Visitors to Yellowstone National Park will be able to enjoy motorized oversnow beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 15.

Commercially-guided snowmobiles and snowcoaches from the North, West and South Entrances are very popular. Some visitors with the proper permits can also snowmobile in the park without guides.

Travel through the park's East Entrance over Sylvan Pass is set to begin Dec. 22.

And while there are plenty of options for motorized snow travel, the road from the park's North Entrance at Gardiner, Mont., through Mammoth Hot Springs to Cooke City, Mont., remains open to wheeled vehicle travel year-round.

Park officials remind folks that winter weather in Yellowstone is extremely unpredictable. Road closures or delays can occur with little or no warning.

Visitors should carry emergency survival equipment and dress appropriately.

Most stores, restaurants, campgrounds and lodges close during winter. But, on the other hand, some amenities open just for the season. Here's a short list:

  • Old Faithful
    • Dec. 15 -- Old Faithful Visitor Education Center, Geyser Grill and Bear Den (including the ski shop)
    • Dec. 16 -- Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins and Obsidian Dining Room
  • Mammoth Hot Springs
    • Dec. 16 -- Terrace Grill, Ski Shop
    • Albright Visitor Center, Yellowstone General Store, 24-hour gas pumps, medical clinic, campground and post office are all open year-round
  • Tower Junction
    • 24-hour gas pumps open year-round

A number of warming huts provide shelter throughout the park. Some are staffed during business hours, and food, water and restrooms are available.