The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, through Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Junction, the Lamar Valley, and on to Cooke City, Montana, is open to wheeled vehicle travel all year.
All entrance fees, including commercial tour entrance fees and transportation entrance fees, will be waived at all National Park Service sites over the Veteran’s Day weekend. Free admission is offered to all visitors, not just to veterans or military personnel. This annual fee free day was established in 2006.
Active duty members of the U.S. military and their dependents can also pick up a free Military Pass, which provides free entry to all 398 national parks for one year. Active duty members of the U.S. military must show a current, valid military identification card (CAC card), and dependents of active duty military must show a current, valid dependent identification card (DD Form 1173) to obtain their pass. More information is available at www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm.
Yellowstone has a long and proud association with our nation’s military. After struggling for years with limited staff and budget in an effort to thwart souvenir hunters and poachers in Yellowstone’s early years, the U.S. Army was called upon to protect the park in 1886.
During the 32 years the U.S. Army was present in the park, it set the tone for conservation and protection of special places like Yellowstone, which still guides the uniformed members of the National Park Service to this day. Among the most visible reminders of the military presence in the park are the stone and tile roofed structures of Fort Yellowstone in Mammoth Hot Springs, which are still used by the park for administration and residences. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the historic fort all year long.
Additional information on the military era and on Fort Yellowstone can be found online at http://www.nps.gov/yell/historyculture/ftyell.htm.