Posted: Jun 1, 2011 7:55 PM by Q2 News
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, WY. - Yellowstone National Park officials announced late Wednesday that the road from Mammoth Hot Springs through the Lamar Valley to Cooke City, Montana, has reopened to traffic, following a rock slide that closed the road May 28.
Park geologists and road maintenance crews, along with representatives of the Federal Highway Administration, examined the slide area just east of Blacktail Plateau Drive and were able to determine the road is safe for vehicle travel. Heavy equipment operators did remove several car-sized boulders from the roadway.
Park managers say they will aggressively monitor the slide area over the coming weeks, especially during precipitation events, to assess the risk of any future slides.Falling rock warning signs and no-stopping signs have been installed along a 4/10th-mile stretch through the slide area as a precaution for visitors, as the road has historically been a site for occasional bear jams. Park officials say no new material has fallen from the hillside since the original slide.
Progress is also being made to clear the road between Tower Junction and Canyon Village over Dunraven Pass. Crews and snow plowing equipment were pulled off the spring clearing of the Beartooth Highway over Memorial Day weekend to focus on Dunraven pass. Park officials expect to have the route opened, weather and avalanche conditions permitting, by this coming weekend.
Once Dunraven is cleared, crews and equipment will return to US-212 to resume clearing operations on Beartooth Pass, which links the park's Northeast Entrance with the community of Red Lodge, Montana. The scenic highway is currently scheduled to open the weekend of June 10.
Visitors can still travel into the Northeast Entrance of the park from Cody, Wyoming, by taking WY-120 to US-296 to US-212 through Cooke City, Montana.
The North, West, and South entrances to Yellowstone are open, yet are subject to last-minute, temporary closures due to weather. Unstable snow conditions and the threat of snow slides continue to limit travel on the East Entrance road through Sylvan Pass to between the hours of 8:00 p.m.
and 10:00 a.m.
Information on park road conditions is available 24 hours a day by calling the park's road information hotline at 307-344-2117.