Yellowstone National Park flood recovery: 93% of roadways, 88% of backcountry will be open July 13; Slough Creek will reopen to limited overnight backcountry use July 13; Bicycles allowed on limited portions of the North (Gardiner) and Northeast (Cooke City/Silver Gate) Entrance roads in addition to hiking and fishing access
It’s critical that visitors traveling to the park in the coming weeks stay informed about what’s open and closed
Yellowstone National Park announced yesterday the reopening of Slough Creek to overnight backcountry use on July 13. Located in the northern portion of the park, Slough Creek is one of the park’s most visited backcountry areas. In addition, bicycles will be allowed to enter the North and Northeast Entrance roads for a limited distance. The park closed immediately following a historic flood event in June and has rapidly reopened areas when safe to do so. Approximately 93% of paved roads and 88% of Yellowstone’s backcountry will now be open.
Backcountry (Visit the Backcountry Situation Report for details)
- Starting July 13, public access to Slough Creek from Tower Junction will be limited to overnight backcountry permit holders, stock outfitters and approved commercial guides and operators.
- See the map for area-specific details.
- Park staff will coordinate directly with current backcountry permit holders and commercial operators to allow them to enter and exit the area during daylight hours.
- At this time, outside of permit holders allowed into the corridor (as described above), visitors will not be allowed on the 6-mile segment of road from Tower Junction to the Slough Creek Campground Road until further notice. This is largely due to limited traffic capacity on this section of road, the road closure after Slough Creek, construction traffic and other factors that are being monitored as the road partially opens. The park will monitor use within this corridor and determine if expanded day-use can occur at a later date.
- The park is developing a new day-use permit system to potentially allow additional visitor access to Slough Creek at a later date. This is not being implemented at this time.
- The park will look to open a portion of the road to foot traffic from Tower Junction to the Yellowstone River to provide fishing access in the near future.
- The Slough Creek Campground will remain closed until further notice.
- Construction traffic on the Northeast Entrance Road will be heavy at times.
- Currently 88% of Yellowstone’s backcountry is open to overnight and day-use.
- Currently 88% of the 1,000 miles of park trails are open with 12% closed due to historic flooding. The majority of closed trails are in the northern portion of the park.
- Currently 88% of the 293 backcountry campsites in the park are open with 12% closed due to limited access, flood impacts and high water.
- Crews are continuing to evaluate damage and make repairs throughout the park.
- Sections of the Lamar River Corridor and Miller Creek will likely not reopen this year due to extensive damage.
- Visit Camp in Backcountry 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 vehicular traffic while temporary repairs are completed.
- Visitors can now access the park on bicycles and by foot through these entrances.
- From the North Entrance, bicyclists can travel 1 mile to the Rescue Creek Trailhead.
- From the Northeast Entrance, bicyclists can travel 6 miles to the Barronette Meadows area.
- On June 30, the park announced that visitors can access the park on foot through these entrances to recreate (fish and hike) in areas not identified as closed. Any visitors accessing these areas should understand dangers and risks of travel within these corridors.
- Approved guides and outfitters are being granted as much access as possible to opened sections of the park through the North and Northeast Entrance Roads.
- Park staff will continue to work with commercial guides and outfitters in Gardiner and Cooke City/Silver Gate to further expand park access where possible.
- 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.
Temporary and extremely limited access from the North Entrance to Mammoth Hot Springs
- A temporary and extremely limited access road (Old Gardiner Road) between the North Entrance and Mammoth Hot Springs is currently an active construction zone and being converted to two lanes before winter.
- At this time, ONLY approved personnel and limited commercial use authorization holders are allowed on the road.
- Normal visitor vehicular traffic, bicycles, pedestrians and horses are not allowed.
- Visitors may access the park through the North Entrance through approved guiding and outfitting services.
- The park is working diligently to ensure this single-lane dirt road will be a two-lane, paved and safe-to-travel-on road before winter, allowing some limited and managed visitor traffic.
- Visitors traveling to the park must stay informed about what is OPEN and CLOSED throughout the park. Visit Operating Hours and Seasons for more info.
- Monitor the park website and social media for updates.
- Stay informed about up-to-date road conditions in Yellowstone:
- Visit Park Roads.
- To receive Yellowstone road alerts on your mobile phone, text “82190” to 888-777 (an automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions).
- Call (307) 344-2117 for a recorded message.