The northern section of Yellowstone National Park is likely to remain closed for a long time following extensive flood damage. According to the National Park Service, parts of several roads were completely washed away after a combination of heavy rainfall and unusually fast snowmelt caused by rapidly rising temperatures.
The entire park is currently closed while the damage is assessed and repairs are made, but the NPS says the roads near the northeast entrance will take "substantial time and effort to reconstruct".
Even if you have a lodging or camping reservation, you won't be able to enter the park until the floodwaters have subsided and it's been verified that the infrastructure is safe. Roads, bridges, and water treatments works all need to be tested before hikers and campers can return.
Yellowstone's backcountry is also temporarily closed while crews help five groups of campers who have been stranded, and assess the damage to campsites, trails, and bridges.
Current conditions of Yellowstone’s North Entrance Road through the Gardner Canyon between Gardiner, Montana, and Mammoth Hot Springs.We will continue to communicate about this hazardous situation as more information is available. More info: https://t.co/mymnqGvcVB pic.twitter.com/S5ysi4wf8aJune 13, 2022
"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." the NPS said. "This closure will extend minimally through next weekend (June 19)."
Once the southern loop does reopen, visitor numbers are likely to be limited to avoid gridlock. This will probably involve some form of temporary ticketing system, though the NPS has yet to announce what it will involve.
For the latest updates, check the Park Roads website, or text 82190 to 888-777 to receive text message alerts. You can also hear a recoded message describing the current conditions by calling (307) 344-2117.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.