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.