Yellowstone National Park Reopens South Loop Today, June 22: What To Know

by Jon D. B.

Find out what’s opening, what’s still closed, the interim entrance system, and more as Yellowstone National Park’s south loop reopens Wednesday.

June 22, 2022 marks the first partial reopening of Yellowstone National Park (YELL) since historic flooding earlier this month. As of 8:00 AM MDT this morning, YELL began allowing visitors to access their south loop. If you’re planning on heading back to the park and gateway communities to support re-opening, everything you need to know is found below.

Firstly, the south loop is only accessible from the East (Cody), West (West Yellowstone), and South (Grand Teton/Jackson). Areas accessible from these entrances include Madison, Old Faithful, Grant Village, Lake Village, Canyon Village and Norris. The first set of bullet points below offers further information on what’s opening to the public today.

OPEN in the South Loop as of June 22:

CLOSED Until Further Notice in the South Loop:

To enter the park at all, NPS officials are instituting an interim visitor access plan to balance the demand for visitor access. It is imperative to know when this system will allow you to enter, so be sure to check out the full breakdown below the park flyer.

Yellowstone National Park Post-Flood Reopening Flyer:

A full-res, printable version of the park’s flyer is available here. Most importantly, to access the park during this time, visitors will need to familiarize themselves with the Alternating License Plate System (ALPS). Park officials feel this is the best way to limit traffic in the park and protect park resources.

To enter Yellowstone National Park via ALPS:

  • Public vehicle entry will be allowed based on whether the last numerical digit on a license plate is odd or even.
  • Entrance will be granted based on odd/even days on the calendar.
    • Odd-numbered last digits on license plates can enter on odd days of the month.
    • Even-numbered last digits (including zero) on license plates can enter on even days of the month.
  • Personalized plates (all letters, for example YLWSTNE) will fall into the “odd” category for entrance purposes.
  • Plates with a mix of letters and numbers but that end with a letter (for example YELL4EVR) will still use the last numerical digit on the plate to determine entrance days.
  • Entrance station staff will turn away vehicles attempting to enter the park when the odd/even numerical digits do not correspond to the odd/even calendar date for entrance.

ALPS Exceptions:

  • Current commercial use operators with active commercial use permits can enter regardless of license plate number. This includes commercial tours and stock groups.
  • Visitors with proof of overnight reservations in the park will be permitted to enter regardless of license plate number. This includes hotels, campgrounds, and backcountry reservations.
  • Commercial motorcoaches can enter regardless of license plate number.
  • Motorcycle groups may enter on even dates only.
  • Essential services like mail and deliver, employees and contractors may enter regardless of license plate number.

This system will be in operation until further notice. Be sure to visit Yellowstone National Park’s website often for updates.

For information on the rest of the park’s future, see our Yellowstone National Park Expedites Plan to Reopen 80 Percent of the Park with $50 Million in Emergency Funding next.