YNP’s superintendent hosted a call that just ended for CUA holders on current road repair updates. Here are the specifics:
- The Northeast Entrance Road to Cooke City will reopen as scheduled on October 15. Visitors will be able to enter the park as normal from Cooke City/Silver Gate, the entire Lamar Valley will be accessible, and in all respects normal travel will be possible on the park road network in the NE part of the park.
- The North Entrance Road between Gardiner and Mammoth will not reopen as scheduled on October 15. 5000 feet of necessary guardrail has yet to be installed, much of which has not been delivered yet. As such, construction crews need more time to finish this work. The new latest target reopening date is November 1. Unfortunately, this is the day after the fishing season ends. The road may reopen between October 15 and November 1 if crews finish in time.
- When the North Entrance Road does reopen, there will be no length/weight restrictions, closures, or other access issues. Once it’s open, it will be all the way open.
- No access for the foreseeable future to the “Incinerator” area of the Gardner River, possibly for years/ever. The sewage line between Mammoth and Gardner was also severed in the June flood, and the replacement sewage infrastructure is now being placed in the Incinerator area, which for obvious reasons needs to be off-limits to visitors.
- Access to the Gardner River in the vicinity of the old Boiling River parking areas may or may not be possible next season.
The above basically means we’re “status-quo 2022” as far as available guided fishing: early morning meet times and loooooonnng full-day trips in the park. While the Lamar area is now accessible, this is not important from a guiding perspective this late in the season. We really wish we could access the Gardner River other than walking in from Gardiner or via the High Bridge east of Mammoth.
Both walk-in and drive-in guided trips in Yellowstone Park will become available tomorrow, July 2, in the aftermath of the historic June 12–13 flooding. Access is still somewhat limited, but allows for a range of trips and fisheries. This post will be updated with the latest information as conditions change. We expect more and more options and more and more “normalcy” as the season progresses.
Drive-in Access Trips
Somewhat to our surprise, Yellowstone Park will be opening limited commercial access to the park from Gardiner starting tomorrow, July 2, via the old “Stagecoach Road” between Gardiner and Mammoth. While this road will not allow private tourist traffic, it will allow our guides to access the park. We will have two options to run guided trips inside the park for the summer:
- Meet in Gardiner and have clients ride with our guides into the park to fish.
- Meet clients who enter the park from West Yellowstone or another entrance (including those staying inside the park) at Mammoth, Norris, or another prearranged spot.
Our guides will be able to enter the park via the Stagecoach Road during very limited time windows, so only full-day YNP trips will be available. We are also looking into having our guides camp for a few days at a time inside the park, which would allow a wider range of trip offerings. The Park Service is going to allow guides to camp at closed campgrounds (Mammoth and Norris) to make this possible.
Public access to the “North Loop” reopens tomorrow as well. This allows fishing the Yellowstone in its canyons, most of the Gardner River, and a range of small streams, both with a guide and on your own. Access to Slough Creek and portions of the lower Lamar River should also be possible starting soon, but damage to the Northeast Entrance Road means that public access to the Lamar and Slough will not be possible. Only guides who understand the road limitations will be given access. No access to the Lamar Valley or Soda Butte Creek will be possible until at least autumn, for anyone.
Walk-in Access Trips
Walk-in public access from Gardiner is now possible. This allows guided or unguided fishing on the Lower Gardner River, just in time for its Salmonfly Hatch. Access to the lower Black Canyon of the Yellowstone River will also be possible once the Gardner River drops enough to permit fording it. The Rescue Creek Bridge which used to allow access to this water regardless of water level washed out in the floods. Fording the Gardner will probably be possible by around July 15 or July 20.
The title says it all. Mammoth, Slough Creek, and part of Pebble Creek Campground are moving to a reservation system for 2021. Reservations open March 24. We suggest making reservations ASAP after that. The whole summer will likely book up within a few days at most.
Here’s a link to a story on the change.
Here’s the official NPS story.
Out-of-state residents visiting Montana have been under mandatory quarantine orders since June 1. These orders are due to lift June 1, which means tourism and therefore our guiding season can reopen starting then. We also expect the Montana entrances to YNP to reopen on the 1st, since the holdup has been the quarantine order.
We are VERY eager to book trips this summer, and there will be many fewer anglers on the water this year compared to most…
I’ll let the park do the talking: Visit this Link.
Key takeaways for visitors to Montana and our shop:
- Montana entrances remain closed due to our state’s 14-day quarantine rule for nonresidents. I expect the reopening of the Wyoming entrances to accelerate Montana’s opening procedures, for good (we need the money) and ill (literal illness increases).
- A key note is that fishing will remain closed until Phase II of the park’s reopening plan. To view the plan, check this link. The document states a “May/June” timeframe for reopening fishing.
Baby steps, baby steps…