People like to say that in the northern Rocky Mountains there are only two seasons — winter and the Fourth of July. And just one week after the Fourth, the high country of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho are back to winter.

A deep trough of low pressure came crashing south over the weekend and plastered elevations above 7,000 feet with over a half-foot of snow. Seven inches fell on the summit of Lone Peak at Big Sky Resort, at an elevation of 11,166 feet.

The Beartooth Highway, which is only open from May to October, was closed on Monday morning on the Wyoming side, cutting off a popular tourist route into the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park. The highway is one of the highest roads in the United States, topping out at over 10,000 feet.

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There was enough snow summit of Mount Washburn in Yellowstone for someone to build a snowman in front of the National Park Service webcam. As of Monday afternoon, it still hadn’t cracked 32 degrees.

The Bitterroots, Beaverhead and Anaconda mountain ranges received the bulk of the white stuff, said Travis Booth, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Missoula, Mont. He said that the automated snow reporting stations were having a hard time reading accumulations off what was bare ground; he estimated up to three to four inches in those areas based on temperatures and the amount of liquid water the stations recorded.

Snow was also observed as far south as the Grand Teton range in Wyoming and as far east as the Beartooth mountains in south-central Montana.

As the storm pushes east out into the Great Plains, temperatures in the high country will remain cool for the next several days with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s.

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