The park – which includes parts of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho – and several surrounding cities have been submerged in record-breaking rain and flooding since last weekend, prompting authorities to close all entrances to Yellowstone.
“On Wednesday, June 22 at 8 am, Yellowstone National Park will allow visitors access to the park’s southern ring,” the park said in a statement. “The South Ring is accessible from the East (Cody), West (West Yellowstone) and South (Grand Dayton / Jackson). Areas accessible to Madison, Old Faithful, Grand Village, Lake Village, Canyon Village and Norris.”
The park said it will use an alternative license plate system to keep visitors from overcrowding the South Ring:
- Vehicles with license plates ending in an odd number can go on odd days of the month
- Vehicles with license plates ending in a double digit, including zero, may enter on equal days of the month.
When the North Loop was closed, Yellowstone officials said, “park staff deployed 1,000 business owners, park associates, business operators and residents of surrounding gateway communities to determine how to manage summer arrivals.”
Over the course of three days last week, Yellowstone National Park received two to three times as much rain as it did throughout June.
According to the National Weather Service, rainfall this month is already more than 400% above average across northwestern Wyoming and southern Montana.
At one point, the Yellowstone River swelled to its highest level in more than 100 years, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.