Yellowstone officials declare reopening a success

Nicole Pollack Casper Star-Tribune

The southern half of Yellowstone National Park reopened to the public as planned at 8 a.m. Wednesday, a week and a half after it closed due to severe flooding.

Cars were backed up half a mile from the East Gate, outside Cody, an hour before the park opened. The first RV to arrive at that gate — driven from Michigan by a family of six — had been parked in front of the gate since 10 the night before.

Park visitors watch as Old Faithful erupts on Wednesday in Yellowstone National Park. Crowds were relatively light on the first day of the park’s reopening.

“Right now, there is a sense of excitement to let people in, and have them enjoy the park and see what they came to see,” said Rebecca Roland, one of the rangers stationed at the East Gate as cars entered.

“I would like people to know not to cancel their reservations,” Roland said. “We’re so excited to welcome them into the southern loop. They can still see everything that makes Yellowstone Yellowstone.”

The National Park Service closed all

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