Northern Yellowstone blocked for season

It will take months, if not years, for Yellowstone National Park to recover from the cataclysmic flooding that’s ravaged the region over the past two days, the park’s top official said Tuesday.

The damage will keep the northern half of Yellowstone National Park closed to tourists for the rest of the summer, Superintendent Cam Sholly told reporters. The area includes the iconic Lamar Valley, Tower Falls and Mammoth Hot Springs.

The southern loop of Yellowstone National Park may reopen to visitors in a week or less, he added, using some type of reservation system or timed entry to control entry. Travel from Jackson, Wyoming, was already going to be hampered by road construction. Entrances that would be reopened for the southern loop include the East, South and West gates near Cody, Jackson and West Yellowstone, respectively.

“Trying to put normal visitation into one loop in Yellowstone is a disaster waiting to happen,” Sholly said.  

A view upstream from Yellowstone River Road shows the Yellowstone River as it nears a flood-level crest on Tuesday. Two Moon Park is on the right.

LARRY MAYER, Billings Gazette

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