When planning your trip to Yellowstone this year, keep in mind that the park opens on a staggered basis, so it takes a few weeks to ramp up to full summer mode.
The northern part of the park is open year round from Cooke City to Mammoth. However, the road is not plowed from Cooke City to the Wyoming border, so while we can give you wildlife tours that take you along the highly scenic Chief Joseph Highway to look for wolves, bears and other spring wildlife, we can’t get to Cooke City or the Beartooth Highway until those roads are plowed. That usually happens at the end of May.
The interior of Yellowstone is scheduled to open up this year on April 21. However only the North and West Entrance Gates will open that day (weather permitting).
The East Gate opens next on May 5 and the following week they will aim to have the South Gate open as well as Craig Pass, the road between West Thumb and Old Faithful (weather permitting).
The following week they hope to have Dunraven Pass in Yellowstone opened up by May 19. And one week later, open up the Beartooth Highway for traffic. Though as always - weather permitting.
SUMMER 2017: Spring Road Opening Dates
• April 21: Mammoth to Old Faithful; Madison to West Entrance; Norris to Canyon.
• May 5: Canyon Junction to Lake; Lake to East Entrance (Sylvan Pass).
• May 12: Lake to West Thumb, West Thumb to Old Faithful (Craig Pass), and South Entrance to West Thumb; Tower Junction to Tower Fall.
• May 26: Tower Fall to Canyon Junction (Dunraven Pass)
• May 26: Beartooth Highway
The park service maintains a page with current road information that not only lets you know what entrances are open, but also where construction is happening.
Give us a call and we can help plan out your vacation tour package to make sure you come at the time that allows you to see the best of the greater Yellowstone area.