18. The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, dining room, and gift shop open for the season on Monday, December 21. The Yellowstone General Store, clinic, campground, post office, 24 hour gasoline pumps, and the Albright Visitor Center at Mammoth Hot Springs are open all year.
The North Entrance and the road from Gardiner, Montana, through Mammoth Hot Springs on to Cooke City, outside the park’s Northeast Entrance, is open to wheeled vehicle travel all year. Gasoline is also available using 24-hour pay at the pump at Tower Junction.
All communities near and on the way to Yellowstone are open all year, with local businesses offering a wide range of winter recreation opportunities. A wealth of information and assistance planning a visit to Yellowstone can be found on the park’s web site at http://www.nps.gov/yell.