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Increased biking, hiking, fishing access in Yellowstone 

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YELLOWSTONE PUBLIC AFFAIRS

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. – Yellowstone National Park today announced that visitors will be able to park at Tower Junction and bicycle, hike and fish between Tower Junction and Slough Creek starting Thursday, July 21. The road between Tower Junction and Slough Creek is also open for commercial tour authorization holders, commercial tour operators, and stock outfitters to provide public access by vehicle. The park is finalizing a day-use reservation system for visitor vehicle access which will be online by Aug. 1, allowing reservation holders day-use access with their vehicles.    

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 94% of Yellowstone’s backcountry is open.

New access

Tower Junction to Slough Creek

  • Starting July 21, visitors will be able to bicycle, hike and fish on a segment of the Northeast Entrance Road between Tower Junction and Slough Creek.
  • Visitors are asked to park vehicles appropriately in the Tower Junction area and not block public or emergency access.
  • Visitors riding bikes or hiking near the roadway are reminded that construction traffic east of Tower Junction on the Northeast Entrance Road will be heavy at times.

Backcountry: Slough Creek

  • The park provided limited public day-use access at Slough Creek to approved commercial operators, overnight backcountry permit holders and stock outfitters on July 16.
  • Visit the Backcountry Situation Report for details.

Beartooth Highway

  • The Beartooth Highway is anticipated to reopen Friday, July 22, at 5 p.m.
  • Yellowstone reopened a 23-mile segment of the Beartooth Highway (from US-212/WY-296 junction to the ski hill parking lot) on June 28.
  • Nighttime closures are in effect at the Pilot Index Overlook east to Beartooth Lake Campground. Due to ongoing construction on the Beartooth, the following closures apply:
    • Closures will be in effect from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Thursday. There will be no closures Friday through Sunday.
    • This is a hard closure and traffic will not be allowed to pass through during these times.
    • Closures will be in effect through mid-October and are necessary to allow for ongoing highway construction.
  • Check the Montana and Wyoming departments of transportation websites for road updates and status throughout the summer.

Current access

Backcountry

Parkwide

  • Currently 94% of Yellowstone’s backcountry is open to overnight and day-use.
  • Crews are continuing to evaluate damage and make repairs throughout the park.
  • Visit Camp in Backcountry for details.

Slough Creek

North and Northeast entrances

  • Visitors can access the park on bicycles and by foot through the North (Gardiner, Montana) and Northeast (Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana) entrances to fish and hike in areas not identified as closed.
    • From the North Entrance, recreators can travel 1 mile to the Rescue Creek Trailhead.
    • From the Northeast Entrance, recreators can travel 6 miles to the Barronette Meadows area.
  • Any visitors accessing these areas should understand the 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.
  • The communities of Gardiner and Cooke City/Silver Gate are open with access to the park as described above.  

North Entrance to Mammoth Hot Springs: Temporary and extremely limited access

  • 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 approved commercial use authorization holders are allowed on the road.
  • Visitors may access the park through the Old Gardiner Road with an approved commercial use authorization holder (guide).

Closed access

North Entrance Road

  • The Old Gardiner Road remains closed to general visitor vehicular traffic, bicycles, pedestrians and horses while road improvements are being completed.
  • It is an active construction zone.

Northeast Entrance Road

  • The Northeast Entrance Road (Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana, to Tower Junction) remains closed to visitor vehicular traffic while temporary repairs are completed.
  • It is an active construction zone.
  • The Northeast Entrance Road between the Slough Creek Campground Road, Lamar Valley and the barrier near Barronette Meadows is closed to vehicle and foot traffic while major construction repairs are being made. This closure is expected to stay in place for the upcoming months allowing contractors to complete work.

Backcountry

  • Sections of the Lamar River Corridor and Miller Creek will likely not reopen this year due to extensive damage.
  • Visit the Backcountry Situation Report for details.

Future access

North and Northeast Entrances

  • Extensive work continues to ensure the Old Gardiner Road, a 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. Once completed, visitor traffic will be allowed to resume.
  • Extensive work continues to ensure damage to multiple sections of the Northeast Entrance Road will be completed before winter. Once completed, general traffic will be allowed to access the communities of Cooke City/Silver Gate through the park.
  • Park staff will continue to work with commercial guides and outfitters in Gardiner, Montana, and Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana, 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.

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.

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