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Discussion Starter · #281 · (Edited)
I agree with your assessment of road repairs. The only fly in the ointment seems to be 212 from the Chief Joseph to Cooke City. Supposedly there is at least one section that is washed out, meaning Cooke City and Silvergate are islands. I'm guessing the state will repair the section(s) of 212 as quickly as possible and either keep the road clear this winter or the NPS will keep it clear so those folks can get to/from Cody for supplies. Or they'll do something else.
I’ve seen two posts today that said US-212 is passable to the east of Cooke City, so access to/from Cody is now possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #282 ·
Ok well… unfortunately, it appears that my initial speculation is correct.

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly held a Zoom conference with various organizations about an hour ago, and shared the latest updates on the park’s status.

He said much is still unknown about the extent of the damage caused by this week’s flooding, and it will take some time to get accurate answers.

For those who want the short version, here are the bullet points:

  • Yellowstone National Park will likely not reopen this week – and when it does, there will be significant changes to accommodate visitors and their safety.

  • The road between Mammoth Hot Springs and Cooke City will likely not reopen during the Summer 2022 season.

  • The Southern Yellowstone loop could reopen within the week with a visitor use plan… but the northern section will likely remain closed for season


The following is a synopsis of reporting from the meeting:

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly said Tuesday during a press conference that discussions are underway to determine when and how the East, West and South entrances can reopen to provide visitors access to the southern loop of the park.

Sholly also said staff are looking at how best to ensure the lower section of the park isn’t overwhelmed, which he said could mean timed entry or reservations.

“When we open the southern loop, we’ll open the West, South and East Entrances,” he said. “The southern loop we feel like we can open relatively quickly. We’re shooting for a week or less to open the southern loop. That’s contingent on an appropriate visitor use plan.”

He said they’ve been talking with gateway communities about what a visitor use plan would like, as he said those communities agree that letting the normal level of visitation in to just half the park would be a “disaster waiting to happen.”

The northern loop would be closed off at Canyon Junction – similar to the last two years when work was being done on Dunraven Pass… and at Norris.

Sholly said 2-3 inches of rain and roughly 5 inches of snowmelt led to rising waters that decimated large sections of the North Entrance road between Gardiner and Mammoth, sections of Northeast Entrance road connecting to Cooke City, as well as stretches of infrastructure throughout, especially in the northern part of the park.

“We will likely not reopen the road between Gardiner and Cooke City the rest of this season,” he said. “That will likely stay closed

Continuing, he said…"we’ve engaged with gateway communities, how do we take an appropriate amount of visitation and, when safe to do so, reopen the southern loop? Half the park can not support all of the visitation.”

There is no official measure yet of the extent of the damage, as many areas of the park are still too dangerous for teams to get on the ground for safety evaluations.

Furthermore, some of the changes to the landscape may be irreversible. Sholly suggests some sections of rivers and tributaries may have changed course permanently, making it difficult – if not impossible – to rebuild the roads precisely as they were.

“This is not going to be an easy rebuild,” Sholly said of the North Entrance road. “We’ll assess whether it makes sense to build (over washed out sections) in the future. Multiple places where river has changed course, potentially permanently.”

He said once water levels have receded the park will have teams from all over the country to assess the damage and how long, how much, it will be to fix it.

At the time of the meeting, Mammoth Hot Springs had been without power for thirty hours. Sholly says power would (hopefully) be restored sometime late Tuesday.
 

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We are still coming. YNP may not be available for us depending on reservations to enter. I am looking at some alternate destinations just in case.

Thank you for all you are doing keeping us informed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #286 · (Edited)
Just a quick post to say there were no official updates issued by YNP today.

In re the Beartooth & Chief Jo area… the 2 screenshots below show the status of the road conditions as of 9pm this evening. The first is from the Montana DOT… and the second is from Wyoming DOT.

As you can see, the Beartooth remains closed on both sides of the state line. The Montana page shows the ”short cut” road leading into Red Lodge (MT-308) is also closed. The Wyoming page shows the Chief Joseph is open (WY-296), albeit with a yellow cautionary rating. It also shows US-212 open beyond the Beartooth - Chief Jo intersecation up to the state line… and as I posted yesterday, it’s my understanding it continues to be open on the Montana side into Cooke City even though the Montana page doesn’t show that.
 

