Yellowstone National Park Updates

Yellowstone National Park to reopen north loop July 2 and suspend Alternating License Plate System, 93% of roadways will be open

Yellowstone National Park will reopen the north loop on Saturday, July 2, to all visitors. In addition to roads in the south loop, visitors will now be able to access:

  • Norris Junction to Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Mammoth Hot Springs to Tower-Roosevelt
  • Tower-Roosevelt to Canyon Junction (Dunraven Pass)

Visitors can access the south and north loops via the East Entrance (Cody, Wyoming), West Entrance (West Yellowstone, Montana), and South Entrance (Grand Teton/Jackson, Wyoming).

“We're pleased to reopen the north loop of Yellowstone to the visiting public less than three weeks after this major flood event," said Superintendent Cam Sholly. "We have attempted to balance major recovery efforts while reopening as much of the park as possible. We have greatly appreciated the tremendous support of the Department of the Interior; National Park Service; Federal Highway Administration; and our congressional, community, county and state partners."

North loop

Federal Highway Administration engineers have completed final bridge and road safety inspections. Temporary repairs to the wastewater systems have been evaluated and will accommodate day use on the north loop.

The park cautions the public that high water remains in many waterways and to be aware of backcountry closures in the north loop due to hazardous conditions or damaged trails and bridges. Visit Yellowstone’s Backcountry Situation Report for details.

Services in the north loop will include general stores at Tower and Mammoth Hot Springs, and gasoline in both locations. Additional services may open in upcoming weeks. Visit Operating Hours and Seasons for details.

North and Northeast entrances

The North Entrance Road (Gardiner, Montana to Mammoth Hot Springs) and Northeast Entrance Road (Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana to Tower-Roosevelt) remain closed to visitor vehicular traffic while temporary repairs are completed. Visitors may access the park on foot through these entrances in order to recreate (fish and hike) in areas not identified as closed. The park will evaluate authorizing bicycle use through these entrances up to damaged road sections in the near future.

Park staff are working with commercial guides and outfitters in Gardiner and Cooke City/Silver Gate to further expand park access where possible. Yellowstone has reopened a 23-mile segment of the Beartooth Highway (from US-212/WY-296) junction to the ski hill parking lot), providing visitors access to this world-class scenic roadway.

Reconnecting the park to Gardiner and Cooke City/Silver Gate remains Yellowstone's highest flood recovery priority. These communities are open with access to the park as described above.

Alternating License Plate System suspended

Yellowstone implemented the Alternating License Plate System (ALPS) upon reopening the south loop June 22, 2022, to ensure visitor traffic did not overwhelm the south loop. The interim system worked very effectively at moderating traffic within the park, however, with the opening of the north loop and 93% of the road system open, ALPS will be suspended effective July 2. Visitor entrances from East, West, and South will return to normal entrance procedures. Park staff will continue monitoring visitor use data, traffic counts, and the condition of infrastructure over the upcoming months to ensure visitor usage is not overwhelming capacity. The ALPS may be reinstituted if this becomes the case.

Alternating License Plate System (ALPS) for Entry (expires July 2, 2022)

  • Public vehicle entry will be allowed based on whether the last numerical digit on a license plate is odd or even.
  • Entrance will be granted based on odd/even days on the calendar:
    • Odd-numbered last digits on license plates can enter on odd days of the month.
    • Even-numbered last digits, including zero, on license plates can enter on even days of the month.
  • Personalized license plates with all letters (e.g. YLWSTNE) will fall into the “odd” category for entrance purposes.
  • Personalized plates with a mix of letters and numbers that end with a letter (e.g. YELL4EVR) will still use the last numerical digit on the plate to determine entrance days.
  • Entrance station staff will turn away vehicles attempting to enter the park when the odd/even numerical digits do not correspond to the odd/even calendar date for entrance.

Exceptions to ALPS

  • Visitors with proof of overnight reservations in the park will be permitted to enter regardless of license plate number. This includes hotels, campgrounds, and backcountry reservations.
  • Current commercial use operators with active commercial use permits will be permitted to enter regardless of license plate number. This includes commercial tours and stock groups.
  • Commercial motorcoaches will be permitted to enter regardless of license plate number.
  • Motorcycle groups may enter on even dates only.
  • This interim license plate system will ensure visitors have access to the park during this period of high demand. Park managers and staff will monitor this system and its impacts on resources, infrastructure, operations, and staffing, and may adjust or implement a reservation or timed entry system, if necessary, after three to four weeks.

