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Yellowstone NP north loop reopened Saturday; alternate license plate entry system suspended

Good news for RVers still headed for vacation visits to Yellowstone National Park. The flood-damaged north loop of the park reopened to all visitors Saturday, July 2.

The National Park Service announced Thursday that the reopened north loop will give tourists access to Norris Junction to Mammoth Hot Springs, Mammoth Hot Springs to Tower-Roosevelt Junction, and Tower-Roosevelt Junction to Canyon Junction (Dunraven Pass).

The north park entrance at Gardiner, Montana, and the northeast entrance at Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana, will remain closed.

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.”

North loop

Federal Highway Administration engineers have completed the 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 [nps.gov] for details.

Services open in the north loop will include general stores at Tower and Mammoth Hot Springs, and gasoline stations in both locations. Additional services may open in the upcoming weeks. Visit Operating Hours and Seasons [nps.gov] 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 [nps.gov] (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, the NPS said in Thursday’s release. 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 on 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 is 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 return if this becomes the case, park officials said.

More info

Visitors traveling to the park can stay informed [nps.gov] 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.

##RVT1059

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