Yellowstone National Park’s Winter Closures Are Coming — What to Know for Your Next Visit

The park will start closing roads on Nov. 1 to prepare for the winter season.

<p>JurgaR/Getty Images</p>

JurgaR/Getty Images

Yellowstone National Park will close most roads next month as the park prepares for the winter.

The park, which straddles Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, will close the West, South, and East entrances to regular vehicle traffic on Nov. 1. The park will also close nearly all roads, according to the National Park Service.

Along with the annual winter-related closure, the NPS said snowmobile and snowcoach travel will kick off on Dec. 15.

While most roads close, some remain open year-round between the North entrance in Gardiner, Montana, and the Northeast entrance in Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana (via Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Junction, and Lamar Valley).

Additionally, the NPS said “all communities near Yellowstone are open year-round, with local businesses offering a wide range of fall and winter recreation opportunities.”

Travelers who do plan to drive around the park in the winter should expect possible road closures due to bad weather, anticipate temporary travel restrictions or closures without notice, and be flexible with their plans, according to the NPS. Visitors can check the park’s live road map for up-to-date conditions or sign up for road alerts by texting “82190” to 888-777.

Driving around Yellowstone may be a bit harder in the winter, but there are plenty of reasons to visit thanks to fewer crowds, winter activities like snowshoeing and snowmobiling, and the chance to watch Old Faithful erupt surrounded by fresh snow.

Yellowstone isn’t the only national park to close off roads during the winter. The Grand Canyon’s North Rim also closed to overnight visitors this month ahead of winter and the NPS said the entrance gate on State Route 67 will close at sunset on Nov. 30 or after the first major snowstorm, whichever is first.

Glacier National Park also closes sections of its famous Going-to-the-Sun Road to vehicles in the winter, but visitors can cross-country ski or snowshoe on the popular stretch.

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