Yellowstone National Park set to reopen northern loop earlier than expected

National Park Service announces $50 million in funding to kick-start recovery efforts from record-breaking floods

By: - June 21, 2022 8:36 am
Yellowstone National Park North Entrance flooding

Officials at Yellowstone National Park released photos showing the aftermath of severe storms and flooding in June 2022. The pictures were taken near the north entrance of the park and while water levels have receded, it will take time to recover from the damage left behind. (Jacob W. Frank/National Park Service)

The northern loop of Yellowstone is expected to reopen within the next two weeks after it was closed last week from historic flooding that caused evacuations of the park and surrounding communities.

National Park Service Director Chuck Sams, with Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly, announced the reopening plans, in a press release on Monday. At the same time, the park announced it has secured $50 million to kick-start recovery efforts from the record-breaking floods. 

The reopening of the northern loops means visitors will be able to access Dunraven Pass, Tower, Mammoth Hot Springs and Norris — opening visitor access to approximately 80 percent of Yellowstone National Park, according to the release.

As for the $50 million, it will be used to restore temporary access to Gardiner and Cooke City, Montana, and other additional sites. And plans are being finalized for improving the Old Gardiner Road for temporary access between Yellowstone and Gardiner.

“The NPS currently anticipates the Old Gardiner Road will be substantially improved over the upcoming months, ensuring that essential emergency services, food, supplies and other administrative needs will be available throughout the winter months,” the release read. “As work proceeds through the summer, the NPS will look for opportunities to restore limited visitor access at the park’s North Entrance.”

In addition to plans to reopen Yellowstone’s northern loop much sooner than initially anticipated, the National Park Service said it is working with the Federal Highway Administration on a range of temporary and permanent options to restore access to Silver Gate and Cooke City at the park’s northeast entrance.

Currently, the Northeast Entrance Road is impassible between Lamar Valley and Silver Gate. Cost, funding and timelines are not yet available for these short or long-term repairs to the Northeast Entrance Road but will be released as soon as possible, the release read.

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