Engineers have completed final bridge and road safety inspections
Yellowstone National Park will reopen the north loop on Saturday, July 2, to all visitors. In addition to roads in the south loop, 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 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).
“We’re pleased to reopen the north loop of Yellowstone to the visiting public less than three weeks after this major flood event,” said Superintendent Cam Sholly. “We have attempted to balance major recovery efforts while reopening as much of the park as possible. We have greatly appreciated the tremendous support of the Department of the Interior; National Park Service; Federal Highway Administration; and our congressional, community, county and state partners.”
Federal Highway Administration engineers have completed final bridge and road safety inspections. Temporary repairs to the wastewater systems have been evaluated and will accommodate day use on the north loop.
The park cautions the public that high water remains in many waterways and to 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 will 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.
North and Northeast entrances
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 the park on foot through these entrances in order to recreate (fish and hike) in areas not identified as closed. The park will evaluate authorizing bicycle use through these entrances up to damaged road sections in the near future.
Park staff are working with commercial guides and outfitters in Gardiner and Cooke City/Silver Gate to further expand park access where possible. Yellowstone has reopened a 23-mile segment of the Beartooth Highway (from US-212/WY-296) junction to the ski hill parking lot), providing visitors access to this world-class scenic roadway.
Reconnecting the park to Gardiner and Cooke City/Silver Gate remains Yellowstone’s highest flood recovery priority. These communities are open with access to the park as described above.
Alternating License Plate System suspended
Yellowstone implemented the Alternating License Plate System (ALPS) upon reopening the south loop June 22, 2022, to ensure visitor traffic did not overwhelm the south loop. The interim system worked very effectively at moderating traffic within the park, however, with the opening of the north loop and 93% of the road system open, ALPS will be suspended effective July 2. Visitor entrances from East, West, and South will return to normal entrance procedures. Park staff will continue monitoring visitor use data, traffic counts, and the condition of infrastructure over the upcoming months to ensure visitor usage is not overwhelming capacity. The ALPS system may be reinstituted if this becomes the case.
Visitors will be able to enjoy seeing Yellowstone’s famed bison again. Photo courtesy of David Mark from Pixabay
Backcountry – Visit Backcountry Situation Report for details
Most of Yellowstone’s southern backcountry will open to overnight use on Friday, July 1, however some trails and campsites will remain closed for repairs due to flood impacts, high water and bear management closures.
A large portion of the backcountry in the north remains closed as damage assessments continue. Many northern trails have been severely damaged and bridges washed away. Additional backcountry in the northern part of the park will reopen as repairs and final damage assessments are completed.
Visitors traveling to the park must stay informed about the current situation, changes in visitor entry requirements, and road conditions. The public should also use extreme caution in areas of high water.
Visitors should regularly monitor updates from the park on new openings or closures as recovery efforts continue.