East Entrance at Yellowstone

Cars come through the East Entrance at Yellowstone National Park in this June 13, 2018, file photo.

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Most roads in Yellowstone National Park will close to cars this weekend, meaning it’s the last chance visitors will have to drive to some of the park’s most famous spots.

Yellowstone officials announced this week that the west, south and east entrances will close to vehicles at 12:01 a.m. on Monday. The roads running from those entrances to spots like Old Faithful, Canyon Village and Yellowstone Lake will be closed to cars.

The park closes the roads every year to ready them for a winter of snowmobiles and snowcoaches. The winter season will begin Dec. 15.

The exception is the north entrance near Gardiner and the road from Mammoth Hot Springs to Cooke City. That road stays open to cars year-round, but travel east of Cooke City is impossible from late fall to spring because a portion of the highway is closed to cars.

The fishing season in Yellowstone also closes this weekend.

Yellowstone has already had a record-breaking year, with more than 4.4 million recreational visits through the month of September.

October is typically the last big month of the year, but visitation stats aren’t available yet for this year. More than 350,000 recreational visits were counted in October 2020.

November and December are typically much slower, in part because of the road closures.

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