Yellowstone's Winter Ending - Now It's All Eyes on Summer

Yellowstone’s Winter Ending – Now It’s All Eyes on Summer

Written by on March 2, 2023

By 9 p.m. on March 15, three of Yellowstone National Park’s five entrances will close as the park clears snow and prepares for the impending eruption of summer tourism.

It’s that time of year again. While most of Wyoming is still in the clutches of a relentless winter, Yellowstone National Park has its sights set on summer. Unfortunately, this means most of its sights and sites will be inaccessible until late April – at the earliest.

As the winter season at Yellowstone concludes, 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.

Yellowstone Lower Falls from Lookout Point in winter

Courtesy NPS & Jacob Frank

Yellowstone will start wrapping up its winter season on March 5. By March 15 at 9 p.m., most park roads and South, West, & East entrances will be closed.

Park officials have set the following dates for road and entrance closures.

  • March 5: Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris
  • March 7: Norris to Madison, Norris to Canyon Village
  • March 12: Canyon Village to Fishing Bridge Junction
  • March 15: South, West, and East entrances and all remaining roads

These roads are already impassable to most vehicles. Oversnow vehicles like snowmobiles and snowcoaches are the only vehicle traffic in the park during the winter season.

Several amenities will also close for winter. The following will be closed at Mammoth Hot Springs on March 5:

At Old Faithful, several amenities will be open through March 15. However, the Snow Lodge and Cabins at Old Faithful will be open through March 4.

  • Bear Den Gift Shop
  • Geyser Grill
  • Old Faithful Visitor Education Center

Warming huts throughout the park will have staggered closings between March 5 and 15.

Courtesy Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate – 

Weather permitting, some park roads and entrances will open to the public on April 21 at 8 a.m.

Traditionally, the West Entrance is the first to open for summer. The East and South Entrances take longer to clear because of their terrain and length.

The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, through Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Junction to Cooke City, Montana, remains open to automobiles all year, weather permitting.

Visitors driving to and in the park this time of year, should have flexible travel plans and prepare for changing weather conditions. Temporary travel restrictions or closures can occur at any time. To view the current status of park roads:

  • Visit Yellowstone’s website at park roads.
  • Receive Yellowstone road alerts on your mobile phone by texting “82190” to 888-777 (an automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions).
  • Call 307-344-2117 for recorded information.

At Mammoth Hot Springs, the Albright Visitor Center, Yellowstone General Store, post office, medical clinic, and self-service fuel pumps stay open all year. Self-service fuel pumps are also available at the Tower-Roosevelt Service Station year-round.

Learn more about area-specific spring reopening dates.

Visit the park website or download the National Park Service app for more information.

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