Tuesday, June 14th, 2022. 9:10am
The flooding we are experiencing in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is the highest encountered in recorded history. In some places, the river levels were said to be nearly double compared the previous high flood mark. Many of my friends are trapped, many are stranded, and all of us are worried about the damage to the region. We have no answers at this time and are doing the best we can. Please know we wish we could guarantee your trip is safe, but at this time, we just don’t have an answer. I can tell you that the prognosis is not looking good, especially for those of us in the towns north of the park.
We still do not understand the severity of damage we will see around Yellowstone. Most of the damage currently appears to be on the north side of the park and the communities around there. Highway 89 between Livingston and Gardiner is severely damaged and will take a long time to fix. Red Lodge was underwater. A road here or there may partially open soon, but that does not mean all is back to normal. More than likely, the roads will only be open to local traffic for quite awhile. Normal transportation routes around here will more than likely take years to fix.
There are towns 100% closed off and isolated, with no timetable set to be able to reopen. People are stuck, scared and possibly still in danger. This is the current focus for everyone. Entire sections of park roads have been washed away and will more than likely take years to fix. Do not count on a miracle solution to salvage a trip to the north region around Yellowstone this summer.
This record flood goes beyond tourism
Your reservations will be addressed when owners and operators of businesses can get to them. It won’t be immediate. It may be short. It may not be what you want to hear. We wish we could do more, but we are grappling to understand this record flood and the amount of damage we have experienced.
Locals and park staff are devastated and our first priority is our own safety and well being. We promise we will get to you when we can. We first need to make sure our families, friends and neighbors are safe and secure. Again, this is a flood that has not been seen in recorded history. We have no precedent for this and cannot tell you when things will be ok enough to visit.
If you have reservations at or are planning your trip around going to Red Lodge, Gardiner, Silver Gate, or Cooke City, know that you will more than likely not be able to visit these areas for quite awhile. The water is only now starting to recede and it will take weeks to fully comprehend the damage to well traveled areas. News from any areas will be slow to emerge and while everyone is doing their best to get information out, it is going to be slower than we all would like.
Please. Please. Please be patient and understanding about the delays, detours and potentially canceled plans you will encounter. Many livelihoods and businesses will struggle to stay afloat in the coming days, weeks, and months and this will more than likely be far more devastating to the economy than Covid-19, the 1988 fires and pretty much any other event in recent history.
I am writing this from Livingston, Montana, 52 miles north of the famous Roosevelt Arch of Yellowstone in Gardiner. Was the words are being typed, Gardiner is completely cutoff, as is 89 South to the town. Numerous bridges have washed away or sustained serious damage. I do not know when I can enter the park from that side again. I do not know when I can drive Highway 89 into Paradise Valley again. This record flood goes beyond tourism and I sincerely hope you all can understand this. I also want to say that I am not speaking for all the tourism based businesses impacted by the flooding, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is a devastating event for all and the impact will be felt for longer than any of us desire. We are all deeply saddened by this and are struggling to cope with the size and scale of this historic flood.
Stay safe. Please be patient and know that we are doing our best.
I’ll keep you all updated as best I can about all of this, as the flooding is directly impacting myself and everyone I know in the region.