Yellowstone roads begin opening Friday

Another harbinger of summer’s approach arrives this week: the opening of roads in Yellowstone National Park.

The park announced this week that three of its most-used road stretches are scheduled to open to cars on Friday — from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful, from Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful, and from Norris to Canyon Village. The road from Mammoth to Cooke City is already open.

The opening of the roads will be subject to weather. Also this weekend, entrance fees will be waived Saturday.

Roads farther inside the park’s interior have later opening dates.

The roads to Lake Village won’t open until next month. Both the road from the East Entrance and from Canyon Village to Lake Village are scheduled to open on May 3.

Visitors hoping to drive to Yellowstone Lake from either Old Faithful or the park’s south entrance won’t be able to do so until the middle of May. Those roads are scheduled to open May 10.

The final road to open is the path from Tower Fall to Canyon Village, over Dunraven Pass. That road is scheduled to open May 24, as is the Beartooth Highway.

Construction was scheduled to begin this week on part of the road from Norris to Mammoth. Road work has been occurring there for the past few years. The park’s website said visitors should expect up to 30-minute delays between Roaring Mountain and Apollinaris Spring.

Road work will also take place from Fishing Bridge to Indian Pond beginning in May.

Yellowstone is coming off its fourth consecutive year with more than 4 million visits. Already, park statisticians have recorded more than 94,000 visits this year.

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