Much of northern Yellowstone park to reopen Saturday

Tourists are seen in a crowded boardwalk along the Fountain Paint Pot Nature Trail, June 22, in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo.

Tourists are seen in a crowded boardwalk along the Fountain Paint Pot Nature Trail, June 22, in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. (Matthew Brown, Associated Press)


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MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. — Yellowstone National Park is reopening its flood-damaged north loop at noon on Saturday, in time for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, park Superintendent Cam Sholly said Thursday.

Allowing access to the north loop means much of the park would be open just weeks after massive flooding forced thousands to flee as water, rocks and mud washed out roads and bridges.

"We're pleased to reopen the north loop of Yellowstone to the visiting public less than three weeks after this major flood event," said Superintendent Cam Sholly. "We have attempted to balance major recovery efforts while reopening as much of the park as possible."

The north loop includes Norris Junction, Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower-Roosevelt and Canyon Junction.

The north and northeast entrance gates at Gardiner and Cooke City remain closed and there will not be access to the Lamar Valley due to damage from flooding that began on June 12.

Services in the north loop will include general stores at Tower and Mammoth Hot Springs with gasoline at both locations.

The alternating license plate entry system also will be suspended, Sholly said.

The backcountry in the northern part of the park will remain closed due to hazardous conditions or damaged trails and bridges. Most of the park's southern backcountry will be open to overnight use on Friday, officials said.

Visitors are urged to stay informed about park conditions by checking the park's website for updates about access and closures.

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The Associated Press

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