Solitude and sorrow: Biking into Yellowstone's closed entrance spectacular, but businesses struggle

SILVER GATE — Last July, more than 81,000 people rolled through Yellowstone National Park’s Northeast Entrance — more than 2,600 each day.

This year, on July 22, 14 people were walking or biking down a 6-mile stretch of road from the entrance.

Cars have not been allowed on the route since historic flooding in mid-June washed away large sections of the 29-mile route that connects the gate to the park’s Lamar Valley, onto Tower Junction and eventually the park headquarters at Mammoth Hot Springs.

Riding a bike or walking are now the only ways to enter a small slice of this vast national park.

Part-time Silver Gate residents Mike Menzel and Kathryn Iverson rode their electric bikes into the park to fish Soda Butte Creek on July 22. They appreciate fewer visitors but acknowledge the economic hardship for local businesses.

Brett French

“I don’t know about you, but as far as I’m concerned it would be neat if this could always be like this. Always. Because it is so incredible,” said Kathryn Iverson, a Minneapolis resident with a summer home in Silver Gate.

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