Hiking events

Increased access to biking, hiking and fishing in Yellowstone

YELLOWSTONE PUBLIC AFFAIRS

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. – Yellowstone National Park announced today that visitors will be able to park at Tower Junction and cycle, hike and fish between Tower Junction and Slough Creek beginning Thursday, July 21. open to commercial tour permit holders, commercial tour operators and stock providers to provide public vehicle access. The park is finalizing a day-use reservation system for visitor vehicle access that will be live by August 1, allowing reservation holders to access day-use with their vehicles.

The park closed immediately after a historic flood in June and quickly reopened areas when it was safe to do so. Approximately 93% of Yellowstone’s paved roads and 94% of the backcountry are open.

New access

Tower Junction at Slough Creek

  • From July 21, visitors will be able to cycle, hike and fish on a segment of the Northeast Entrance Road between Tower Junction and Slough Creek.
  • Visitors are requested to park their vehicles appropriately in the Tower Junction area and not to block public or emergency access.
  • Visitors cycling or hiking near the causeway are reminded that construction traffic east of Tower Junction on the North East Entrance Road will be heavy at times.

Backcountry: Slough Creek

  • The park provided limited public access to Slough Creek to licensed commercial operators, overnight backcountry permit holders and livestock outfitters on July 16.
  • See the backcountry status report for more details.

Beartooth Highway

  • The Beartooth Highway is scheduled to reopen Friday, July 22 at 5 p.m.
  • Yellowstone reopened a 23-mile segment of the Beartooth Highway (from the US-212/WY-296 junction to the ski resort parking lot) on June 28.
  • Nightly closures are in effect at the Pilot Index Overlook east of Beartooth Lake Campground. Due to ongoing construction work on the Beartooth, the following closures apply:
    • The closures will be in effect from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Thursday. There will be no closing from Friday to Sunday.
    • This is a permanent closure and traffic will not be permitted during these times.
    • The closures will be in effect until mid-October and are necessary to allow for continued highway construction.
  • Check the Montana and Wyoming Department of Transportation websites for updates and road conditions throughout the summer.

Current access

Countryside

Park wide

  • Currently, 94% of Yellowstone’s backcountry is open day and night.
  • Crews continue to assess damage and carry out repairs throughout the park.
  • Visit the backcountry camp for more details.

Slough Creek

North and northeast entrances

  • Visitors can access the park by bike and on foot through the north (Gardiner, Montana) and northeast (Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana) entrances to fish and hike in areas not identified as closed.
    • From the north entrance, recreators can walk one mile to the Rescue Creek trailhead.
    • From the northeast entrance, recreators can travel 6 miles to the Barronette Meadows area.
  • Any visitor accessing these areas should understand the hazards and risks associated with traveling through these corridors.
  • Approved guides and outfitters are granted as much access as possible to the open sections of the park via the north and northeast entrance roads.
  • The Gardiner and Cooke City/Silver Gate communities are open with park access as described above.

Mammoth Hot Springs North Entrance: Temporary and extremely limited access

  • A temporary and extremely limited access road (Old Gardiner Road) between the North Entrance and Mammoth Hot Springs is currently an active construction area and will be converted to two lanes before winter.
  • At this time, ONLY approved personnel and approved Commercial Use Release Holders are permitted on the road.
  • Visitors can access the park from Old Gardiner Road with an approved Commercial Use Permit holder (guide).

Closed access

North Entrance Road

  • Old Gardiner Road remains closed to general vehicular traffic, bicycles, pedestrians and horses while road improvements are being completed.
  • This is an active construction zone.

Northeast Entrance Road

  • The Northeast Entrance Road (Cooke City/Silver Gate, MT to Tower Junction) remains closed to visitor vehicle traffic while temporary repairs are completed.
  • This is an active construction zone.
  • The northeast entrance road between Slough Creek Campground Road, Lamar Valley and the gate near Barronette Meadows is closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic while major repairs are underway. This closure is expected to remain in place for the next few months, allowing contractors to complete the work.

Countryside

  • Sections of the Lamar River and Miller Creek corridor will likely not reopen this year due to extensive damage.
  • See the backcountry status report for more details.

Future access

North and northeast entrances

  • Extensive work is continuing to ensure that the Old Gardiner Road, a single lane dirt road, will be a two lane, paved and safe road before winter, allowing limited and managed visitor traffic. Once completed, visitor traffic can resume.
  • Extensive work is continuing to ensure that damage to several sections of the northeast entrance road will be completed before winter. Once complete, general traffic will be permitted to access the Cooke City/Silver Gate communities through the park.
  • Park staff will continue to work with commercial guides and outfitters in Gardiner, Montana, and Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana, to further expand park access where possible.
  • Reconnecting the park to Gardiner and Cooke City/Silver Gate remains Yellowstone’s highest priority for flood recovery. These communities are open with access to the park as described above.

Visitors to the park should stay informed of what is open and closed throughout the park. Visit opening hours and seasons for more information. Monitor the park’s website and social media for updates.

Stay informed of up-to-date road conditions in Yellowstone: Visit the roads of the park. To receive Yellowstone traffic alerts on your mobile phone, text “82190” to 888-777 (an automated text response will confirm receipt and provide instructions). Call (307) 344-2117 for a recorded message.