Backcountry (Visit Backcountry Situation Report for details)

Most of Yellowstone's southern backcountry will open to overnight use on Friday, July 1, however some trails and campsites will remain closed for repairs due to flood impacts, high water and bear management closures.

A large portion of the backcountry in the north remains closed as damage assessments continue. Many northern trails have been severely damaged and bridges washed away. Additional backcountry in the northern part of the park will reopen as repairs and final damage assessments are completed.

Stay informed

Visitors traveling to the park must stay informed about the current situation, changes in visitor entry requirements, and road conditions. The public should also use extreme caution in areas of high water.

Visitors should regularly monitor updates from the park on new openings or closures as recovery efforts continue.

THINGS TO DO OUTSIDE OF YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK

Montana offers so much more to experience beyond Yellowstone National Park. There are endless options to experience Montana’s wide-open spaces, touchable history, western offerings and American Indian culture. Cast a fishing line on blue-ribbon waters with an experienced guide in Ennis, walk through Montana history in Virginia City and Nevada City, take the backroads to Helena and explore the Gates of the Mountains. Red Lodge’s historic downtown escaped the flood largely unscathed -- and Red Lodge is open for business.

Additional Yellowstone Road Information

In addition to road closures caused by flood damage, Yellowstone will have routine road improvement projects and maintenance, and park roads can close at any time due to inclement weather or dangerous driving conditions. Stay informed about up-to-date road conditions in Yellowstone:

  • Visit Park Roads
  • Receive Yellowstone road alerts on your mobile phone by texting “82190” to 888-777 (an automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions).
  • Call (307) 344-2117 for a recorded message.
  • Visitors who have trips planned should continue to check the Yellowstone website, local chambers of commerce, and social media for updates to get the most up-to-date information.

Community Updates

For the latest information about what’s happening in each of our communities, please visit:

A Note To Visitors

As many of our communities are already hosting or are now ready to welcome visitors, we encourage you to bring your patience and be sure to “know before you go.” Right now that means:

  • Heed road closures, recreation alerts, signs, and weather safety warnings
  • Make sure to check websites and social media pages for businesses and events, and call before you go
  • Be flexible, and be prepared for plans to change
  • Be aware of cancellation policies for activities and lodging
  • Consider trip insurance
  • Make the best of the situation! It may not be the vacation you planned, but it will be unique and memorable
  • Be kind to workers and locals. Many have lost more than just a vacation

To speak with someone over the phone, please call the Call Center: 800.736.5276.

Travel Resources

  • Call 511 for continual updates about weather-related road conditions, road work, commercial vehicle restrictions, road closures, chain requirements and other travel information via the phone or Internet.
  • Road conditions: LINK
  • Flood Resources: LINK
  • Yellowstone National Park: LINK
  • Stillwater County: LINK
  • Carbon County: LINK
  • Park County: LINK
  • Gallatin County: LINK

RECREATION ALERTS AND RESTRICTIONS:

  • Custer Gallatin National Forest: LINK
  • Beartooth Ranger District: (406) 446-2103
  • Bozeman Ranger District: (406) 587-6701
  • Gardiner Ranger District: (406) 848-7375
  • Hebgen Lake Ranger District: (406) 823-6961
  • Yellowstone (Livingston) Ranger District: (406) 222-1892
  • Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks: LINK
  • Bureau of Land Management Montana/Dakotas: LINK
  • Montana Department of Transportation: LINK
  • Federal reservation system for recreation sites in the U.S., including camping, lodging, tours, permits and passes: LINK

To sign up for text alerts for the following areas, please consider the following resources:

  • Yellowstone National Park: LINK or Text “82190” to 888-7777 (an automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions).
  • Carbon County: LINK
  • Stillwater County: LINK
  • Park County: LINK

FOLLOW LOCAL NEWS FOR ADDITIONAL UPDATES: