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Beartooth Highway Among Memorial Day Weekend Routes Still Closed, Yellowstone Travelers Should Prepare For Sun, Rain, or Snow

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A season of unusually heavy snowfall is making access to Yellowstone more challenging than normal this Memorial Day holiday weekend.

For the first time since 2005, the Beartooth Highway will not open in time for the holiday weekend.

Each year, Yellowstone crews plow 31 miles of the famed, scenic highway linking the communities of Cooke City and Red Lodge, Montana. But this year the road was buried under more than 25 feet of snow in some spots, pushing back the plowing schedule as crews worked to open other park entrances on schedule. Crews are working to open the road to travel on Friday, June 3.

Unstable snow conditions and the threat of snow slides also continue to limit travel on the East Entrance road through Sylvan Pass to between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m.

The clearing of Dunraven Pass has been pushed back two weeks. The road between Canyon Village and Tower Fall is now expected to open Friday, June 10, weather permitting.

All other entrances and interior roads in Yellowstone National Park are open for the season, including the road that connects the Northeast Entrance to the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway and Cody, Wyoming.

A short delay may be encountered at Sedge Bay on the road between Fishing Bridge and the East Entrance. Park crews are also monitoring a section of road south of Canyon Village, where erosion has prompted some temporary closures in recent days. Drivers should exercise caution in these areas and follow marked lane closure signs. The road between Old Faithful and West Thumb over Craig Pass remains subject to temporary closures due to snow. There are no delays due to park road work or road construction. Updated Yellowstone National Park road information is available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.

Many seasonal visitor services are open for the Memorial Day weekend. Details and current conditions are available online at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit, by consulting the park newspaper handed out at entrance stations, or by asking the staff at visitor centers and information stations in and near the park.

Bridge Bay Campground is set to open on schedule Friday, with visitors advised to be prepared for snowy conditions. Norris Campground is also expected to open Friday, a week later than scheduled. Slough Creek Campground will not open Friday as scheduled. Updated information on campgrounds and lodging is available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2114.

The National Weather Service forecast for the weekend calls for cloudy skies and a chance of rain or snow showers every day, with highs in the 40s to mid 50s, and overnight lows ranging from the mid 20s to near freezing.

Spring visitors to the park are encouraged to have flexible travel plans, and be prepared for a wide range of winter and spring weather conditions. Snow remains on many trails and boardwalks which may limit access in some areas.

For information on roads outside of the park, travelers in Wyoming may dial 511; those outside of Wyoming may call 888-996-7623, or visit the Wyoming Department of Transportation website at http://www.wyoroad.info. Travelers in Montana may dial 511; those outside Montana may call 800-226-7623, or visit the Montana Department of Transportation website at http://mdt511.com/.

All communities near and on the way to Yellowstone are open all year, with local communities and businesses offering a wide range of recreation opportunities and activities for visitors to the region.

Information on lodging, camping, services, and activities near the park in Montana including the communities of Gardiner, West Yellowstone, and Cooke City, is available by contacting their respective Chambers of Commerce or from Travel Montana at 800-847-4868 or http://visitmt.com/.

Information on visiting Wyoming including the communities of Cody and Jackson is available from their Chambers of Commerce, or by contacting Wyoming Travel and Tourism at 800-225-5996, or on the web at http://www.wyomingtourism.org/.

Idaho travel information is available by calling the Idaho Tourism Division at 800-VISITID or online at http://www.visitidaho.org.
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