A popular national park is closed over winter conditions in May


Some national parks see their biggest rush of visitors come in for camping and summer hiking while others are more commonly associated with winter activities.Northern Alaska’s Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve is one of the country’s most remote and expensive national parks as trekking through the tundra requires planning and special equipment. While significantly less remote, Mount Rainier National Park is a popular choice for those seeking out winter sports like skiing, snowboarding and sledding.Related: National Park visitor becomes first to get arrested for this in 2024And sometimes, winter comes up at unexpected moments. The area comprising Yellowstone National Park, which spans Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, is experiencing a May snowstorm that has forced the closure of several roads leading into the park. Each year, Yellowstone attracts tens of thousands of visitors who come to spot wildlife such as elk and bison and see the Norris Geyser Basin reflecting prismatic colors.These are the parts closed due to ‘hazardous driving conditions’Between May 23 and 24, the East Entrance and road to Fishing Bridge Junction, the South Entrance leading up to Grant Village and the road between Canyon Village and Tower Fall have all been closed due to what the National Park Service (NPS) describes as “significant snowfall” and “hazardous driving conditions.”More Travel:A new travel term is taking over the internet (and reaching airlines and hotels)The 10 best airline stocks to buy nowAirlines see a new kind of traveler at the front of the plane“Anticipate additional road closures due to inclement weather and dangerous driving conditions,” the NPS writes. “Temporary travel restrictions or closures can occur at any time without notice. Have flexible travel plans and watch for quickly changing weather conditions. Roads and entrances will reopen once conditions improve.”Related: Here is why this national park trail is closed most days of the weekThis is when the NPS closes off national parksBetween May 22 and 23, the area of Southwest Montana leading up to Yellowstone saw up to 14 inches of snow and flurries at a period of the year that usually sees warm weather. According to Montana’s Highway Patrol, there were numerous crashes amid the bad driving conditions on Interstate 15 — including one of an overturned truck and several multi-car crashes along different stretches of the highway.When it comes to the parks, the NPS constantly monitors current conditions and closes off different sections of the park both due to inclement weather and to conduct repairs. Over in Tennessee and South Carolina, the 8-mile Cascades Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is currently closed off to visitors from Monday to Thursday until November as part of a trail restoration program meant to reverse erosion caused by frequent foot traffic.“Trail crews will repair tread surfaces, improve drainages, construct trail structures such as staircases, turnpikes, and retaining walls and remove trip hazards like exposed roots and rocks,” the NPS said in a statement on the closure. “The rehabilitation will improve overall trail safety and protect the park’s natural resources.” The less-visited North Rim of Grand Canyon is normally closed off for the winter due to its remoteness but reopened to visitors for the summer season lasting until Nov. 30 for day visits earlier this month. The camping season ends on Oct. 15 while day visitors can stop by until the end of November or when winter conditions make driving in unsafe — whichever comes first.Related: Veteran fund manager picks favorite stocks for 2024

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