Yellowstone National Park's Winter Season Needs Help From Predicted Storm

Without a predicted weekend storm, snowmobilers hoping to head into Yellowstone next week could be grounded.

Yellowstone National Park is scheduled to open its winter season on Monday, and a storm forecast for this weekend could give the park a big boost in terms of snow cover. Without additional snow, the season might open without enough of the white stuff for snowmobiling.

Right now the park plans to open its South, West and North entrances on Monday, but "if the current limited snowpack on park roads does not significantly improve this weekend, access to the interior of the park may be temporarily limited to certain types of vehicles."

"Starting Monday, rubber tracked snowcoaches will be allowed on all park roads normally groomed for motorized oversnow travel," park officials said in a release. "Absent significant snowpack, permitted winter outfitters would also be allowed to temporarily operate wheeled vehicles equipped with snow tires and chains from the park’s North and West entrances through Madison Junction to Old Faithful. Private wheeled vehicle access to the interior of the park will not be permitted."

That said, the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the park beginning this evening and continuing through Saturday. That forecast says a foot or more of snow could fall on portions of the park this weekend.

Updated Yellowstone National Park road information is available 24 hours a day by calling (307) 344-2117.