Yellowstone National Park Opens For Winter Season - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Yellowstone National Park Opens For Winter Season

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Yellowstone National Park is officially open for the winter season.

As of Monday, people were able to travel the park's interior roads on commercially guided snowmobiles or snowcoaches.

Philip Chiaviello and his wife just moved to Montana. On Monday, they were excited to cross-country ski on the Upper Terrace of Mammoth Hot Springs.

"There's a nice hill on this ski run that is a lot of fun," said Chiaviello.

He said every year he looks forward to the winter season in the park.

"The conditions are great," said Chiaviello. "The area is groomed and it's a nice place to ski in various conditions.

Spokesman, Al Nash said opening day was fairly quiet this year.

"Whether it falls on a weekend or week day, the beginning of the season is not usually very active," said Nash.

The park is getting ready for its new winter rules. The park is in a transition year, so Nash said the snowmobile and snowcoach rules will be similar to the rules the park has had for the last few years.

"People will have the same guided opportunities on the snowmobiles and snowcoaches," said Nash. "It's really next winter season that we see all the changes."

Beginning next winter, the park will not count individual snowmobiles or snow coaches. Instead, they will regulate traffic as "transportation events." Each event is either one snowcoach or a group of up to 10 snowmobiles.

"We're looking at snowmobiles and snowcoaches as a way people come into the park," said Nash.

Nash said the change will benefit everyone.

"We will have something stable that people can count on," said Nash. "If machines get cleaner and quieter, we have the opportunity to increase the number of people who visit the park in the winter."

Mammoth Hot Springs hotel, dining room and gift shop will open for the season on Friday.

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