The only road generally open year-round to automobiles is from the North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, through the park to Cooke City, Montana (via Tower Junction). Most park roads are closed to regular vehicles from early November to late-April, and are open to limited oversnow travel (snowmobiles and snowcoaches) from mid-December to mid-March. When open, roads are not gated at night and people may enter/exit the park 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Yellowstone has five entrance stations, and it takes several hours to drive between them. Anticipate possible road closures, and check the road status of the entrance you intend to use before traveling.
Road & Entrance Status
For up-to-date information, check out the live road status map (above), view the drop-down lists (below), call (307) 344-2117 for recorded information, or sign up to receive Yellowstone road alerts on your mobile phone by texting 82190 to 888-777 (an automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions). Before traveling, it's also a good idea to:
North Entrance (Gardiner, MT) - CLOSED1 Although there is currently no vehicle access to the park at the North Entrance, Gardiner, MT is still accessible by US Highway 89 S.
Northeast Entrance (Cooke City & Silver Gate, MT) - CLOSED1 Although there is currently no vehicle access to the park at the Northeast Entrance, the Beartooth Highway/US-212 (located east of the Northeast Entrance between Red Lodge, MT, and Cooke City, MT) is open. The Chief Joseph Scenic Byway/WY-296 (located between Cody, WY, or Laurel, MT, and Cooke City, MT) is open.
East Entrance (Cody, WY) - OPEN
South Entrance (Grand Teton & Jackson, WY) - OPEN
West Entrance (West Yellowstone, MT) - OPEN
1 Visitors may still access the park on foot and bicycle through the North and Northeast entrances in order to recreate (fish and hike) in areas not identified as closed.
From the North Entrance, pedestrians and bicyclists can travel 1 mile to the Rescue Creek Trailhead.
From the Northeast Entrance, pedestrians and bicyclists can travel 2 miles to the Warm Creek Trailhead.
North Loop (Mammoth to Norris, Canyon Village to Tower-Roosevelt, & Tower-Roosevelt to Mammoth) - OPEN
North Entrance Road (Gardiner, MT to Mammoth Hot Springs) - CLOSED
Northeast Entrance Road (Cooke City, MT & Silver Gate, MT to Tower-Roosevelt) - CLOSED1
South Loop (Norris to Canyon Village to Fishing Bridge to West Thumb to Madison to Norris) - OPEN
Hwy 191 - OPEN with delays
An estimated 4,800 gallons of unleaded fuel spilled as a result of a fuel truck rolling over on August 19. Currently, the southbound lane of the highway is blocked but is passable in both directions with traffic control in place. Motorists should anticipate delays.
1 As of September 8, visitors no longer need a Slough Creek Day-use Ticket in order to drive the section of road between Tower Junction and Slough Creek.
It's important to be aware of all planned construction projects, as they can cause major traffic delays throughout the park. Drive slowly through road construction and be alert to workers, heavy equipment, wildlife, and other hazards. The following road improvement projects may affect your visit to Yellowstone:
Roads close to regular vehicles on the following dates:
November 1: All roads close at 12:01 am except the road between the North Entrance and the Northeast Entrance.
October 11: The Beartooth Highway (US-212) closes between the Long Lake barricade, near the Top of the World store, and the Montana/Wyoming state line.
Travel east of Cooke City, Montana, on US-212 to Chief Joseph Scenic Byway (WY-296) is possible until early November. Check at WY DOT.
2022-2023 Winter Opening Dates
Conditions permitting, roads will open to oversnow travel by snowmobile and snowcoach at 8 am on the following date:
December 15: West Entrance to Old Faithful, Mammoth to Old Faithful, Canyon to Norris, Canyon to Lake, Old Faithful to West Thumb, South Entrance to Lake, Lake to Lake Butte Overlook, East Entrance to Lake Butte Overlook (Sylvan Pass)
2023 Winter Closing Dates
Roads will close to oversnow travel by snowmobile and snowcoach at 9 pm on the following dates:
March 5: Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris
March 7: Norris to Madison and Norris to Canyon Village
March 12: Canyon Village to Fishing Bridge
March 15: All remaining groomed roads close
2023 Spring Opening Dates
Roads will open at 8 am on the following dates (conditions permitting):
April 21: West Entrance to Madison Junction, Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful, Norris to Canyon Village
May 5: East Entrance to Lake Village (Sylvan Pass), Canyon Village to Lake Village
May 12: South Entrance to West Thumb, Lake Village to West Thumb, West Thumb to Old Faithful (Craig Pass), Tower Junction to Tower Fall
May 26: Tower Fall to Canyon Junction (Dunraven Pass), Beartooth Highway (US-212)*
TBD: Between Cooke City, MT, on US-212 to Chief Joseph Scenic Byway (WY-296)*
*see below for more info on these roads outside the park's Northeast Entrance
Roads Outside the Northeast Entrance
After initial opening, weather causes occasional closures. Please check locally or at WY DOT and MT DOT before traveling.
US-212, Cooke City to Red Lodge, Montana
Open the Friday of Memorial Day weekend to mid-October.
Chief Joseph Scenic Byway
WY-296, Cooke City, Montana, to Cody, Wyoming, or Laurel, Montana
Open year-round to from WY-120 to Pilot Creek Parking Lot (4 miles toward Cooke City from the junction of WY-296/US-212). In winter, 9 miles of road are closed to wheeled vehicles (oversnow travel only) from Cooke City to Pilot Creek. This segment of road is open to wheeled vehicles mid-May through early November. Please check locally or at WY DOT.