Yellowstone National Park Ends Summer 2021 Early on Nov. 6
Written by Andrew-Rossi on November 8, 2021
It was a day early but not a dollar short, as Yellowstone National Park’s historically busy summer season officially ended at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6.
All things must end, and so too must the record-breaking year at Yellowstone National Park. As attendance continues to inch closer to five million people, all future visits will be funneled thru Montana as Wyoming’s gates – East and South – closed for the summer.
Park officials decided the first weekend in November would be the last of Yellowstone’s “summer season.” So on Monday, Nov. 1, the end of the summer season was set for 12:01 a.m. Monday, Nov. 8.
Then the weekend forecast came in. Snow was anticipated for the high elevations – which usually makes the park’s roads difficult and dangerous to drive.
At 11:28 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6, Yellowstone officials announced that all interior roads would close at 7:00 p.m. that evening.
Due to expected winter weather tonight anticipated thru Sunday, Nov. 7, the West, South, and East entrances closed Saturday evening. Any visitors entering the park were informed of the earlier closure and told to make their visits short and direct to their intended exit.
The one exception to the park’s autumn closures is the North Entrance. The road from Gardiner, Montana, through Mammoth Hot Springs to the Northeast Entrance and Cooke City and Silver Gate, Montana, is open all year, weather permitting.
So, after six months, Wyoming’s access to its most famous national park will be cut off – temporarily.
Every year, usually early November, Yellowstone’s roads close for preparation for the winter season and snowmobile and snow coach travel. The winter season for all entrances begins on Wednesday, Dec. 15.
Thankfully, the East Entrance will now open and close at the same time as the other Yellowstone entrances. After years of work, increased capacity, and expertise in the area, park officials are confident they keep Sylvan Pass and the East Entrance open for the whole winter season – Dec. 15 to Mar. 15.
However, while most entrances will close for a time, the record-breaking year won’t end just yet.
Year-to-date visitation to Yellowstone National Park is already higher than any previous year. By the end of September, there were 4,463,599 recreation visits to the park, up 17% from 2019.
July 2021 was the busiest month in the park’s history. Yellowstone National Park hosted 1,080,767 recreation visits that month alone.
Tourists will still be able to contribute to the year-to-date visitation by entering thru Gardiner or Cooke City for the next month. By then, winter tourists and vehicles will enter the park and begin the 2021-2022 winter season in Yellowstone.
For Yellowstone National Park road condition updates:
- Visit Park Roads.
- Call (307) 344-2117 for recorded information.
- Receive Yellowstone Road alerts on your mobile phone by texting “82190” to 888-777 (an automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions).