Some roads and services in Yellowstone National Park will open for the spring at 8 a.m. Friday, according to a news release from the park.

Each spring, the park clears snow and ice from about 320 miles of roads and the Beartooth Highway -- U.S. Highway 212 -- outside the park’s Northeast Entrance in preparation for the summer season.

Springtime in Yellowstone means fewer crowds, opportunities for hiking at lower elevations, and skiing or snowshoeing at higher elevations. Wildlife viewing includes bison calving, bears recently emerged from dens, bull elk antlers in velvet, and the arrival of migratory birds.

These roads will be opened Friday:

  • West Entrance to Madison.
  • Madison to Old Faithful.
  • Madison to Norris.
  • Norris to Canyon Village.
  • Norris to Roaring Mountain.
  • Mammoth Hot Springs to Willow Park.
  • North Entrance to Mammoth Hot Springs to Northeast Entrance (open year-round)

However, the road between Mammoth Hot Springs and Norris will remain closed until it is safe. A road construction area about five miles between Willow Park and Roaring Mountain is  unpaved, deeply rutted, and muddy. Construction crews are working to improve the area.

Park officials urge visitors who want to see Old Faithful and Canyon to use the road from the West Entrance until the road construction area opens.

You can find updated road conditions on the park website; at Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, Canyon Village, and West Yellowstone visitor centers; and by calling (307) 344-2117. To receive Yellowstone road alerts on your mobile phone, text "82190" to 888-777 (an automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions).

For available services, visit Operating Hours & Seasons.

In other park news, entrance fees will be waived Saturday to celebrate National Park Week.

The park also offers a new, alternative method to buy digital annual and seven-day entrance passes online at YourPassNow. Besides paying fees in-person upon arrival, visitors can use a personal device to purchase entrance passes at no additional cost. Once purchased, passes are emailed and can be used immediately, stored on a personal device, or printed for future use.

More From Y95 Country