Yellowstone Winter Ends in Preparation for Summer 2021
Written by Andrew-Rossi on March 1, 2021
Summer is coming to Yellowstone National Park, which means March will see closures and lots of snowplows clearing the way for the millions of soon-to-arrive visitors.
As the winter season at Yellowstone concludes, and the work of preparing the park’s roads and amenities for the summer begins. Most of the park’s entrances will close in mid-March so the park’s plow trucks have uninhibited access to clear the roads of the winter snow.
Each of these major roads in the park will close on the following dates:
• March 7, Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris
• March 9, Norris to Madison, Norris to Canyon Village
• March 14, Canyon Village to Fishing Bridge
• March 15, all remaining groomed roads
Opening these roads – and the East, South, and West Entrances – tentatively planned for April 16, weather permitting.
This will be the first season that the East Entrance officially closes on the same date as the rest of the entrances. This is part of the new management plan for the entrance, based on years of experience and confidence in the methods developed.
The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, through Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Junction to Cooke City, Montana, is open to automobiles all year.
Various winter amenities and visitor services will also be closed over the next two weeks.
• The hotel and cabins, gift shop, ski shop, and food services at Mammoth Hot Springs were closed on March 1. The Mammoth Campground, Yellowstone General Store, Post Office, Medical Clinic, and self-serve fuel pumps stay open all year.
• The Bear Den Gift Shop and Geyser Grill of Old Faithful will close on March 15.
• Warming huts throughout the park will close between March 1 and March 15.
Yellowstone is on-track for a much smoother opening this year than it experienced in 2020.
On March 24, 2020, Superintendent Cam Sholly temporarily shut down the park after “a substantial number of requests” for such a closure from health officials, government leadership, and the governors of Wyoming and Montana as the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed.
The park remained closed until May 18, when the two Wyoming entrances opened. Montana’s entrances stayed closed until June 1.
No delays have been requested in 2021. New cases are still being reported in Wyoming and Montana and their gateway communities, but the promise of vaccination seems to be keeping the virus – and regional anxieties – under control, for now.
Superintendent Sholly is currently working with other NPS officials to determine what Summer 2021 will be like, particularly how COVID-19 precautions will be handled and what facilities will open. None of Yellowstone’s visitor or interpretive centers were open last year and could remain closed if determined to be necessary.
Details on Summer 2021 in Yellowstone National Park will be released once they are finalized.
All dates are subject to change based on future conditions and public health guidance. We will continue to evaluate and adapt to changing COVID-19 guidance and adjust operations as needed. For additional details, visit the park website at www.nps.gov/yell or download Yellowstone’s App.