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Home National & State Parks Yellowstone All Yellowstone Entrances and Roads Now Open, But Construction Will Mean Delays for Park Visitors

All Yellowstone Entrances and Roads Now Open, But Construction Will Mean Delays for Park Visitors

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Dunraven Pass in Yellowstone National Park opened May 21, signaling all of the park's entrances and roads are now open for the 2010 season, but rangers caution spring visitors to be prepared for a wide range of winter and spring weather conditions, including temporary road closures.

As many Yellowstone visitors know, some type of road construction is always in progress inside the park, however increased visitor traffic over the years has taken a toll on roads. Additionally, harsh winter weather and short construction seasons provide additional challenges for road crews.

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Approximately 80 percent of main park roads (about 185 miles) are in a structurally deficient state, with poor quality road bases failing under the weight, speed, and volume of modern traffic for which they were not designed.

The National Park Service is working to make major infrastructure improvements under a 20-year, $300 million Federal Lands Highway Program for Yellowstone National Park.

For 2010, visitors can expect construction projects (and delays) in the following areas:

  • Norris-Madison: Gibbon Canyon
  • East Entrance Road: Sylvan Pass
  • Beartooth Highway (US 212): Clay Butte Lookout over Beartooth to Montana State Line
  • South Rim of the Grand Canyon (mostly in June)
  • Northeast Entrance Road (Lamar Bridge - Autumn)
  • All Summer: Expect road improvement projects on many of the major travel routes to Yellowstone Park entrances from Montana and Wyoming

Due to construction through the Gibbon Canyon between Norris and Madison, visitors can expect up to 30-minute delays through Oct. 20. This section of road will also be closed to travel between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. every night until Sept. 1.

There will be no daytime delays or overnight closures due to construction on any park road project during the upcoming 2010 Memorial Day weekend, rangers said.

Work on a one-mile section of the road through Sylvan Pass may result in traffic delays on the East Entrance road of up to 30-minutes this year. Construction is expected to begin sometime between May 15 and June 1.

Outside of the park's Northeast Entrance, the road from Cooke City, Montana, to Cody, Wyoming, via the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway and Sunlight Basin Road, is open for the season, although weather conditions could force temporary closures.

For more information, 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/.

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.

Limited visitor services are available at this time of year, but some facilities are currently open at Old Faithful, Canyon, and Mammoth.

For more road information, including what roads are open during each season, visit the park's Operating Hours and Seasons page at
www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/hours.htm . Call the 24-hour Current Road Report hotline at (307) 344-2117 for the latest information on conditions affecting roads within the park.

Also, motorcyclists are advised to use extreme caution on loose gravel in areas of construction.

In addition to the major construction listed, rangers noted that park road repair crews will be working in other areas of the park throughout this and subsequent seasons.

Yellowstone actually is open every day of the year.

Most entrances (except the North and North East entrances) close in November while roads are being prepared for the winter season and again in the late March and early April months to clear the roads for the summer season. Interior park roads are only open to over-snow vehicles during the winter season.

Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is America's first national park.


 
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