We got rain … now Yellowstone’s broken

I’m glad I got to take my family to Yellowstone a couple of weeks ago, because if we’d waited to go until now, we wouldn’t have been able to get in.

It’s time once again for the reminder to be careful what you wish for. I took my family to Yellowstone National Park a couple of weeks ago, and I commented several times about how dry it seemed. I even said out loud that it would be good to get some rain.

Well, they got it. They got more of it than they could handle, unfortunately, especially around the northern loop of the park. There’s aerial footage of the Gardner River absolutely blasting through its channel, and the North Entrance Road, or what’s left of it, runs along that waterway. After Monday’s flooding, there are large sections of that road that are just gone, including at least one bridge. There’s no telling how long it’ll take crews to rebuild that road. It’s not exactly in an easy area to build a road to begin with.

The northern reaches of the park seem to be the hardest hit, with the roads to both the north entrance on the way to Gardner, Montana, and the northeast entrance, to Cook City, Montana, being washed out in several areas. But the flooding caused problems on the roads throughout the park, and all five entrances to the park were closed Monday morning. The only traffic in the park by Monday afternoon was vehicles trying to find their way out.

The park will probably reopen, at least partially, within the next several days, but judging by the damage to the northern roads, I’d be surprised if any of the roads on or past the north loop open up again this year. In fact, I’d be surprised if they get them rebuilt before the winter.

We needed the moisture, but dang, it would have been nice to get that rainfall over a longer period of time. If your vacation plans included Yellowstone, you might want to rethink them. Or at the very least, sign up for Yellowstone road alerts on your phone by texting 82190 to 888-777.

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