Yellowstone’s Winter Begins Dec. 15
Written by Andrew-Rossi on December 9, 2020
Winter is coming . . . to Yellowstone National Park.
The dates and open amenities for the winter season have been confirmed and the park will soon be open to over-snow travel through the West, East, and South entrances. The North Entrance, as always, is plowed and open to vehicles year-round.
This marks the first winter season where the opening of the East Entrance is the same as Yellowstone’s other gates – Dec. 15 to March 15, weather permitting. After a public comment period, Yellowstone management decided to align the East Entrance with the rest after determining they had the resources and expertise to open the gate – and to keep it open until March.
The park has released the full list of amenities it intends to have open for the winter, which may be subject to change as the pandemic progresses. As always, the primary concern is visitor safety – not only from COVID-19 but winter road closures that can and do occur without much warning.
All of the amenities listed below will be open by Dec. 15 unless otherwise noted:
- Lobby and restrooms only at the Canyon Visitor Education Center
- Geyser Grill and Bear Den Gift Shop
- Restrooms only at the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center
- Old Faithful Visitor Education Center – Opening TBD
Mammoth Hot Springs
- Mammoth Hotel & Cabins, Mammoth Hotel Map Room Barista/Bar, Dining Room, Mammoth Gift Shop and Ski Shop
- Mammoth General Store, medical clinic, campground, and post office – Open year-round
- Albright Visitor Center – Opening TBD
- 24-hour gasoline pumps at Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Junction, Canyon Village, Fishing Bridge, Grant Village, and Old Faithful – Open year-round
Warming huts for shelter from the frigid Yellowstone winter will be set up at Fishing Bridge, Indian Creek, Madison, Mammoth Hot Springs, Old Faithful, and West Thumb. Food, restrooms, and water will be available at some huts. Most of these huts will be open and operating by Dec. 15.
Permits for snowmobiling in the park are no longer available, but the park does allow a variety of activities such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.