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Velvet shadow

A bull elk's antlers, still in velvet, provide a striking contrast to green aspen leaves.

Beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 19, select roads and services in Yellowstone National Park will open for the season, weather permitting.

To celebrate National Park Week, entrance fees will be waived on Saturday, April 20.

Roads that will open to the public include: West Entrance to Old Faithful; Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful (via Norris); Norris to Canyon Village.

The North Entrance to Mammoth Hot Springs to Northeast Entrance is open year-round.

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Springtime in Yellowstone means fewer crowds, opportunities for hiking at lower elevations, and skiing or snowshoeing at higher elevations. Wildlife viewing highlights this time of year include bison calving, bears recently emerged from dens, bull elk antlers in velvet, and the arrival of migratory birds.

Road conditions can change quickly. Find updated road status on the park website, at visitor centers (Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, Canyon Village, and West Yellowstone), and by calling 307-344-2117. To receive Yellowstone road alerts on your mobile phone, text "82190" to 888-777 (an automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions).

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