Yellowstone’s East Entrance opens for season Friday, May 6
by Yellowstone National Park
May 3, 2011
The East Entrance to Yellowstone National Park opens for automobile travel at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, May 6, allowing early spring visitors access to Fishing Bridge and Canyon. The road from the park’s North and West Entrances to Madison, Canyon and Old Faithful opened as scheduled on April 15.
Roads from Lake south to West Thumb, Grant Village and the South Entrance are scheduled to open May 13. Craig Pass, which connects the east side of the Grand Loop Road to Old Faithful is also closed until at least May 13 due to heavy snowfall. Visitors should allow extra travel time if traveling to the Old Faithful area from the east side of the park.
In addition, no access will be available over Dunraven Pass from Canyon to Tower Falls until roads are cleared, with opening scheduled for May 27. The road from Gardiner, Montana, through the park's North Entrance to Mammoth Hot Springs to Cooke City, Montana, is open to automobiles all year, weather permitting. The Northeast Entrance through Beartooth Pass is scheduled to open May 28.
Limited visitor services are available at this time of year, but some facilities are currently open at Old Faithful, Canyon, and Mammoth. For information on facility opening dates, please visit
Visitors should be aware that spring in Yellowstone is very unpredictable and often brings cold temperatures, high winds and falling snow. Even cleared sections of roads can be narrow and covered with a layer of snow, ice and debris. Drivers should use extreme caution as road clearing operations can be ongoing at any time throughout the park. In the case of extreme weather conditions, temporary road closures are also possible with little or no advance warning. Due to the deep snow, walking on trails including those along the Canyon Rim or on boardwalks through thermal areas may also be difficult or impossible for several more weeks.
Each spring, Yellowstone National Park crews clear snow and ice from 198 miles of main road, 124 miles of secondary roads and 125 acres of parking lots inside the park as well as 31 miles of the Beartooth Highway outside the park’s Northeast Entrance to prepare for the summer season.
Updated Yellowstone National Park road information is available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.
For information on roads outside of the park from Cooke City over Colter Pass to the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway, travelers in Wyoming may dial 511; those outside of Wyoming may call 1-888-996-7623, or visit the Wyoming Department of Transportation website at http://www.wyoroad.info/.
For information on the Beartooth Highway to Red Lodge, Montana, travelers in Montana may dial 511; those outside Montana may call 1-800-226-7623, or visit the Montana Department of Transportation website at http://mdt511.com/.