Flooding in Yellowstone: What do the historic floods mean for travelers planning to visit this summer?



“One thing we know for sure is that half the park can’t handle all the visits,” Sholly said. His team is currently looking at a wide range of solutions, including timed reservation systems, to find out when the South Loop can safely reopen.

“People should re-evaluate summer trips to Yellowstone National Park,” says Wes Martel, senior Wind River conservation associate at the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. “There is long-term reconstruction that needs to take place and that will disrupt travel for some time.

Wyoming Office of Tourism and its partners are quickly compiling resources for potential travelers looking to redirect their summer trips to Yellowstone. “Although Yellowstone National Park is currently closed, Wyoming’s gateway towns to the park and other towns and attractions around Wyoming remain open,” said Piper Singer Cunningham, public relations and media manager for the Wyoming Tourist Board. It encourages the visit Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Bighorn National Forestthe Buffalo Bill West Centeror one of Wyoming’s magnificent state parks as an alternative.

Grand Teton, the closest national park to Yellowstone, is already feeling the pressure of people diverting their flood plans. “It’s very much like mid-July in terms of occupancy,” says Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Chip Jenkins. “You should expect lots of other people visiting, so plan accordingly. Additionally, there are many wonderful places and communities in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and in Wyoming that are well worth your visit Jenkins suggests visiting breathtaking Wyoming Bighorn Mountains as an alternative. Next “leaves no tracePrinciples are also more important than ever as public lands are crowded.

Smaller gateway towns that serve Yellowstone, particularly Gardiner and Cooke City, are going to be hit hard by the devastation, said Park County Commissioner Bill Berg. For park lovers who are concerned about the future economic viability of these communities, he proactively suggests making a future reservation and exploring the surrounding areas, even though Yellowstone’s northern gates may remain closed.

He also shared a little advice for those who want to help from a distance. “Two words: gift certificates,” says Berg. “They put money on the books of these companies and are our future pledge of support.”

As for when the park plans to reopen the south entrances to visitors? “I would say we’re shooting for a week or less to open up the southern loop,” Sholly said. “But again, it’s complicated, because it depends on developing an appropriate visitor utilization plan.”

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