Yellowstone: Avalanches Keep Closing East Entrance

Yellowstone: Avalanches Keep Closing East Entrance

Written by on May 16, 2022

It may be Yellowstone’s summer season, but avalanches are causing temporary closures of the East Entrance, stopping the already steady flow of tourists.

After multiple temporary closures, officials at Yellowstone National Park are advising tourists passing through the East Entrance to anticipate more closures this week. The reason is an increased avalanche danger in the high mountain pass.

The East Entrance Road between the East Entrance and Fishing Bridge will close for periods of time between Monday, May 16 and Wednesday, May 18.

This spring has been unconventional in Yellowstone. After an alarmingly dry winter, there was intense snow activity in April. Superintendent Cam Sholly said more snow fell in April than the first four months of 2022 combined.

Warm weather mixing with more snow accumulation are the conditions that create avalanches. While park officials opened the East Entrance as planned, keeping it open has become difficult.

Weather conditions in Yellowstone can change quickly, regardless of the season. However, spring is the most unpredictable time of year as snowmelt occasionally mixes with snowfall.

Courtesy Yellowstone National Park (2020)

The East Entrance has been temporarily closed six times since it opened on May 6.

Because of weather and avalanche danger, there have been several temporary closures. Most of the closures occur in the evening, but closures during the day have occurred as needed

On Thursday, May 12, conditions were so hazardous that snow tires were required for the whole day until the East Entrance closed at 6 p.m. that night.

Frequent closures will likely continue through May. For instance, Thursday’s forecast calls for more snow showers. Many days of snow and rain are anticipated next week.

To receive Yellowstone road alerts on your mobile phone, text “82190” to 888-777 (an automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions).

You can check current road conditions on the Yellowstone website.

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