Gardiner, Montana Welcomes Back Visitors as Yellowstone National Park Fully Reopens

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Nextrecord Archives / Getty Images)

Following Yellowstone National Park reopening its north entrance and the road to Mammoth Hot Springs, Gardiner, Montana has officially welcomed back visitors. 

As previously reported, Yellowstone National Park’s North Entrance in Gardiner, Montana, and the road between the North Entrance and Mammoth Hot Springs (Old Gardiner Road) is now open to regular visitor traffic. Contractors completed the striping on October 29th. The reopening comes months after the devastating flooding that caused closures to multiple roads.

Superintendent Cam Sholly recently spoke about the roads opening ahead of schedule. “We’re pleased to be reopening the North Entrance and reconnecting Yellowstone to Gardiner, Montana. We want to thank the outstanding support and work of the Federal Highway Administration and HK Contractors, INC for getting this road built in just four months.”

While speaking to FOX Weather, Terese Petcoff, Executive Director of Gardiner, discussed what it was like for Gardiner to welcome back visitors after Yellowstone National Park reopened the roads. “[The road] opened about a couple of days earlier,” Petcoff explained. “Super excited. So, we’re back open for business.” 

Petcoff also said that while the town had been open prior to Yellowstone National Park’s openings, there had been some obstacles. “Our lifeline was cut off there for a bit,” She declared. “And we’re very excited to have visitors back. And be able to go into Yellowstone National Park.”

When asked how the town dealt with the summer months of slow business and how it prepared to welcome back visitors, Petcoff said, “We’ve really just been marketing to Montanans and you know that national market as well too. But the outpour of support that we felt here locally from Montanas just coming to visit for day trips was pretty astounding. It was very reassuring. Our town’s super resilient. Very excited to have visitors back.”

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Talks About the ‘Aggressive’ Time Frames For Road Repairs 

While speaking to KBZK in early October, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent, Cam Sholly, spoke about the changes in road reopening schedules. He also says the road repairs need to be accurate and safely done.

“We have set incredibly aggressive time frames for these repairs,” said Sholly. “And our contractors have worked at lightning speed to get this road safely reopened. It’s essential that we do not cut corners and we ensure the road meets required safety standards prior to opening. It’s also essential that we finish the job correctly, so we avoid any problems going into next year.

Sholly also noted that another thing to consider while working on the roads is the big cliff that looms over them. “The last thing we want to do is build a viaduct through the canyon and have it imploded from up top. And, I think there’s some real value to consider restoring that canyon to its natural state.”