Yellowstone National Park Reveals Recovery Update Following Historic Floods

by Shelby Scott

Several months ago, Yellowstone National Park suffered historic flooding. Now, while water levels have dropped and recovery has been ongoing, the national park shared a new update.

Per the National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park visitors will no longer need to obtain a day-use ticket to travel the six-mile road corridor between Tower Junction and Slough Creek. The NPS states the day-use ticket pilot program began last month on August 3rd. The program intended to allow tourists to see the area impacted by flooding while also monitoring access. Now, the bureau’s decision to do away with day-use passes signifies this heavily-impacted area is marginally safer for additional use.

That said, the outlet did remind visitors that because the six-mile corridor is essentially a dead end. As such, they need to be aware that turnaround areas for larger vehicles, including buses, towing units, etc. are limited.

Additionally, the area spanning Tower Junction to Slough Creek is the only one that is currently open. The remainder of the Northeast Entrance Road is still, for the most part, off limits. As stated, that particular area of Yellowstone National Park endured some of the worst flood damage.

The National Park Service also provided potential visitors with information regarding camping areas in heavily affected regions of the park. As of now, the NPS’s website states certain trails and backcountry campsites in the northern range remain closed. Slough Creek Campground in particular remains closed for the season.

Dozens of Yellowstone National Park Mammals Killed Annually In Auto Collisions

With Yellowstone National Park welcoming back greater numbers of tourists following the damaging floods that ravaged the area in June, there’s also an increased risk to local wildlife of being struck by a vehicle. And with the annual elk rut picking up again this month, some of the park’s largest inhabitants face a serious threat.

On average, about 75 of Yellowstone National Park’s biggest mammals, including bison, pronghorn, and deer, are killed each year, often due to speeding vehicles. The best way to prevent these tragedies? Be sure to follow the speed limit.

Yellowstone’s park rangers are vigilant about keeping both its visitors and wild residents safe, but given that the park covers a massive 3,000+ miles, it’s impossible for them to be everywhere all the time. So, as the National Park Service asks in the following Facebook post, be sure that when you visit America’s oldest national park, you abide by the speed limit signs.

The NPS reminded tourists online that “Speed limits [throughout Yellowstone National Park] are 45 mph (72 kph) or lower.” With 75 animals annually at risk, they continued, “Help us protect the wildlife by following the speed limit and staying alert for animals crossing the road. You never know what will be around the next bend!”