CODY, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly told community leaders on a phone call last week that the Wyoming gates would open at noon on Monday, May 18. That’s two weeks later than the originally scheduled grand opening.
“May 18th at noon, east and south entrances open, lower loop only," he told listeners. "The northern part of the Park remains closed. The lower loop will have no overnight accommodations initially anywhere, it will be day use only through those two entrances." He went on to say that Park staff would open restrooms, and gas stations at Fishing Bridge, Grant, Canyon and Old Faithful would open. Trails and boardwalks will be open, as well as medical clinics at Old Faithful and Mammoth. He also noted that no large commercial tour buses will enter the Park.
But this is just the first phase of re-opening. Sholly told callers that they don’t know when they will begin to allow tour buses into the park, or when campgrounds, hotels and restaurants will be open.
“Those facilities will open when safe, over a period of time, but we will largely stay in that Phase One-Two well into June.”
And Sholly pointed out that at this point, officials still have no idea when the rest of the gates may open.
“There’ll be a point where the Governor of Montana will recommend the three entrances open," he said, "and we will have that conversation about timing, and I’ll defer to him and his team to articulate when that might be. But once he does recommend and we open the three Montana gates, the Park will stay in this limited opening that I’ve described here.”
But despite the limitations, as long as there are bison to view and vistas to take in, Yellowstone is still here for the people.