Yellowstone National Park reopens North Entrance after summer flooding

Yellowstone National Park as seen from KSL-TV's Chopper 5 on June 15 after severe flooding damaged roads and shut down the park. The North Entrance to the park and the road to Mammoth Hot Springs have reopened after summer flooding closers.

Yellowstone National Park as seen from KSL-TV's Chopper 5 on June 15 after severe flooding damaged roads and shut down the park. The North Entrance to the park and the road to Mammoth Hot Springs have reopened after summer flooding closers. (Meghan Thackrey, KSL-TV)



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MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyoming — The North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park reopened Sunday, along with the road to Mammoth Hot Springs, after historic flooding in June closed the park.

The North Entrance in Gardiner, Montana, and the Old Gardiner Road were scheduled to open to regular visitor traffic on Tuesday, but the National Park Service announced the reopening two days early after contractors completed striping the road on Saturday.

"We're pleased to be reopening the North Entrance and reconnecting Yellowstone to Gardiner, Montana," said park superintendent Cam Sholly, in a press release on Friday. "We want to thank the outstanding support and work of the Federal Highway Administration and HK Contractors, Inc., for getting this road build in just four months."

Flooding caused by days of rain and a quickly melting snowpack washed away roads, bridges and houses in Yellowstone in June, and forced the evacuations of tourists and residents. The floodwaters were higher than any in more than a century.

The National Park Service said most other roads in the park will close on Tuesday to allow the park to prepare for the winter season. Snowmobile and snowcoach travel will begin Dec. 15.

Contractors also modernized several aspects of the road by paving and striping the entire roadway, installing over 5,000 feet of guardrails for traffic safety and building a new quarter-mile approach into Mammoth Hot Springs to avoid a steep grade on the original road, according to the National Park Service.

The road is anticipated to handle 2,000-3,000 vehicles per day entering the park from the North Entrance.

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