At 8 a.m. on June 22, Yellowstone National Park will begin allowing visitors to access the south loop of the park following recent flooding. Access from the north end of the park is likely to remain closed most of the summer.
The south loop is accessed from the East (Cody), West (West Yellowstone), and South (Grand Teton/Jackson). Areas accessible include Madison, Old Faithful, Grant Village, Lake Village, Canyon Village and Norris (map). As part of reopening planning, park staff have engaged over 1,000 business owners, park partners, commercial operators and residents in surrounding gateway communities to determine how to manage summer visitation while the north loop remains closed due to flood damage.
To balance the demand for visitor access, park resource protection and economic interests of the communities, the park will institute an interim visitor access plan. The interim plan, referred to as the Alternating License Plate System (ALPS), was suggested as a solution by gateway communities during major public engagement with the park this past week. Park managers and partners have agreed this system is the best interim solution to ensuring the south loop does not become overwhelmed by visitors. The National Park Service will actively monitor the license plate system and is concurrently building a new reservation system that will be ready for implementation if needed.
For a map of Yellowstone and photos of the flood impact, click here.