$50 Million Committed to Reopen Yellowstone’s Northern Roads This Summer
Written by Andrew-Rossi on June 20, 2022
Yellowstone’s Northern Loop from Canyon to Mammoth could reopen within two weeks, and $50 million has been committed by the N.P.S. to reopen the North and Northeast Entrances as soon as possible.
During a visit to Yellowstone National Park and Gardiner, Montana, on Sunday, June 19, National Park Service Director Chuck Sams with Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly announced $50 million to kick-start recovery efforts from record-breaking floods.
While the park’s Southern Loop is reopening on June 22, the park’s northern loop is expected to reopen in two weeks or less following the completion of clean-up, repairs, and final inspection of the Northern Loop’s infrastructure. This will allow visitors to access Dunraven Pass, Tower, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Norris opening visitor access to approximately 80 percent of Yellowstone National Park. Additional details on access will be announced in the coming weeks.
The initial $50 million will be used to restore temporary access to Gardiner and Cooke City, Montana, and other additional sites.
Plans are being finalized for improving the Old Gardiner Road for temporary access between Yellowstone and Gardiner, Montana. In partnership with the Federal Highway Administration, Yellowstone officials will divert road construction crews and materials for a previously scheduled road project to the Old Gardiner Road project.
The other project – now on hold – would repair 22 miles of the Grand Loop Road between Old Faithful and West Thumb Geyser Basin.
The N.P.S. anticipates the Old Gardiner Road will be substantially improved over the upcoming months, ensuring that essential emergency services, food, supplies, and other administrative needs will be available throughout the winter. As work proceeds through the summer, the N.P.S. will look for opportunities to restore limited visitor access at the park’s North Entrance.
Following the National Historic Preservation and Environmental Policy Acts, emergency environmental and historic preservation compliance is underway. Permanent reconstruction options are being developed, while alternatives will be completed in the upcoming months.
The N.P.S. is working with the Federal Highway Administration on a range of temporary and permanent options to restore access to Silver Gate and Cooke City at the park’s northeast entrance.
The Northeast Entrance Road is impassible between Lamar Valley and Silver Gate. Cost, funding, and timelines are not yet available for these short or long-term repairs to the Northeast Entrance Road but will be released as soon as possible.
Yellowstone will open the southern loop of the park at 8 a.m. Wednesday, June 22, via the East (Cody), West (West Yellowstone), and South (Grand Teton/Jackson) entrances. Accessible areas include Madison, Old Faithful, Grant Village, Lake Village, Canyon Village, and Norris.
Meanwhile, the park will institute an interim visitor access plan based on license plate numbers. To learn more about the alternate license plate entry system, visit Yellowstone’s flood recovery webpage.