As the snow melts and plowing begins, Yellowstone once again opens its roads to tourists and visitors. However, the west gate in Montana does open to vehicles until April 18th. This means cyclists and skaters enjoy free entry until then.
If you take the opportunity to enjoy this trip, you will go through the west entrance, to Madison Junction, and from there to Mammoth. Both of these locations offer beautiful scenery that changes with every season.
The Mammoth region is comprised of a series of colorful earthen terraces that turn to frozen mountains in the winter and thaw into a myriad of miniature waterfalls in the spring. The area also includes the Mammoth hotsprings. These hotsprings are the largest known carbonate-depositing springs in the world.
Madison Junction has its own natural colors with the nearby hydrothermal pools. Due to the mineral deposits of these pools, their colors range from deep turquoise to vibrant orange. The Madison Junction also has a visitor’s center which offers a wealth of information about the Yellowstone area. The center is just south of the volcanic Tuff Cliff.
April serves as an ideal time to visit any part of the expansive Yellowstone. If you make your way along the Fountain Flat Drive, you’ll see the bison herds enjoying their newest additions to the family. Try to get there in the evening when the baby bison are at their peak in newborn energy. It’s also the perfect time to spot bears as they make their way down from higher elevations to forage for food.