Yellowstone National Park to Reopen Northeast Corridor October 15 Amid Flood Recovery

by Jon D. B.
Northeast Entrance Road repair progress on Oct. 13, 2022. (Photo credit: NPS / Cam Sholly)

Yellowstone National Park (YELL) is set to “finally reopen” their Northeast Corridor via the Northeast Entrance Road as the final rows of flood recovery are completed. Here’s what we know.

On Saturday, October 15 at 8 AM MDT, Yellowstone’s Northeast Entrance Road will open to regular visitor vehicle traffic. The long-awaited restoration will open the road’s section that leads from Tower Junction to the Northeast Entrance in Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana.

“We are very pleased to be restoring public access to the northeast corridor just four months after the June flood event,” announces Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly. “I commend the collective efforts of the National Park Service, the Federal Highway Administration and Oftedal Construction, Inc. to complete this monumental task in such a short amount of time.”

When complete this weekend, visitors will once again be able to access the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone in Montana.

In their media release to Outsider, the park also asks that visitors keep the following details in mind when driving the road:

  • All flood-damaged sections on the Northeast Entrance Road will be paved by Oct.15, except for the section of road near the popular trailhead to Trout Lake, which will be paved in the upcoming 10 days
    • Traffic will be permitted on this segment of road while repairs continue
    • Anticipate traffic control in the area and short delays to facilitate one-way traffic through this section
  • A short section of road in Lamar Canyon will remain a paved, single lane through the winter season
    • A temporary stop light will be in place for traffic control and delays will be minimal
  • There will be no restrictions on the Northeast Entrance Road
  • After opening to the public, this road will continue to be an active construction zone
    • Drivers will need to use caution and watch for crews and heavy equipment.
  • Repair efforts will continue beyond Oct. 15 for as long as weather permits
  • Additional repairs and clean-up will continue in the spring

Yellowstone National Park Still Recovering after ‘Historic’ June 2022 Flood Event

Visitors have been waiting to access the Northeast Corridor of Yellowstone since the “historic flood event” that swept through the park in June of 2022. Flooding of the Yellowstone River and surrounding tributaries “caused significant damage” to approximately five sections of the Northeast Entrance Road.

Come Oct. 15, the reconstruction of this section effectively opens 99% of the park’s roads to the public, YELL cites.

This project is a final step in restoring Yellowstone National Park to pre-flood status. Support from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and funding from the FHWA Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads (ERFO) makes it possible. Oftedal Construction, Inc. is the primary construction company under contract to complete this project.

In addition, crews are completing extensive work on the Old Gardiner Road. This limited-access road runs between Gardiner, Montana, and Mammoth Hot Springs, an area devastated by the flooding. Paving is currently underway for the entire 4-mile road. Over 5,000 feet of guardrail is also under construction for the safety of visitors.

Old Gardiner Road, however, will not reopen on Oct. 15. This roadway remains closed to regular traffic and will open no later than Nov. 1., according to the park’s latest announcements.