Tester Statement on the Re-Opening of Yellowstone National Park’s North Entrance

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement on the re-opening of Yellowstone National Park’s North Entrance and the opening of Old Gardiner Road after historic flooding destroyed critical infrastructure in the Park this summer: 

“The re-opening of the North Entrance and the opening of the Old Gardiner Road will help the recovery of our state’s recreational economy and ensure folks from all over the world have the chance to experience Yellowstone and our public lands. There are still communities across our state struggling to recover, and we need to keep fighting for the relief they need. I’ll continue to push hard for disaster relief funding in the year-end government funding package and for infrastructure dollars that will make sure Yellowstone National Park can continue to inspire generations of visitors from across the globe.”

Yellowstone National Park’s North Entrance in Gardiner, Montana, and road between the North Entrance and Mammoth Hot Springs (Old Gardiner Road) will open to regular visitor traffic Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 8 a.m.

Visitors should keep the following details in mind when driving the road:

  • Yellowstone reminds the public of everyone’s responsibility to use the road carefully to avoid accidents.
  • Steep grades and sharp curves exist and speed limits range between 15-25 mph.
  • There are no length or weight restrictions on the road (see exceptions), however, oversized vehicles and vehicles with trailers must use caution in curves to maintain lanes.
  • After opening to the public, the road will continue to be an active construction zone. Drivers will need to use caution and watch for crews and heavy equipment.
  • During inclement winter weather, short-term (30 minute) closures may occur to allow for plowing.
  • Clean-up efforts will continue beyond Nov. 1 for as long as weather permits.  

This summer, Tester led the charge to secure $3 million in funding from the Federal Highway Administration through the FHWA Emergency Relief Program to repair roads and highways affected by the flooding, like Old Gardiner road, which operate in place of the original route from Gardiner to Mammoth. 

In June, Tester, and his fellow members of the Montana congressional delegation successfully urged President Biden to approve a major disaster declaration and activate critical FEMA public assistant and support for recovery efforts.

Then, in July, Tester secured assurance from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) that guides, outfitters, and small businesses would receive support and flexibility in finding alternative options to operate on public lands.

The State of Montana submitted a disaster declaration request to the federal government on June 15, 2022 in response to major flooding across south-central Montana, which was approved by President Biden the next day. Severe weather resulted in significant property damage to homes, businesses, roads, sewers, water systems and Yellowstone National Park. Acting Governor Kirsten Juras declared a statewide disaster on June 14, 2022.


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