Portions of Yellowstone National Park to Remain Closed for ‘Substantial Length of Time’
Yellowstone National Park has announced that, due to the flooding and the severely damaged infrastructure that resulted from the flood, portions of the park will remain closed for a 'significant length of time.'
That's according to a press release from the park, which provided a string of updates regarding the massive flooding that has occurred in and around the park and surrounding areas.
According to the release:
Aerial assessments conducted Monday, June 13, by Yellowstone National Park show major damage to multiple sections of road between the North Entrance (Gardiner, Montana), Mammoth Hot Springs, Lamar Valley and Cooke City, Montana, near the Northeast Entrance.
Many sections of road in these areas are completely gone and will require substantial time and effort to reconstruct.
The National Park Service will make every effort to repair these roads as soon as possible; however, it is probable that road sections in northern Yellowstone will not reopen this season due to the time required for repairs.
To prevent visitors from being stranded in the park if conditions worsen, the park in coordination with Yellowstone National Park Lodges made the decision to have all visitors move out of overnight accommodations (lodging and campgrounds) and exit the park.
All entrances to Yellowstone National Park remain temporarily CLOSED while the park waits for flood waters to recede and can conduct evaluations on roads, bridges and wastewater treatment facilities to ensure visitor and employee safety.
There will be no inbound visitor traffic at any of the five entrances into the park, including visitors with lodging and camping reservations, until conditions improve and park infrastructure is evaluated.
The park’s southern loop appears to be less impacted than the northern roads and teams will assess damage to determine when opening of the southern loop is feasible. This closure will extend minimally through next weekend.
Due to the northern loop being unavailable for visitors, the park is analyzing how many visitors can safely visit the southern loop once it’s safe to reopen. This will likely mean implementation of some type of temporary reservation system to prevent gridlock and reduce impacts on park infrastructure.
At this time, there are no known injuries nor deaths to have occurred in the park as a result of the unprecedented flooding.
Effective immediately, Yellowstone’s backcountry is temporarily closed while crews assist campers (five known groups in the northern range) and assess damage to backcountry campsites, trails and bridges.
The National Park Service, surrounding counties and states of Montana and Wyoming are working with the park’s gateway communities to evaluate flooding impacts and provide immediate support to residents and visitors.
Water levels are expected to recede today in the afternoon; however, additional flood events are possible through this weekend.
Park officials stated that known damage to park roads include the North Entrance (Gardiner, Montana) to Mammoth Hot Springs because the road has been washed out in multiple places, causing a significant rockslide at Gardner Canyon.
ower Junction to the Northeast Entrance is also closed, due to a segment of the road being washed out near the Soda Butte Picnic Area, resulting in mudslides and downed trees.
Speaking of mudslides, Tower-Roosevelt to Canyon Junction (Dunraven Pass) is closed due to a mudslide on the road.
Canyon Junction to Fishing Bridge is also closed, due to the fact that a segment of the road, south of Canyon Junction, is potentially compromised. It's closed until an evaluation can be given.
The release notes that the power is still out throughout multiple locations in the park.
Additionally, water and wastewater systems at Canyon Village and Mammoth Hot Springs are still being impacted by flooding conditions. Both are still being monitored.
Park officials encourage visitors to stay informed, especially if they are/were planning to visit the National Park in the coming weeks.
They can view a list of closed park roads at this website.
They may also receive road alerts on their phone, by texting '82190' to 888-777 or calling 307-344-2117.
A list of news releases from the park can be found here.