Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks increase recreational access

Old Faithful is a highly predictable geothermal feature located near the South Gate of Yellowstone National Park. On Monday, Yellowstone’s South Gate outside of Jackson, as well as its other Wyoming entrance, the East Gate outside of Cody, will reopen.

Beginning Monday May 18, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park opened their gates in their first stage of reopening.

Following the guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as local and state public health authorities, the parks will operate on a limited basis.

According to a press release by Teton National Park, limited recreational access will include primary road access via Teton Park Road, Moose-Wilson Road and and North Park Road, public restroom availability in some areas, day-use hiking on seasonally-accessible trails, riverbank and lakeshore fishing, multi-use pathway system availability where free of snow, and several viewpoints will continue to be accessible along US Highway 89/26/191.

Facilities in Teton that will remain closed at this time include park visitor centers, overnight lodging, food services, boating and floating on rivers and lakes, marinas, back country permits, special use-permits and campgrounds.

“I appreciate the strong working relationship the park enjoys with our local and state partners,” said Grand Teton National Park Acting Superintendent Gopaul Noojibail. “Their input has helped inform the park’s phased reopening plan, which provides recreational access to the park in a manner that promotes the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, partners and visitors. We ask all park visitors to do their part to take preventive actions as they enjoy the park by maintaining social distancing and following all CDC and local health guidance.”

Grand Teton National Park anticipates expanded recreational access and visitor services to expand as the park continues with openings as conditions permit.

For more information on Grand Teton National Park, visit www.nps.gov/grte/index.htm.

Yellowstone National Park released a three-phase plan which also began May 18. Phase One will permit road access, limited stores, public restrooms, gas stations, trails and boardwalks, medical clinics, approved tours and entrance stations.

Public indoor facilities will not open until proper risk assessments have been conducted.

The West, North and Northeast entrances will be closed in Phase One, with the South and East entrance providing the only access into Yellowstone.

Phase Two, which will begin either sometime in May or June, will allow availability to campgrounds, backcountry permits, visitor cabins, additional stores, expanded tours, takeout food service, boating and fishing and limited visitor centers.

Phase Three will return the park to full services and will begin as health conditions allow.

For more information on Yellowstone National Park, visit www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm.