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Yellowstone’s North Entrance and road to Mammoth Hot Springs to open Nov. 1


MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. (KIFI) – Yellowstone National Park’s North Entrance in Gardiner, Montana, and road between the North Entrance and Mammoth Hot Springs (Old Gardiner Road) will open to regular visitor traffic Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 8 a.m. 

Visitors should keep the following details in mind when driving the road: 

  • Yellowstone reminds the public of everyone’s responsibility to use the road carefully to avoid accidents. 
  • Steep grades and sharp curves exist and speed limits range between 15-25 mph. 
  • There are no length or weight restrictions on the road (see exceptions), however, oversized vehicles and vehicles with trailers must use caution in curves to maintain lanes.  
  • After opening to the public, the road will continue to be an active construction zone. Drivers will need to use caution and watch for crews and heavy equipment. 
  • During inclement winter weather, short-term (30 minute) closures may occur to allow for plowing.  
  • Clean-up efforts will continue beyond Nov. 1 for as long as weather permits.  

“We’re pleased to be reopening the North Entrance and reconnecting Yellowstone to Gardiner, Montana,” Superintendent Cam Sholly said. “We want to thank the outstanding support and work of the Federal Highway Administration and HK Contractors, INC for getting this road built in just four months.” 

“It’s thanks to the strong partnership between Yellowstone National Park, the Western Federal Lands Division of the Federal Highway Administration and the Intermountain Region of the National Park Service that we were able to rapidly respond to this event and re-establish access for Yellowstone visitors, employees and gateway communities,” FHWA Associate Administrator of Federal Lands Timothy Hess said. “The multi-agency response team includes dozens of men and women who have worked tirelessly to plan and execute the repairs needed to open these roads before winter sets in. We’re proud to be part of this effort and will continue to support ongoing work to ensure continued access to one of our nation’s most beloved parks.” 

Access between Gardiner and Mammoth Hot Springs has been limited since the historic flood event in June that resulted in significant damage to approximately five sections of the North Entrance Road. The park closed the North Entrance Road and immediately began to focus considerable time and funding to improve the Old Gardiner Road, the best and only option to quickly reconnect Yellowstone National Park to Gardiner. 

Over the last four months crews modernized the historic Old Gardiner Road. Traffic-safety improvements include: 

  • Turning the 1880’s single-lane dirt road into two lanes,  
  • Paving and striping the entire road (4 miles), 
  • Installing over 5,000 feet of guardrail for traffic safety,  
  • Expanding road widths,  
  • Creating new pullouts, 
  • Building a new ¼ -mile approach road into Mammoth Hot Springs to avoid a 12-15% steep grade on the original road. The new approach required additional engineering and design to provide a safe road base to handle the 2,000-3,000 vehicles per day that enter the park from the North Entrance.

This project is being completed with support from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and funded largely by FHWA Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads (ERFO). HK Contractors, INC is the primary construction company under contract to complete this project. 

Visitors are reminded that nearly all other roads in the park will be closed Nov. 1. Yellowstone annually closes roads at this time of year to prepare them for the winter season and snowmobile and snowcoach travel, which will begin Dec. 15.  

Stay informed

  • Stay informed about up-to-date road conditions in Yellowstone:
    • Visit Park Roads.
    • Receive Yellowstone road alerts on your mobile phone by texting “82190” to 888-777 (an automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions).
    • Call (307) 344-2117 for a recorded message.
Article Topic Follows: Wyoming

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