Officials with Yellowstone National Park have announced the park will open to the public, as scheduled, this Saturday. According to a media release from the National Park Service, visitors can check out some of the park's offerings as early as 7 a.m. Saturday morning.
Tourists and residents alike can drive a snowmobile or snowcoach, commercially guided or personally owned, through the park's interior road system. Travel through Yellowstone's east entrance over Sylvan Pass is scheduled to begin December 22.
The road from the northern entrance to Yellowstone via Gardiner, Montana through Mammoth Hot Springs and on to Cooke City, Montana is open to wheeled vehicle travel all year.
The Old Faithful Visitor Education Center, the Geyser Grill and the the Bear Den Gift Shop will also open for the season this Saturday. Cabins and lodging at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge, as well as the Obsidian Dining Room, will be available beginning December 18.
Park staff members say they will continue to closely monitor road conditions and weather forecasts, but that visitors should be reminded Yellowstone's winter weather is extremely unpredictable and road closures or delays can occur with little to no warning. Staff suggests visitors come prepared by carrying personal emergency survival equipment in their vehicles and dressing appropriately for outside activities in extremely cold weather.
For more information, visit Yellowstone National Park's official website at www.nps.gov/yell.