Much of northern Yellowstone park to reopen Saturday
MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) — Yellowstone National Park is reopening its flood-damaged north loop at noon on Saturday, in time for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
The announcement means most of the park will be open again after July 13 flooding closed the park and forced 10,000 visitors to leave.
Park officials say the roads from Norris Junction to Mammoth Hot Springs, to Tower-Roosevelt, to Canyon Junction and back to Norris Junction will be open.
The loop is reopening nearly three weeks after massive flooding forced thousands to flee the park as water, rocks and mud washed out bridges and roads.
Superintendent Cam Sholly says the alternating license plate entry system will be suspended.
Visitors can enter the park via West Yellowstone, Montana; Cody, Wyoming, and the south entrance near Jackson, Wyoming.
The north and northeast entrance gates at Gardiner and Cooke City remain closed and visitors cannot access the wildlife-rich Lamar Valley because flooding washed out roads in the area. Road repairs could take years, park officials have said, but they hope to have a temporary solution to travel between Tower-Roosevelt and the northeast entrance near Cooke City before winter, park spokesperson Morgan Warthin said.
Services available in the north loop will include general stores at Tower and Mammoth Hot Springs with gasoline at both locations. More services may be added as the season progresses.
The entire park was closed from June 14 to June 21 due to historic flooding that hit just as the summer tourist season was picking up in the park’s 150th anniversary year.
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