Yellowstone National Park will open its Montana entrances on Monday, June 1 at 10 a.m. The Montana entrances include West Entrance (near West Yellowstone), North Entrance (near Gardiner), and Northeast Entrance (near Cooke City). The opening of Montana’s entrances coincides with Montana’s lifting of out-of-state travel restrictions, and will provide visitor access to all five entrances of Yellowstone National Park (the Wyoming entrances opened on May 18).
The entire Grand Loop Road will be accessible for day use, the National Park Service said Thursday in a statement released by Yellowstone’s public affairs office, excluding the segment between Canyon and Tower, which is closed for road construction.
On June 1, in line with the park’s three-phased reopening plan, visitors will be able to access Phase 1 services/facilities (including restrooms, self-service gas stations, trails/boardwalks, limited stores, entrance stations, medical clinics, approved tours) and a few services/facilities as outlined in Phase 2 (including takeout food service, boating, and fishing). The park will remain day-use only. Limited overnight accommodations will begin reopening later in June. Campgrounds, visitor centers, and other facilities are still closed until health conditions allow for reopening.
Increasing Mitigation Efforts
Park managers say they have implemented significant mitigation efforts including: providing additional protective barriers where needed, encouraging the use of masks or facial coverings in high density areas, metering visitor access in certain locations, increasing cleaning frequency of facilities, adding signage on boardwalks and other public spaces, and messaging to visitors through a variety of methods.
Yellowstone is partnering with surrounding states, counties, and businesses to increase testing capacity. In addition to building capacity to test people with COVID-19 symptoms, the park has agreed to participate in a COVID-19 surveillance testing pilot project. Park County, Montana health officials have begun testing frontline employees and partners with 50 tests this week. Surveillance testing helps to identify COVID-19 transmission early and allows mitigation actions to be taken before a widespread outbreak occurs.
Visitors should come prepared and follow all CDC and local health guidance by practicing good hygiene and social distancing. Face coverings are recommended where social distancing is not possible. People who are sick should stay home and not visit the park. The CDC has provided specific guidance on visiting parks and recreational facilities. The National Park Service encourages visitors to #RecreateResponsibly.
Previously-scheduled road construction projects will continue this summer. Normal annual bear management area closures are in effect. Winter conditions are still possible at this time of year. The park will provide details and updates for operations as they change onwww.nps.gov/yell and on the park’s social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.