Note the article below is wrong about the opening date of most of the Park’s interior roads. It is not March 2, but April 20.
I am at Yellowstone Park right now. It is April 11, and the snow on the Park’s northern range is deeper than I have ever seen it by far, even in late February. The bison and elk are dropping over. Most of the elk have fled the Park and are doing fine on public and private ground near Paradise Valley. The bison leave the Park and are quickly loaded up by Montana DOL and hauled off to slaughter.
Finally, on Saturday the first real warming is predicted. A little bit of grass is starting to grow on some of the Park road edges. North of Mammoth on the Park’s only winter true range, all the vegetation that can be eaten is gone. The snow is mostly gone though too. The grass is coming up everywhere, but it is perhaps 1/8 of an inch high. Pronghorn, which seem to be doing OK, are everywhere eating it as well as elk and a few bison who luckily have not crossed into Montana’s “kill all bison quick zone.”
The snow in the Lamar is so deep you can’t photograph over many of the plowed banks. Elk are hanging on by standing on south-facing slopes where the wind thinned the snowpack, and has now melted.
The few remaining bison (100 or so?) lie in the snow too weak to eat or stagger down the road looking for the occasional blade of new grass.
Amazingly we saw two whitetail deer at the Yellowstone River bridge just past Tower Junction! How did they get there and survive?
Heavy snow breaking plows in Yellowstone. By Cory Hatch. Jackson Hole News and Guide.