June flood drowns Gardiner businesses' summer revenue

Gardiner was built in a narrow basin between the Gallatin and Absaroka mountains with the Yellowstone River running through the middle of town.

Brett French

Although the community of Gardiner has a population of around 900, it can see a million visitors pass through on their way to Yellowstone National Park. At the peak of summer travel, as many as 2,000 to 3,000 people a day may crowd the streets with RVs, cars and trucks pulling camping trailers.

This summer, it was the opposite. Gardiner felt close to a ghost town.

“It just feels depressing,” said lifelong Gardiner resident Zondra Skertch. “We need a good summer to get through the winter.”

More elk than tourists seemed to roam the streets of Gardiner and adjacent Yellowstone National Park’s North Entrance on occasion. 

Brett French

On June 13, high water in the Gardner River washed out the road from the North Entrance into Yellowstone, cutting off the town of

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