From Staff Reports - Yellowstone
National Park kicks off
its winter season as scheduled Saturday, operating under the same management
plan as last year.
Beginning at 7 a.m. Dec. 15, visitors can travel the park's
interior roads on commercially guided snowmobiles or snowcoaches from the
North, West and South Entrances.
Travel through the park's East Entrance over Sylvan Pass
is scheduled to begin Dec. 22, according to a statement released Wednesday by
the park's public affairs office.
The road from the park's North Entrance at Gardiner,
MT, through Mammoth Hot Springs, WY, and on to
Cooke City, MT, outside the park's Northeast Entrance,
is open to autos all year.
At Old Faithful, the Geyser Grill, the Bear Den Gift Shop
and the Old Faithful
Center open for the
season on Dec. 15. The Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins and the Obsidian
Dining Room open on Dec. 18.
The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, dining room and gift shop
open for the season on Dec. 20. In Mammoth Hot Springs, the Yellowstone General
Store, medical clinic, campground, post office and Albright Visitor
Center are open
year-round, as are the 24-hour gasoline pumps at Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower
All communities around and on the way to Yellowstone
are open year-round, with local businesses offering a wide range of winter
recreation opportunities. Extensive information and assistance for planning a visit to
Yellowstone during the winter is on the park's website.
Winter weather in Yellowstone
is unpredictable and road closures or delays can occur with little or no
warning. Visitors are reminded to come prepared by carrying personal emergency
survival equipment in their vehicles and dressing appropriately for outside
activities in extremely cold weather.
Winter use in Yellowstone
this season is being managed under an operating plan much in the same manner as
has been permitted the last three winters. Under the rule, up to 318
commercially guided, best-available technology snowmobiles and up to 78
commercially guided snow coaches will be allowed into the park each day.
In early 2013, the National Park Service intends to issue a
final supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and a proposed rule to guide
long-term winter use in Yellowstone, which
should take effect in time for the 2013-14 winter season.