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June 18th Updates: Yellowstone National Park Closed All Entrances After Heavy Flooding

Published on June 13th, 2022 by Levi Henley

Updated June 18th: Yellowstone National Park’s South Loop Will Reopen On June 22

  • JUNE 18, 2022. South Loop is to reopen on June 22nd. The park will institute an interim visitor access plan to balance the visitor access with the park resources and the economic interests of the communities.
  • JUNE 17, 2022. The National Park Service (NPS) engaged over 1,000 partners in surrounding gateway communities, counties, and states to brief on flood damage impacts and collaborate on reopening strategies.
  • JUNE 14, 2022. Assessments show the Northern portion of Yellowstone National Park is likely to remain closed for a substantial length of time due to severely damaged, impacted infrastructure
  • JUNE 13, 2022 at 11:10 a.m. Yellowstone National Park closed all entrances due to heavy flooding and extremely hazardous conditions, to the park.

UPDATE: JUNE 18, 2022. Following record-breaking flooding that has damaged nearby towns and many areas of Yellowstone itself and rendered Yellowstone National Park closed to visitors, the park will begin allowing visitors to access the south loop of the park again at 8 a.m. Wednesday, June 22. However, the North Loop of the park will most likely remain closed for a while.

Access Will Be Limited

The park and surrounding communities have a difficult task ahead to balance the economic needs of the park and surrounding towns with visitor demand and local resources. To do this, access will be based on an interim visitor access plan using an Alternating License Plate System (ALPS).

Find detailed information about the ALPS and what areas of the park will be open/closed on the 22nd below.

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Road map showing open and closed roads in Yellowstone National Park.
A road map provided by the NPS of Yellowstone National Park indicates points of interest, park road closures due to flooding and improvement projects, and areas where flood impacts occurred. Source: NPS

Areas Open in The South Loop as Of June 22

Old FaithfulWest Thumb, Grant VillageBridge Bay, Fishing Bridge, Lake Village, and Norris visitor services will be open. As will the West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center and Canyon Village Visitor Education Center.

Back Country Camping

Backcountry areas accessible from roads open to the public will be available, but as of the 22nd will be restricted for day use only. Overnight use from trailheads in the south is set to open on July 1st.  

These South Loop Areas Will Be Closed Until Further Notice

More details about what’s open and closed can be found on the NPS Operating Hours and Seasons page.

How Can I Access Yellowstone via The Alternating License Plate System (ALPS)?

Alternating License Plate System (ALPS)

  • Beginning June 22, 2022, public vehicle entry will be allowed based on whether the last numerical digit on a license plate is odd or even.
  • Entrance will be granted based on odd/even days on the calendar:
    • Odd-numbered last digits on license plates can enter on odd days of the month.
    • Even-numbered last digits, including zero, on license plates can enter on even days of the month.
  • Personalized license plates with all letters (e.g. YLWSTNE) will fall into the “odd” category for entrance purposes.
  • Personalized plates with a mix of letters and numbers that end with a letter (e.g. YELL4EVR) will still use the last numerical digit on the plate to determine entrance days.
  • Entrance station staff will turn away vehicles attempting to enter the park when the odd/even numerical digits do not correspond to the odd/even calendar date for entrance.

Exceptions to ALPS

  • Visitors with proof of overnight reservations in the park will be permitted to enter regardless of license plate number. This includes hotels, campgrounds, and backcountry reservations.
  • Current commercial use operators with active commercial use permits will be permitted to enter regardless of license plate number. This includes commercial tours and stock groups.
  • Commercial motorcoaches will be permitted to enter regardless of license plate number.
  • Motorcycle groups may enter on even dates only.
  • Essential services like mail, FedEx, employees, and contractors may enter regardless of license plate number.

This interim license plate system will ensure visitors have access to the park during this period of high demand. Park managers and staff will monitor this system and its impacts on resources, infrastructure, operations, and staffing, and may adjust or implement a reservation or timed entry system, if necessary, after three to four weeks.

Yellowstone flood event 2022: Employee housing site after flood
Yellowstone flood event 2022: Employee housing site after flood

Previous Updates

JUNE 13, 2022 at 11:10 a.m. Due to heavy flooding, rockslides, and extremely hazardous conditions, Yellowstone National Park closed all entrances to the park. NPS expects rainfall to continue for the next several days. Flooding is already beyond historic levels and has washed out many roads within the park. In addition, flooding has damaged several bridges.

The Park is not allowing any inbound visitor traffic during the closure including visitors with lodging and camping reservations. The Yellowstone National Park closure will remain in effect at least until conditions stabilize and the NPS can assess damage to the park’s infrastructure and facilities.

Video released by NPS on June 13, 2022, at 4:32 p.m. “underscores the severity of the situation in Yellowstone National Park.”

Statement Released at 1:16 P.M.

Superintendent Cam Sholly released the following statement at 1:16 p.m. on June 13th. “Our first priority has been to evacuate the northern section of the park where we have multiple road and bridge failures, mudslides and other issues. The community of Gardiner is currently isolated, and we are working with the county and State of Montana to provide necessary support to residents, who are currently without water and power in some areas.

Due to predictions of higher flood levels in areas of the park’s southern loop, in addition to concerns with water and wastewater systems, we will begin to move visitors in the southern loop out of the park later today in coordination with our in-park business partners. We will not know timing of the park’s reopening until flood waters subside and we’re able to assess the damage throughout the park. It is likely that the northern loop will be closed for a substantial amount of time.

I appreciate the efforts of the Yellowstone team and partners to safely evacuate areas of the park and of our gateway community partners who are helping us through this major event. We appreciate the support offered by the Department of Interior, National Park Service and the Montana and Wyoming governors.”

Additionally, due to approximately 3 feet of flooding, Montana DOT has closed US Highway 89 S at Yankee Jim Canyon. Stay informed about highway conditions at the Montana Department of Transportation.

Half a road in Yellowstone that has collapsed into the river to to substantial flooding.
Some roads are expected to need extensive repairs and remain closed for a prolonged period.

Those With Plans To Visit The Park

The park is advising those with plans to visit the park in the coming weeks to pay close attention to the status of road conditions. NPS has predicted some roads may remain closed for a prolonged period of time.

Stay Safe And Stay Up To Date

  • Visit Park Roads to get road updates.
  • Get text updates on your mobile phone by texting “82190” to 888-777. An automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions.
  • Call (307) 344-2117 for a recorded message.
Some of the damage seen so far.

Yellowstone and the National Park Service will continue to communicate about this hazardous situation as more information is available.

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3 thoughts on “June 18th Updates: Yellowstone National Park Closed All Entrances After Heavy Flooding”

  1. Before you get people all freaked out the west entrance to Yellowstone will be Open June 19th ,
    US – 20 US 287
    This was reported 5 hours ago.
    Happy Trails


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