After flooding last week forced park officials to close all five entrances to Yellowstone National Park and evacuate residents and visitors, a small portion of the park is reopening. The South Loop will be accessible to customers from the East, West and South entrances, according to a statement released by the National Park Service.
Since much of the park will be closed, an interim entry system will be deployed to ensure the park and visitors are safe. Visitors will be allowed inside based on vehicle license plate. License plates that have odd numbers of last digits can enter odd days of the month, while license plates with even numbers as the last digit can enter even days of the month. Plates with letters and numbers will enter depending on whether the last digit of the plate is even or odd. Plates consisting only of letters will be allowed entry on odd-numbered days.
According to the NPS, people who are exceptions to the license plate system include people entering the parks on foot, by bicycle, and people who have overnight reservations in the park. The diagram below explains the system:
“Less than six days ago, Yellowstone National Park was hit by devastating flooding,” Superintendent Cam Sholly said in a statement. shared on June 18. “Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our teams and partners, we are ready to reopen the South Loop of Yellowstone. It is impossible to reopen a single loop in the summer without having some type of system in place to manage visits.”
With the reopening of the South Loop, visitors will be able to access the Old Faithful, West Thumb, Grant Village, Bridge Bay, Fishing Bridge, Lake Village and Norris areas of the park. The hinterland will only be open during the day. Closed areas on the South Loop include Canyon Village Lodges and Cabins, Canyon, Madison, Norris, and Lewis Lake Campgrounds, as well as the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center and Trailside Museum. The map shows the current openings and closings:
“We will also be reopening new sections of the park as repairs are made. It is essential that visitors remain informed of this interim system as we evaluate its effectiveness,” Sholly’s statement continued. “They should plan ahead and be patient with us as we are still managing a significant recovery while entering this operational phase.”
You can find all the park’s opening hours and open areas at National Park Service website.