Yellowstone’s original entrance in Gardiner, Montana, and the only one open year-round, is framed by the Roosevelt Arch. While all the literature points out this entrance is the only one open all year, few state why. The annual snowfall in Gardiner approximates 30 inches, while the rest of the Park averages 150 to 400 inches, depending on elevation. And once entering the Park from Gardiner you’ll be met with closed roads during the winter over much of the Park. So schedule a Snowcoach tour and do your homework if you’re planning to see Yellowstone during the winter (a highly recommended journey).
The arch was erected as the formal entrance to the Park in 1903 since most visitors arrived via the Northern Pacific Railroad’s nearby stop in Cinnabar, Montana. Stagecoaches made the remaining short trek to Gardiner. I cannot imagine arriving there by railroad. I cannot imagine arriving there by any means of transportation of the day. The ground boils beneath you while the mountains always coddle snow on top. Were it not for modern climate control’s tempering of these extremes, conditions would be brutal most anytime of the year.
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