Yellowstone’s Northeast entrance to open to traffic Saturday

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) — The northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park will open to all traffic Saturday, even as work continues to repair roads damaged by historic flooding in June, the park service said Thursday.

The Northeast Entrance Road, which runs from Cooke City and Silver Gate to Tower Junction, will open at 8 a.m. Saturday.

“We are very pleased to be restoring public access to the northeast corridor just four months after the June flood event,” Superintendent Cam Sholly said in a statement.

Yellowstone National Park was closed after heavy rain sped up the melting of late spring snowpack, sending rivers over their banks on June 13, washing out bridges, eroding river banks and forcing 10,000 visitors to leave the park.

The flooding reshaped the park’s rivers and canyons and wiped out numerous roads. Visitors were evacuated, and the park was closed. In southern Montana, heavy flooding affected homes along the Yellowstone and Stillwater rivers and Rock Creek in Red Lodge.

Three of the park’s five entrances reopened June 22.

All flood-damaged sections of the Northeast Entrance Road will be paved by Saturday, except for a section of road near the popular trailhead to Trout Lake, the National Park Service said.

Traffic will be allowed on the segment of the road, but there will be short delays, officials said. That work is expected to be done within the following 10 days.

A short section of road in the Lamar Canyon — known for its wildlife viewing — will remain a paved, single-lane road through the winter. A temporary stop light will be in place to allow alternating one-way traffic, park officials said.

Roadwork will continue for as long as weather permits, officials said.

A park entrance near Gardiner, which has also been closed since June, is expected to be open to all traffic by Nov. 1.

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