That was a quick winter. I mean, it must be near its end, for Yellowstone National Park officials have announced their spring road plowing plans.
As of 9 p.m. this coming Sunday, March 2, groomed roads from Mammoth to Norris will be closed to snowmobiles and snowcoaches, followed by the closure of the stretch from Norris to Madison and then Norris to Canyon at 9:00 p.m., on Tuesday, March 4. All remaining groomed roads will close to over-snow vehicles at 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 9. The road from the North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, to Cooke City, Montana, at the park's Northeast Entrance, is open all year to automobiles, weather permitting.
Visitor facilities will also close for the winter season according to the following schedule:
Saturday, March 1
Last night for lodging at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel
Sunday, March 2
Mammoth Hot Springs Dining Room closes after breakfast
Mammoth and Indian Creek warming huts and Mammoth fuel station close at 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 8
Last night for lodging at Old Faithful Snow Lodge
Sunday, March 9
Old Faithful Snow Lodge Dining Room closes after breakfast
Old Faithful Geyser Grill & Gift Shop close after dinner
The following facilities will close at 5:00 p.m.: warming huts at Madison, Canyon, Fishing Bridge, Old Faithful and West Thumb; fuel stations at Old Faithful, Fishing Bridge and Canyon; and the Old Faithful Visitor Center.
At Mammoth, the Yellowstone General Store, clinic, campground, and Albright Visitor Center are open all year.
Plowing operations will begin this Friday on the road from Tower Junction to Tower Fall to allow for administrative travel in order to conduct rehabilitation of the Tower Fall restrooms. The plowing of this segment will affect cross-country skiing access to the Lost Lake Trail and the Tower Fall/Chittenden Loop. Although no public vehicle access will be allowed, the road will be accessible on foot or bicycle. Please watch for falling rock along this segment of road.
The road beyond the Tower Fall Store will not be open to bicycles until conditions allow, after May 8.
Weather permitting, the roads will begin opening again to vehicles on Friday, April 18, from Mammoth to Old Faithful; Madison to the West Entrance and Norris to Canyon. The roads from Canyon to Lake and from Lake to the East Entrance are scheduled to open on Friday, May 2; Lake to the South Entrance and West Thumb to Old Faithful, Tower to Tower Fall on Friday, May 9; and Tower Fall to Canyon over Dunraven Pass on Friday, May 23.