The National Park Service continues to implement rolling closures in the wake of unprecedented flooding and mudslides.  

river water rushes next to a collapsed portion of road after flooding

National Park Service

Gardner River next to the North Entrance Road.

Planned trips to Yellowstone National Park may have to be put on hold as the National Park Service continues to implement rolling closures in the wake of unprecedented flooding and mudslides.  

After closing all five of Yellowstone’s entrances to the public last week, Park Service officials announced Saturday that the south loop of the park, accessed via the East, West, and South entrances, would reopen June 22 at 8 a.m.  

Continually high park attendance, however, has warranted the use of an interim admission system designed to avoid bottle-necking crowds into the only open segment of the park. The Alternating License Plate System, or ALPS, will grant entry on odd or even days of the calendar based on whether a visiting vehicle’s license plate has an odd or even last digit.  

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“It is impossible to reopen only one loop in the summer without implementing some type of system to manage visitation,” Park Superintendent Cam Sholly said in a release. “My thanks to our gateway partners and others for helping us work out an acceptable temporary solution for the south loop while we continue our efforts to reopen the north loop. … We will also reopen new sections of the park as repairs continue to be made.”  

Backcountry areas in the south loop will be open for day use only starting June 22, the Park Service said. Canyon, Madison, Norris, and Lewis Lake campgrounds will remain closed, however.  

Due to devastating damage to roads, the likelihood of the park’s northern loop remaining closed for an extended period is high, Sholly added.  

The below video, taken by a Park Service helicopter, shows the extent of road damage in a stretch between Mammoth Hot Springs and the North Entrance, with much of the pavement completely washed away following mudslides and flooding of the adjacent Gardner River. 

“I appreciate the efforts of the Yellowstone team and partners to safely evacuate areas of the park and of our gateway community partners who are helping us through this major event,” Sholly said. “We appreciate the support offered by the Department of the Interior, National Park Service and the Montana and Wyoming governors.” 

Park officials will continue to provide situational updates as they develop, the release said. If you were planning on visiting in the coming days, you can receive recent updates by texting “82190” to 888-777, or by calling (307) 344-2117. 

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