Yellowstone begins to reopen with infusion of emergency cash
News and wire reports
Yellowstone National Park will partially reopen at 8 a.m. Wednesday after catastrophic flooding destroyed bridges and roads and drove out thousands of tourists.
The Park Service announced Saturday that visitors will once again be allowed on the park’s southern loop under a temporary license plate system designed to manage the crowds: Those with even-numbered plates and motorcycle groups will be allowed on even-numbered days, and those with odd-numbered or vanity plates on odd-numbered days.
Commercial tours and visitors with proof of overnight reservations at hotels, campgrounds, or in the backcountry will be allowed in whatever their plate number.
Visitors had been flocking to Yellowstone during its 150th-anniversary celebration. The southern loop provides access to Old Faithful, the rainbow-colored Grand Prismatic Spring, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and its majestic waterfall. It can be accessed from the park’s south, east and west entrances.
The Park Service also announced that in addition to the park’s southern loop reopening on June 22, the park’s northern loop is expected to reopen in two weeks or less following completion of clean-up, repairs and final inspection of the northern loop infrastructure.
This will allow visitors to access Dunraven Pass, Tower, Mammoth Hot Springs and Norris opening visitor access to approximately 80 percent of Yellowstone National Park.
Additional details on access will be announced in the coming weeks, Montana’s congressional delegation said in a release.
The openings come after Montana’s congressional delegation secured $50 million in emergency Federal Highway Administration funding from the Biden Administration.
The funds were requested by U.S. Sens. Tester and Daines and Congressman Matt Rosendale.