Here’s the latest on what’s open and closed in Yellowstone Park
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK – As flood recovery efforts continue in Yellowstone National Park, officials are reopening additional areas to visitors.
Slough Creek is now open to overnight backcountry use, as of Wednesday morning. Located in the northern portion of the park, Slough Creek is one of the park’s most visited backcountry areas.
In a news release dated July 12, park officials say public access to Slough Creek from Tower Junction will be limited to overnight backcountry permit holders until further notice. Those with a permit can enter and exit the area during daylight hours at the discretion of park staff.
The Slough Creek Campground will remain closed and those without a permit will not be allowed on the 6-mile section from Tower Junction to the Slough Creek Campground Road. Limited traffic capacity and construction in the area is the main reason for this.
Officials will determine whether expanded access can happen at a later date. The park is also considering opening a portion of the road from Tower Junction to the Yellowstone River to foot traffic and fishing access.
Bicycles can now enter the north and northeast entrance roads for a limited distance. From the north entrance, bikers can travel one mile to the Rescue Creek Trailhead. Bikers can travel six miles to the Barronette Meadows area from the northeast entrance.
“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,” the news release says.
Old Gardiner Road between the north entrance and Mammoth Hot Springs is being converted to a two-lane road and is currently an active construction zone. Only approved personnel are allowed on this road right now.
Sections of the Lamar River Corridor and Miller Creek will likely not reopen this year due to extensive damage.
A new day-use permit system is being considered to allow for additional access in the near future.
The park closed for nine days last month following record flooding. Crews are continuing to assess the damage and make repairs.
As of Wednesday, 93% of paved roads are back open, along with 88% of Yellowstone’s backcountry.
“Park staff will continue to work with commercial guides and outfitters in Gardiner and Cooke City to further expand park access where possible. Reconnecting (this route) remains Yellowstone’s highest … priority,” the news release says.
Visitors must stay informed about what is open and closed throughout the park. Visit the park’s website and Facebook page for updates. You can also call (307) 344-2117 or text 82190 to 888-777 for mobile alerts.