Come July 2, 93% of Yellowstone National Park roadways will finally be open to the public. Here’s what to know amidst ongoing flood recovery.
On Thursday, June 30, Yellowstone National Park (YELL) officials announced that the park will reopen the north loop on July 2, 2022. Once the north loop is public, visitors will have access to 93% of park roadways. The other 7%, however, will remain closed amidst recovery from devastating flooding earlier this month.
Previously, the park made the south loop accessible to the public on June 22. But national park lovers across America have been anxiously awaiting a full reopening. July 2 will mark the park’s largest step in this direction since closing to the public on June 14.
With restoration of the north loop, visitors will again have access to some of Yellowstone National Park’s most beloved areas, including:
- Norris Junction to Mammoth Hot Springs
- Mammoth Hot Springs to Tower-Roosevelt
- Tower-Roosevelt to Canyon Junction (Dunraven Pass)
- General stores at Tower and Mammoth Hot Springs, and gasoline in both locations
On July 2, visitors can access the south and north loops via the following entrances:
- East Entrance (Cody, Wyoming)
- West Entrance (West Yellowstone, Montana)
- South Entrance (Grand Teton/Jackson, Wyoming)
“We’re pleased to reopen the north loop of Yellowstone to the visiting public less than three weeks after this major flood event,” offers Superintendent Cam Sholly after the breakneck pacing of reconstruction. “We have attempted to balance major recovery efforts while reopening as much of the park as possible. We have greatly appreciated the tremendous support of the Department of the Interior; National Park Service; Federal Highway Administration; and our congressional, community, county and state partners,” Sholly adds.
For Yellowstone’s north loop, temporary repairs to the wastewater systems have been evaluated. These repairs will accommodate day use on the north loop, the park says.
The park cautions the public, however, that high water remains in many waterways. Please be aware of backcountry closures in the north loop due to hazardous conditions or damaged trails and bridges. For the latest on these closures, visit Yellowstone’s Backcountry Situation Report here.
On July 2, Yellowstone’s Alternating License Plate System Will Be Suspended
Currently, visiting Yellowstone National Park requires abiding the Alternating License Plate System (ALPS). ALPS first went live upon the reopening of the south loop (June 22, 2022). Park officials put the program in place to ensure visitor traffic did not overwhelm the south loop.
“The interim system worked very effectively at moderating traffic within the park,” officials cite in their media release to Outsider. “However, with the opening of the north loop and 93% of the road system open, ALPS will be suspended effective July 2.”
Come Yellowstone’s next reopening, visitors entering from the East, West, and South will return to normal entrance procedures. Park staff will continue monitoring visitor use data, traffic counts, and the condition of infrastructure over the upcoming months.
Please note that Yellowstone reserves the right to reinstate ALPS at any time if visitor usage overwhelms capacity.
On July 1, Yellowstone’s Southern Backcountry Will Open to Overnight Use
In addition, most of Yellowstone’s southern backcountry will open to overnight use on Friday, July 1, the park cites. However, some trails and campsites will remain closed for repairs due to flood impacts, high water and bear management closures.
The majority of backcountry in the north will remain closed as damage assessments continue. Many northern trails have seen severe damage (bridges washed away completely, etc.). Additional backcountry in the northern part of the park will reopen only after final repairs and damage assessments. View the park’s backcountry page here to stay up to date.
It’s beyond exciting to be able to return to Yellowstone so soon. But the park asks that visitors please stay informed about the current situation by visiting their NPS website before any visit. You can do so by visiting Yellowstone National Park’s information page here.
And as always, Outsider will keep you up to date on the latest Yellowstone developments. Stay safe out there, Outsiders!