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Off topic: I'm so glad I did my first-ever trip out to Wyoming and Montana last year (from NY) and hit all the major roads including Yellowstone.
 

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Well, based on what we know from a distance, here are the modifications to the routes I had previously planned. I have the start points all set ~rodeo grounds (as a meeting place) and the KOA as the ending point. Adjust to preference.

Bighorn Circle remains the same:

Ecoregion World Map Azure Water


Chief Joseph became an out and back:

Ecoregion Map Parallel Atlas Screenshot


Out past Belfrey Circle circles east instead of turning west towards Red Lodge:

Ecoregion World Map Line Atlas


And 283 goes only as far as near the East Entrance (guestimate on the required turnaround point):

Water Ecoregion World Map Rectangle


These are being offered for prebuilding GPS routes and I'm wide open to others if someone knows scenic routes in the area that are still open. Working off the maps it's hard to know what might be scenic or just wide open and barren.
 

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These are being offered for prebuilding GPS routes and I'm wide open to others if someone knows scenic routes in the area that are still open. Working off the maps it's hard to know what might be scenic or just wide open and barren.
On the Big Horn Circle, I suggest you continue on 14 to Dayton and then come back up the mountain. Going down and back up the mountain is fun unless you get a real slow mover in front of you.

This weekend I plan to ride the Chief Joseph to Cooke City and the Northeast entrance of YNP. Will report back.

For the Belfry Circle, you could approach Red Lodge from the north. There are stores open on Main Street. Unfortunately Roscoe is still off limits. 78 from Red Lodge to Columbus via Roscoe is a nice ride.

I plan to ride to the East entrance as well. Will report back.

South Fork Road is a nice 60ish mile out and back. It goes further on gravel, but I don't like doing a lot of miles on gravel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #291 ·
…This weekend I plan to ride the Chief Joseph to Cooke City and the Northeast entrance of YNP. Will report back...

…South Fork Road is a nice 60ish mile out and back. It goes further on gravel, but I don't like doing a lot of miles on gravel.
That’s one reason why I now ride one of these, instead of a Wing. With all of the dirt roads we have up here, it’s a better tool for the job.
Tire Wheel Cloud Sky Land vehicle


If you want some company on that Chief Jo ride… let me know what day & time you anticipate going, and I may join you. I‘ve finally got about all my work done around here, and haven’t been up there yet this year.
 

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If you want some company on that Chief Jo ride… let me know what day & time you anticipate going, and I may join you. I‘ve finally got about all my work done around here, and haven’t been up there yet this year.
Most likely Saturday mid-morning. Wife keeps on talking about lunch up there, IDK why.

I have your number. If that's a good number for texting, I'll text you.
 

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Good morning...

Ok, now that I think we've all got a pretty good idea in re what can be expected next weekend (Beartooth closed, and limited access to Yellowstone)... let's get back to the Saturday evening dinner count for those who are still planning on showing up here.

In case anyone missed it... the plan is to enjoy dinner & a show at the Cody Cattle Company on the west side of town. (details can be found in post #246 of this thread)

I have arranged for 15 seats to be temporarily held for our group, and can get more if needed. But I have to call them back on Wednesday evening with a head count. so they can release any seats we don't need.

So far, this is the count I have:
  • myself
  • William Anzik
  • clayusmcret + 4
  • Snorebaby + 1
  • pwhoever + 1
So if you're still planning on riding in for our weekend, and you're not already listed above... I'd appreciate it if you'd reply here, and let me know your intentions (either way). If you do want to attend the dinner & show... let me know how many will be in your party.

Thanks...
Add me in for Saturday dinner 1 (pasodog)
 

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We are canceling our hotel reservations. We appreciate all the time you put in to make this happen. Hopefully we can make it out there another time.
Dave
 

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On the Big Horn Circle, I suggest you continue on 14 to Dayton and then come back up the mountain. Going down and back up the mountain is fun unless you get a real slow mover in front of you.

This weekend I plan to ride the Chief Joseph to Cooke City and the Northeast entrance of YNP. Will report back.

