Yellowstone National Park (YELL)is about to shut down completely to regular vehicle traffic. In fact, the park says October 31 will be the last day for visitors to drive most roads in the park. The culprit? Winter is coming…
Despite 2022 being a wildly irregular year in Yellowstone history, we can always count on America’s first national park to undergo mass change as the cold creeps in. Each year, YELL closes roads around the end of October in order to prepare them for the winter season, when the park becomes a snowmobile and snowcoach wonderland.
This year, snow-appropriate vehicles will take over the park on December 15. But in order for that to happen, Yellowstone has a whole lot of work to do.
As a result, the park closes nearly all roads to traditional vehicles, or anything other than a snowmobile or snowcoach. All West, South, and East entrances also close. 2022 will be no exception, and the last day for visitors to drive most roads will be Monday, Oct. 31,” the park tells Outsider with a media release that you can also view here.
In short: “The West, South and East entrances and nearly all roads in Yellowstone National Park will be closed to regular vehicle traffic Nov. 1,” park officials cite. Park roads that will be closed Nov. 1 include:
- Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris
- Norris to Canyon Village
- Canyon Village to Lake Village
- East Entrance to Lake Village (Sylvan Pass)
- Lake Village to West Thumb
- South Entrance to West Thumb
- West Thumb to Old Faithful (Craig Pass)
- Old Faithful to Madison
- West Entrance to Madison
- Madison to Norris
The popular Tower Junction to Canyon Junction (Dunraven Pass) would previously close for the season Oct. 21 due to inclement weather.
Yellowstone National Park’s North and Northeast Entrances will be Open Year-Round
Those still wishing to visit YELL will still be able to do so with a traditional vehicle, however. Just not from any of the entrances above. Instead, it’s the North Entrance in Gardiner, Montana, and the Northeast Entrance in Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana, that stay open year-round. Or, they do on any other year.
This year, though, the catastrophic Yellowstone Flood Event in June wiped out sections of these roads entirely. The drives to/from Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Junction and Lamar Valley became impossible as a result.
This year, the road between Tower Junction and the Northeast Entrance in Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana, reopened to regular traffic on Oct. 15. But the road between the North Entrance and Mammoth Hot Springs is still under construction. It will finally open to regular traffic no later than November 1, though, so we do have that to look forward to.
For more on the historic Yellowstone Flood Event, see our National Parks Journal: Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly Goes In-Depth on Park’s Historic Flooding next.