Yellowstone National Park Recovery Update: Tower Junction to Slough Creek Road Corridor Drivable on August 3rd
Written by Caleb Nelson on July 29, 2022
As Yellowstone National Park continues efforts to expand visitor access, it’s critical people stay informed about what’s open and closed Park Officials say.
Effective on August 3rd through October 31st, 2022, visitors with a “day-use ticket” will be able to drive the road corridor from Tower Junction to Slough Creek to park, hike, fish, and watch wildlife. According to YNP, this section of the road in the northern portion of the park has been closed to visitor vehicular traffic since the park closed in June immediately following a historic flood event.
Yellowstone has rapidly reopened areas, safety permitting. Approximately 93% of paved road and 94% of Yellowstone’s backcountry is open.
Starting on August 1st at 8 a.m. MDT, visitors hoping to tour the Tower Junction to Slough Creek road corridor can book a day-use ticket for the opening on August 3rd by clicking here.
Once visitors have booked their ticket, they will only be able to enter the road corridor from Tower Junction. YNP notes, “visitors cannot access the area from the Northeast Entrance (Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana).” That road segment is closed to visitor vehicular traffic because of significant flood damage on the road.
YNP initiated this pilot day-use program in response to the flood damage and it provides the park an opportunity to safely reopen this impacted area to more visitation. Since the road is basically a dead-end, the park will continue to monitor the use along the road corridor in order to determine if expanded day-use capacity can expand at a later date.
Tower Junction to Slough Creek Road Corridor Vehicle Day-Use Ticket
- Tickets will be available for morning and afternoon windows.
- Visitors booking the 8 a.m. window may enter between 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
- Visitors booking the 12 p.m. window may enter between 12 p.m.-4 p.m.
- All day-use visitors with a ticket during either time window may exit at any time that same day by 4:30 p.m.
- Visitors must print or screenshot their ticket prior to arriving in the park as there is no cell service or connectivity at Tower Junction.
- A ticket is valid for one vehicle for one day.
- Visitors may purchase up to three tickets on a transaction.
- Tickets can be reserved two days in advance.
- Approved stock outfitters, guides with a commercial use authorization, and backcountry overnight permit holders do not need a ticket to access the road corridor. The road has been open for them to provide public access by vehicle since July 13.
- The Tower Junction to Slough Creek corridor is a popular fishing area; fishing permits are required in Yellowstone. Visitors with fishing permits must additionally obtain a day-use ticket.
- Some trails and campsites in the northern range of the park south and east of the road corridor are closed due to flood damage. Know before you go. Visit Yellowstone’s Backcountry Situation Report for details.
- Interested visitors are advised to create a Recreation.gov account before Aug. 1 and log in to the account prior to making a reservation.
- This new day-use reservation system will only allow visitors to enter this corridor with their vehicles. No day-use reservation is needed for visitors wanting to park at Tower Junction and bicycle, hike and fish between Tower Junction and Slough Creek.
- Visitors riding bicycles or hiking near the roadway should be cautious and understand that construction traffic east of Tower Junction will be heavy at times. They should also be cautious of wildlife on or near roadways, especially as the bison rut begins.
- Slough Creek Campground is closed for the season.
North and Northeast entrances closed to visitor vehicular traffic
- Visitors are reminded that the park’s North and Northeast entrances remain closed to visitor vehicular traffic, however access is available by bicycle (on paved roadways) and foot through the North (Gardiner, Montana) and Northeast (Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana) entrances to fish and hike in areas not identified as closed.
- From the North Entrance, recreators can travel 1 mile to the Rescue Creek Trailhead.
- From the Northeast Entrance, recreators can travel 6 miles to barrier near Barronette Meadows.
North Entrance to Mammoth Hot Springs
Primary road is closed. Temporary road has limited access.
- The North Entrance Road that connects Gardiner, Montana, to Mammoth Hot Springs is closed and not drivable due to several washed out road segments from the historic flood event in June.
- A temporary and limited access road (Old Gardiner Road) between the North Entrance and Mammoth Hot Springs is currently an active construction zone and being converted to two lanes before winter.
- At this time, ONLY approved personnel and approved commercial use authorization holders are allowed on the Old Gardiner Road in approved traffic windows.
Northeast Entrance Road
- The Northeast Entrance Road between the Slough Creek Campground Road, Lamar Valley and the barrier near Barronette Meadows (6 miles from the Northeast Entrance) is closed to all vehicle, bicycle and foot traffic while major construction repairs are being made. This closure is expected to stay in place for the upcoming months allowing contractors to complete work prior to winter.
- This section of road is an active construction zone.
- Visitors traveling to the park must stay informed about what is OPEN and CLOSED throughout the park.
- Visit Operating Hours and Seasons for more info.
- Monitor the park website and social media for updates.
- Visit Camp in Backcountry for details about backcountry permits.
- 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.