On the morning of June 13, 2022 (Day 0), Yellowstone experienced a 1-in-500-year flood event. Northern parts of the park received 2-4 inches of rain in a 24-hour period together with at least 5.5 inches of snowmelt. The previous record high flow of the Yellowstone River at Corwin Springs was approximately 32,000 cubic feet per second (CFS). At more than 50,000 CFS, the river flow during this flood shattered that record.
The previous night, June 12, Dunraven Pass, North Entrance, and Northeast Entrance roads closed proactively due to expected flooding. The following morning, multiple sections of the North and Northeast entrance roads were destroyed along with wastewater infrastructure, loss of power to most of the park, and a wide range of mudslides and rockslides within the road corridors. While damage occurred in various locations around the park, the most serious occurred in the north.
The entire park was evacuated for visitor safety and remained closed to assess roads, bridges, and wastewater systems across the park. Power was restored about 30 hours after it was lost. On June 22 (Day 9), the “lower loop” of the park was reopened with limited capacity using the Alternating License Plate System (ALPS) via the East, South, and West entrances. Thank you to everyone, including our gateway communities and those who visited, that helped make ALPS a success.
On July 2 (Day 19), the remaining portions of the road not severely impacted by the event (93%) will reopen to visitation. Based on data collected during the first week of ALPS, we feel comfortable suspending the program but will continue to monitor visitation. If numbers begin to exceed the park’s road or wastewater capacity, ALPS may be reinstituted.
The North and Northeast entrance roads are still completely gone in sections, but we are working on temporary solutions to reopen them before the winter. Long-term solutions will require planning and years of construction.
Looking to the future, we and our gateway communities welcome you to commemorate 150 years of Yellowstone with us. This year more than ever, please pack your patience. Visit go.nps.gov/yellFlood to see how you can make the most of your trip while we work to rebuild from this unprecedented event. Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you.
Happy Independence Day weekend,