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Travel To Lamar Valley May Be Restored By Weekend

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avatar Travel To Lamar Valley May Be Restored By Weekend
May 31, 2011 05:18PM
Work continues on two fronts to restore vehicle travel between Lamar Valley and the rest of Yellowstone National Park.

A section of the road between Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Junction has been closed since Saturday morning due to a rock slide. Due to the lingering, heavy winter snowpack, the seasonal opening of the road from Tower Junction over Dunraven Pass to Canyon Village had been pushed back to Friday, June 10.

This has left the scenic Lamar Valley and the park’s Northeast Entrance cut off from most of the rest of Yellowstone National Park. Visitors can still travel to and from the area by taking US-212 to US-296 to WY-120, the route linking the communities of Cooke City, Montana, and Cody, Wyoming.

Progress is being made on two fronts to restore travel access in and out of the Lamar Valley.

No new material has fallen since the original slide was discovered early Saturday, just east of Blacktail Plateau Drive. A group including park geologists and representatives of the Federal Highway Administration examined the slide area Tuesday. Based on their analysis and recommendations, park managers are implementing a plan to aggressively monitor the situation, clear the remaining debris, and install warning and no-stopping signs with hopes of reopening the road to travel by Friday.

As this is occurring, efforts are underway to open the road between Tower Junction and Canyon Village earlier than originally planned. Crews and equipment which had been pulled off the spring clearing of the Beartooth Highway are working their way from Tower Fall toward Dunraven Pass. Weather and avalanche conditions on the pass permitting, this road could also open to travel by the weekend.

Park managers are monitoring progress on clearing Dunraven Pass closely, to determine when they can move equipment back to the spring opening of US-212 across Beartooth Pass, which links the park’s Northeast Entrance with the community of Red Lodge, Montana, has yet to open for the season.

The North, West, and South entrances to Yellowstone are open, subject to 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.
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