The east gate to Yellowstone National Park is scheduled to open for the season Friday morning, but motorists from Cody should be aware they may face a 30-minute delay due to construction before reaching the heart of the Park.
While the east entrance is scheduled to open, there is a potential for weather disruption. Cody has experienced snowfall this week and a late snow could sidetrack plans of drivers.
Sylvan Pass, at 8,524 feet, some 20 miles into the Park, is always susceptible to receiving a storm.
Park Service officials recommend visitors check Yellowstone weather reports and road conditions before venturing into the nation’s oldest national park.
The East Entrance closed earlier than normal in 2018 because of construction at Fishing Bridge. Work continues with nearby Indian Pond road construction. This will create the threat of delay for drivers before they get far into the Park.
Weather does have the potential to interfere with plans this weekend.
“We are expecting snow and cold temperatures the next few days, so visitors should check the road status before coming,” a Park spokesperson said.
Roads from the west gate to Madison Junction, Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful, and Norris to Canyon Village, opened in mid-April.
Besides the east gate opening Friday, the road between Canyon Village and Lake Village is scheduled to open that day.
In another lead-up to the summer season, Park officials suggest those preparing for the boating season, which begins May 25, be advised there is a temporary ban on watercraft with sealed internal ballast tanks.
“Boats with sealed internal water ballast tanks are extremely difficult to clean and drain, even with our rigorous inspection and decontamination efforts,” said Sue Mills, the aquatic invasive species coordinator in the Park.
She noted about two dozen such boats came into Yellowstone last year and while that not seem like many, Mills said “we believe the ban is prudent because they pose a high risk of AIS transmission into Park waters.”