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 Nathan Satran Photography

Resources

Please be advised of rapidly changing flood conditions of the Yellowstone River corridor in Southeast Montana affecting visitor travel, including road and park closures.

Visit the following sites for up-to-date safety information:

The counties in Southeast Montana that may be affected are:

Follow local news for additional updates:

Regarding flooding and impacts on neighboring communities impacted this week, visit:
https://www.visityellowstonecountry.com/ynp-status

Due to rapidly changing flood conditions in the area, please avoid Yellowstone National Park as well as Stillwater, Park, and Carbon Counties until further notice. More information on this active alert can be found here: https://www.visityellowstonecountry.com/ynp-status

Yellowstone National Park Travel Advisory Update

Here are the latest details regarding the re-opening of Yellowstone National Park's south loop for Wednesday, 6/22, at 8:00 a.m.:

The north loop remains closed due to flood damage until further notice, however, Yellowstone officials will begin allowing visitors to access the south loop of the park at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. Travelers can access Yellowstone via the east, south, and west entrances via Cody, Grand Tetons/Jackson, or West Yellowstone respectively only - at this time.

To ensure the south loop does not become overwhelmed with visitors and to balance park resource protection and economic interests of surrounding communities, the Park is instituting an interim visitor access plan, referred to as the Alternating License Plate System (ALPS). 

You can print out the National Park Service's full explanation for your front desk and reference here: https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/upload/June-2022-Supplement-Flood-v20220622.pdf 

Or, read on:

  • Beginning June 22, 2022, 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 license plates with all letters (e.g. YLWSTNE) will fall into the “odd” category for entrance purposes.
  • Personalized plates with a mix of letters and numbers that end with a letter (e.g. 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.

Exceptions to ALPS:

  • 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.
  • Current commercial use operators with active commercial use permits will be permitted to enter regardless of license plate number. This includes commercial tours and stock groups.
  • Commercial motorcoaches will be permitted to enter regardless of license plate number.
  • Motorcycle groups may enter on even dates only.
  • Essential services like mail, FedEx, employees, and contractors may enter regardless of license plate number.

This interim license plate system will ensure visitors have access to the park during this period of high demand. Park managers and staff will monitor this system and its impacts on resources, infrastructure, operations, and staffing, and may adjust or implement a reservation or timed entry system, if necessary, after three to four weeks.

The north entrance at Gardiner and the northeast entrance at Cooke City remain closed at this time however those communities are open and accessible just not via Yellowstone gates or roadways.

Again, travelers can access Yellowstone via the east, south, and west entrances via Cody, Grand Tetons/Jackson, or West Yellowstone respectively only at this time as of 6/22.

Other reminders to note:

RED LODGE IS OPEN:

Red Lodge is open for business. The events on the Red Lodge community calendar, like the rodeo, currently remain on the calendar. You may visit the Red Lodge Chamber of Commerce Facebook page for updates on events at https://www.facebook.com/RedLodgeChamber/ or by phone at (406) 446-1718. 

THE BEARTOOTH HWY IS CLOSED VIA RED LODGE:

The Beartooth Highway is closed indefinitely via Red Lodge. However, there is access to a section (a reported 10 miles only) of the Beartooth Highway from the south via Sunlight Basin/Chief Joseph Scenic Byway that can access Top of the World Resort.

COOKE CITY IS OPEN:

The community of Cooke City is open for business. Of course, Yellowstone National Park at Silver Gate and the east entrance remain closed, but Cooke City is open and accessible via Chief Joseph Scenic Byway. The Colter Pass, Cooke City, Silver Gate Chamber of Commerce can be reached at (406) 838-2495.

GARDINER IS OPEN BUT WATER ISSUES REMAIN:

Visitors can access Gardiner, however a boil alert remains in effect for the community's water. Again, there is no access to Yellowstone via the north gate at this time. Crews are working to improve an old road that may be accessible to the public later this summer to help with that connectivity to Mammoth and the north loop of the Park. More to come on this road access, however visitors can still see the Roosevelt Arch in Gardiner via HWY 89 South.

VISITORS WITH PLANS TO YELLOWSTONE MUST STAY INFORMED:

  • Visitors planning to travel to Yellowstone in the upcoming weeks should stay informed about the current situation and pay close attention to the status of road conditions. 
  • Stay informed about up-to-date road conditions in Yellowstone:
    • Visit Park Roads
    • To receive Yellowstone road alerts on your mobile phone, text “82190” to 888-777 (an automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions).
    • Call (307) 344-2117 for a recorded message.
  • Find updates about flood recovery efforts and park operations at go.nps.gov/YELLflood
  • Find new photos on Flickr of this extremely hazardous situation in Yellowstone National Park. 
  • Yellowstone will continue to communicate about this hazardous situation as more information is available.

KNOWN DAMAGE & ISSUES AFFECTING NORTHEAST ENTRANCE ACCESS:

  • Aerial assessments conducted Monday, June 13 by Yellowstone National Park show major damage to several park roads including:
    • Tower Junction to Northeast Entrance: segment of road washed out near Soda Butte Picnic Area, mudslides, downed trees
    • Tower-Roosevelt to Canyon Junction (Dunraven Pass): mudslide on road. Repairs are underway.
  • Many sections of road in these areas are completely gone and will require substantial time and effort to reconstruct or relocate and build.
  • In some cases, roads may not be able to be reconstructed in place and will need to be relocated.
  • The NPS will make every effort to repair these roads as soon as possible.  
1.800.346.1876