Yellowstone Reopens North Loop, But Two North Entrances Remain Closed
MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY - Yellowstone National Park reopened the north loop with two notable exceptions on Saturday to visitors, after recent flooding forced the shutdown of the park, according to a prepared statement.
“We're pleased to reopen the north loop of Yellowstone to the visiting public less than three weeks after this major flood event," Park Superintendent Cam Sholly said in a prepared statement.
"We have attempted to balance major recovery efforts while reopening as much of the park as possible," Sholly said.
Meanwhile, Yellowstone will no longer use the temporary Alternating License Plate System to limit crowds entering the park after the south loop reopened.
Visitors will now be able to access:
- Norris Junction to Mammoth Hot Springs.
- Mammoth Hot Springs to Tower-Roosevelt.
- Tower-Roosevelt to Canyon Junction (Dunraven Pass).
Visitors also can access the south and north loops via the East Entrance (Cody, Wyoming), West Entrance (West Yellowstone, Montana), and South Entrance (Grand Teton/Jackson, Wyoming).
However, two major northern entrances remain closed.
The North Entrance Road (Gardiner, Montana to Mammoth Hot Springs) and Northeast Entrance Road (Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana to Tower-Roosevelt) remain closed to visitor vehicular traffic while temporary repairs are completed.
Visitors may access Yellowstone on foot through these entrances in order to fish and hike in areas not identified as closed.
The park will evaluate authorizing bicycle use through these entrances up to damaged road sections.
Federal Highway Administration engineers have completed final bridge and road safety inspections. Temporary repairs to the wastewater systems will accommodate day use on the north loop.
However, high water remains in many waterways. Visitors should be aware of backcountry closures in the north loop due to hazardous conditions or damaged trails and bridges. Visit Yellowstone’s Backcountry Situation Report for details.
Services in the north loop include general stores at Tower and Mammoth Hot Springs, and gasoline in both locations. Additional services may open in upcoming weeks. Visit Operating Hours and Seasons for details.
Park staff are working with commercial guides and outfitters in Gardiner and Cooke City/Silver Gate to expand access where possible.
Yellowstone also has reopened a 23-mile segment of the Beartooth Highway -- U.S. Highway 212/Wyoming Highway 296).
Reconnecting the park to Gardiner and Cooke City/Silver Gate remains Yellowstone's highest flood recovery priority.
After the flooding, and as the park prepared to reopen the south loop on June 22, it implemented the Alternating License Plate System to mitigate traffic, according to the prepared statement.
With the opening of the north loop and 93% of the road system open, the system was suspended Saturday.
Park staff will monitor visitor use, traffic counts, and infrastructure to ensure visitation doesn't overwhelm capacity. If that happens, the system may be reinstituted.
Most Yellowstone southern backcountry opened for overnight use on Friday. However some trails and campsites will remain closed for repairs due to flood impacts, high water and bear management.
A large portion of the backcountry in the north remains closed. Many northern trails have been severely damaged and bridges washed away. Additional northern backcountry will reopen as repairs and final damage assessments are completed.
Visitors can stay informed about park conditions at the Yellowstone National Park website.