South Loop Reopens in Yellowstone National Park

With new entry system for visitors, opportunities abound outside of Yellowstone National Park

After temporary closures last week, Yellowstone National Park is welcoming visitors back today with the reopening of its south loop and three of its five entrances, including the West Entrance, South Entrance and East Entrance.

“The National Park Service has done an incredible job of getting the park back open for visitors,” said Scott Osterman, Director for the Montana Department of Commerce. “Tourism is a vital part of our economy, and we invite visitors to continue with their trips to Yellowstone National Park and Montana and encourage them to enjoy all our state has to offer beyond the park.”

Visitor access will be granted based on a just-launched alternating license plate system, which allows alternating entry on odd and even days of the month based on license plates.

West Yellowstone, Montana – which borders Yellowstone National Park and is home to the park’s most popular West Entrance – is the closest access point to the park and is open for travelers, with a variety of things to do, see and experience, including the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, Yellowstone Aerial Adventures and Museum of the Yellowstone.

Beyond West Yellowstone, there are endless options to experience Montana’s wide-open spaces, touchable history, western offerings and American Indian culture. Cast a fishing line on blue-ribbon waters with an experienced guide in Ennis, walk through Montana history in Virginia City and Nevada City, take the backroads to Helena and explore the Gates of the Mountains.

“While we know this is throwing a wrench in the plans of many travelers, it’s an incredible opportunity to be flexible and explore other parts of Montana, all while supporting local businesses and towns,” said Jan Stoddard, Bureau Chief of the Office of Tourism for Montana.

While there is no confirmed opening date for the park’s North Entrance through Gardiner or the Northeast Entrance via Cooke City, both Gardiner and Red Lodge are open and accessible for travelers.

Earlier this month, unprecedented amounts of rainfall caused substantial flooding, rockslides, and mudslides within Yellowstone National Park and south-central Montana. Historic water levels caused severe damage to roads, water and wastewater systems, power lines, and other infrastructure. The latest information from Yellowstone National Park can be found here.

Travelers are encouraged to visit the following sites for up-to-date information: