The National Park Service estimates that the northern portion of Yellowstone National Park will remain closed for a “substantial length of time.”
For now, there will be no inbound visitor traffic at any park entrance until conditions improve and the infrastructure is evaluated. That includes visitors with camping or lodging reservations.
Water levels in the park are expected to subside by Wednesday afternoon, but during a news conference on Tuesday, Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly said additionally flooding this weekend is possible.
“We still have somewhere around 12 inches of snowpack left and if we get warming temperatures and the right mixture of precipitation like we did Sunday, we could have another flood event,” Sholly said.
Assessments of the northern loop show significant damage to sections of road between the North Entrance, Mammoth Hot Springs, Lamar Valley and Cooke City.
During the news conference, Sholly said the road between Gardiner, which is at the north entrance of the park, and Cooke City, which is at the northeast entrance, will likely remain closed the rest of the season.
Damage to the southern loop of the park appears to be less severe, and a recent news release said park officials will be assessing the damage to determine when that area can reopen. It will remain closed through June 19 at minimum.
“I think the south loop will be open and ready for access relatively soon but the northern end is going to take a considerable amount of time and effort to get that reopened,” Sholly said during the news conference.
Yellowstone’s backcountry will also be temporarily closed as the park assesses the damage to campsites, trails and bridges.
The National Park Service will be estimating how many visitors it can handle once it reopens due to the damage in the northern loop. According to a news release, it is considering a temporary reservation system for visitors.
Sholly said the park usually sees a million visitors a month during the summer.
⚠️UPDATE (6/14 @ 6:38pm)⚠️— Yellowstone National Park (@YellowstoneNPS) June 15, 2022
Northern portion of Yellowstone likely to remain closed for substantial length of time due to severely damaged, impacted infrastructure. Visitors traveling to park soon must stay informed about current situation, roads & weather https://t.co/mymnqGvcVB pic.twitter.com/li6Vwy4qLt
Which roads are closed? According to the National Park Service, damaged park roads include:
- North Entrance to Mammoth Hot Springs where the road is washed out in multiple places and a rockslide occurred in Gardner Canyon.
- Tower Junction to the Northeast Entrance with a portion of the road washed out. Damage includes mudslides and downed trees.
- Tower-Roosevelt to Canyon Junction, also known as Dunraven Pass, where the road is damaged due to a mudslide.
- Canyon Junction to Fishing Bridge is possibly compromised and will be closed to evaluate.
Other damage reported includes power being out in multiple locations throughout the park, and water and wastewater systems in Canyon Village and Mammoth Hot Springs impacted by flooding.
How to stay updated: Those looking to travel to Yellowstone in the next several weeks should monitor road and weather conditions.
- For updates on road conditions, visit the park website here. For text updates, text “82190” to 888-777.
- New releases and updates can be found here.