Yellowstone National Park's North entrance opens for tourist travel
Four months after damaging floods hit south-central Montana, Gardiner’s connection to Yellowstone National Park was restored this weekend.
The park's North entrance road opened for regular tourist traffic on Sunday — two days ahead of its original opening date — after flooding this spring isolated the gateway town.
Talking to reporters during a tour on Saturday, Park Superintendent Cam Sholly said it didn’t take long for crews to take the Old Gardiner Road from a 10-foot wide dirt road to a paved two lane road.
“The public is going to need to understand that this is a road that was constructed in four months in the mountains, so there’s going to be curves and steep grades,” he said.
There will not be length or weight restrictions on the road, but oversized vehicles are asked to use caution.
Sholly says the road is a good interim solution until a permanent fix is decided.
“This is a $20 million-plus investment we’ve already gotten into this road," he said. "We’ll absolutely look at more improvements to this road as a potential alternative for the permanent."
For now, Sholly says Yellowstone is looking forward to its winter season and to seeing 2000-3000 cars a day drive the road from Gardiner to Mammoth Hot Springs next summer.
The park’s West, South and East entrances will close on Tuesday. Entrance fees into the park are waived on Monday.