Cam Sholly

Cooke City, Montana
Kevin Baird/FLICKR (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Several days after Yellowstone National Park reopened its two Wyoming entrances to visitors, the park lifted the gates at its north and northeastern Montana entrances for through-traffic only. It may provide relief for some business owners during Memorial Day weekend.

A sign near Gardiner, Montana, sits near the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park, May 16, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

Big sky country and big adventures drew in over 12 million tourists to Montana last year. As the state moves to reopen amid low COVID-19 case numbers, some Montana communities have to weigh the economic importance of tourism with local safety.

The National Park Service is beginning to test public access in some of its parks across the country, and Yellowstone National Park will allow visitors to enter the park through its Wyoming gates beginning Monday, May 18. Glacier National Park remains closed, but both parks prepare to open access in Montana in the coming weeks.

A map of which roads will be open and closed on May 18 in Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks announced plans to partially reopen in phases starting on May 18, after a seven week closure due to COVID-19. 

Starting Monday at noon, visitors will be allowed to enter Yellowstone National Park through its southern and eastern Wyoming gates. They’ll be limited to the lower loop of the park, which includes Old Faithful, Yellowstone Lake and Hayden Valley.

A sign near Gardiner, Montana, sits near the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park, May 16, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio


Yellowstone National Park is gathering input from gateway communities, governors and federal agencies to develop a gradual reopening plan.