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Yellowstone National Park: northern portion likely closed for a 'substantial length of time'

Yellowstone National Park flooding June 2022
Posted at 7:48 AM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 12:22:56-04

GREAT FALLS — The northern portion of Yellowstone National Park is likely to remain closed for a "substantial length of time" due to severely damaged infrastructure caused by flooding, park officials said on Tuesday evening (June 14, 2022).

Park officials says that it is "probable" that road sections in northern Yellowstone will not reopen this season due to the time required for repairs.

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly said the Yellowstone River at Gardiner was recorded at 51,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) on Sunday night; the highest ever before that was 31,000 CFS.

Park officials provided the following details:

  • Aerial assessments show major damage to numerous 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Known damage (at this time) to some park roads includes:

    • North Entrance (Gardiner, Montana) to Mammoth Hot Springs: road washed out in multiple places, significant rockslide at Gardner Canyon
    • Tower Junction to Northeast Entrance: segment of road washed out near Soda Butte Picnic Area, mudslides, downed trees
    • Tower-Roosevelt to Canyon Junction (Dunraven Pass): mudslide on road
    • Canyon Junction to Fishing Bridge: Segment of road just south of Canyon Junction potentially compromised and closed for evaluation
  • The power is still out in numerous locations in the park.
  • Water and wastewater systems at Canyon Village and Mammoth Hot Springs have been affected by flooding and are being monitored.    

Sholly says they hope to reopen the southern loop of the park within a week, but that depends on repairs, especially sewer and water systems and the ability to handle visitors after the devastating flooding that ripped through parts of the park and southwestern Montana.

People planning to visit Yellowstone in the coming weeks should stay informed about the current situation and pay close attention to the status of road and weather conditions.

Stay informed about current road conditions in Yellowstone:

  • Visit the Yellowstone Park Roads page
  • Get alerts on your mobile phone: text “82190” to 888-777
  • Call 307-344-2117 for a recorded message

WATCH - flooding hits parts of southern Montana:

Statewide disaster declared due to severe flooding