Yellowstone National Park set to reopen south loop
Part of Yellowstone National Park will reopen on Wednesday, more than a week after historic flooding prompted park officials to evacuate visitors and shut down all entrances.
The park announced Saturday it will allow visitors into the south loop beginning at 8 a.m. on June 22.
"Less than six days ago, Yellowstone National Park was hit with devastating floods,” park Superintendent Cam Sholly said in a statement. "Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our teams and partners, we are prepared to reopen the south loop of Yellowstone."
The southern part of the park will be accessible from the east, west, and south entrances. The south loop encompasses Madison, Old Faithful, Grant Village, Lake Village, Canyon Village and Norris.
Visitor services will be open at Old Faithful, West Thumb, Grant Village, Bridge Bay, Fishing Bridge, Lake Bridge and Norris. The West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center and Canyon Village Visitor Education Center will also be open to the public.
Backcountry areas will be accessible for day use only. Overnight use from trailheads will open July 1.
Yellowstone can attract close to 1 million visitors each month during its summer season. To manage the influx of visitors in a smaller area, the park is temporarily implementing an Alternative License Plate System. Entry into the park will be based on whether the last number on a visitor’s license plate is even or odd, and on the even/odd days of the calendar.
Motorcycles will be allowed in on even days only. Exceptions to the ALPS will be made for commercial use operators, such as tour and stock groups; visitors with overnight reservations in the park; commercial motor coaches; and essential services.
“It is impossible to reopen only one loop in the summer without implementing some type of system to manage visitation,” Sholly said. “As we go through the reopening process, we will monitor the system’s effectiveness and work together to make adjustments that may be necessary.”
The park said earlier in the week that it's "probable" roads in the north loop won't reopen this season.
Sholly says officials will reopen other sections of the park as repairs are made before roads are set to close for the season on Nov. 1.