For the Belfry Circle, you could approach Red Lodge from the north. There are stores open on Main Street. Unfortunately Roscoe is still off limits. 78 from Red Lodge to Columbus via Roscoe is a nice ride.

I plan to ride to the East entrance as well. Will report back.

South Fork Road is a nice 60ish mile out and back. It goes further on gravel, but I don't like doing a lot of miles on gravel.
I forgot about taking it on to Dayton and back (tunnel vision). That adds a little over an hour with serious overlooks. We drove that ~18 years ago when we camped in Bighorn. Not a bad idea at all.

Map World Atlas Parallel Screenshot


Seeing Red Lodge just to see it doesn't do anything for me, especially given their situation. Now if the road from Bridger to Rockvale to Red Lodge is scenic, that's another thing altogether. By the time we left Red Lodge (on our 4 Corner Ride), my mind was already on roads well east and I don't remember anything after we left Red Lodge. Google only shows a drier version of what I see here in Kansas (flat and straight).
 

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I have no doubt that the south & east entrances will open by next week… maybe even by the end of this week, as there’s no real damage to those roads. All of the severe damage is up north. But I SERIOUSLY doubt the northeast entrance will open anytime soon… perhaps not even for months.

It comes down to economics & traffic volume. That road is only used by about 20% of all park visitors… and the entrance itself is responsible for less than 10%. As such, it will have the lowest priority for repairs. In fact, considering the winter road closures in the park occur in mid-October anyway… I‘d lay bets that there's a good chance it won’t open up again this year.

And without that entry/exit point… no loop rides through the park to the Beartooth or Chief Joseph from Cody are possible.
[/QUO
BEING THE GOVT TO FIX BE A LOT LONGER !! :cautious: THEY WERE GONNA HAVE SCOTTYS CASTLE OPEN IN DEATH VALLEY AND THINK PARTS STILL AINT OPEN . I PROBABLY WONT GET IN TILL THURSDAY LATE IF ALL GOES RITE , THANKS FOR UPDATES
 

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Discussion Starter · #297 ·
...Now if the road from Bridger to Rockvale to Red Lodge is scenic, that's another thing altogether. By the time we left Red Lodge (on our 4 Corner Ride), my mind was already on roads well east and I don't remember anything after we left Red Lodge. Google only shows a drier version of what I see here in Kansas (flat and straight).
You aren't missing anything at all (Bridger to Rockvale). When we in Cody need anything other than what can be found at our local Ace Hardware, Walmart, or Tractor Supply... we have to drive north to Billings, MT... so I drive that route at least once every 6 weeks or so. It's an easy drive or ride, but there's nothing up there worth riding to see.

If you want a ride someplace not in the 4 examples you listed, you might wanna consider a ride south down to Wind River Canyon (about 2 hours)... and if you're really ambitious, continue on south to check out Red Canyon, and/or historic South Pass City. Both beautiful areas, and with high elevation in the Red Canyon & slightly further west area around South Pass City. Check out post #105 in this thread for more info.
 

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Attention Valued KOA Guests
The Cody KOA is open. We will continue to monitor the devastating conditions currently happening within Yellowstone National Park and its surrounding areas. We have received word that the Southern Loop of Yellowstone National Park, which includes Old Faithful and Yellowstone Falls, will tentatively re-open on Monday, June 20th. As we know more information, we will continue to update you.

Click the link to for more information regarding Yellowstone Information. Yellowstone Hopes to Reopen Next Week - Do You Have a Reservation?

Please know there is still plenty to see if do within our beautiful city of Cody. Whether you take in a rodeo at the Cody Stampede Rodeo, visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West Museum, shop and dine downtown, or take advantage of the beautiful outdoors with a hike or white-water rafting, there’s plenty to see and do in Cody.
Contact Information
Info
307-587-2369
Email
[email protected]
 
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Discussion Starter · #300 ·
BEING THE GOVT TO FIX BE A LOT LONGER !! :cautious: THEY WERE GONNA HAVE SCOTTYS CASTLE OPEN IN DEATH VALLEY AND THINK PARTS STILL AINT OPEN . I PROBABLY WONT GET IN TILL THURSDAY LATE IF ALL GOES RITE , THANKS FOR UPDATES
Question: Do you want in in the Saturday evening dinner & show… or still weighing options?
 
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