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The flood that ravaged parts of Yellowstone National Park in June has been called a once-in-500-years event. The restoration of full access to the park took about four months. Considering the extent of the damage, that’s pretty remarkable.

Rapid snowmelt combined with heavy rain to turn park waterways into destructive torrents. The ensuing park closure threatened to devastate the tourist-dependent economies in gateway communities. But park officials were able to open several park entrances within days. Access to the northern part of the park was more complicated. And restoring travel between Cooke City and Gardiner — which Cooke City residents depend on for many services — posed major challenges.

The road between Gardiner and Mammoth Hot Springs just inside the park was so devastated by flooding in may never be restored. But the resurrection of an old stage coach route between the towns offered another option. Extensive modifications of the steep and winding road were completed and the northern entrance to the park was opened to the public again on Oct. 30.


This editorial solely represents the opinion of the Chronicle Editorial Board. The board consists of the opinion editor, the managing editor, the publisher and several community members. The community members are non-journalists who provide input and help shape the board's opinions.

The board does not represent the views of the newsroom, and its opinions have no influence over the Chronicle's news coverage. To submit feedback on this editorial, email citydesk@dailychronicle.com.

Editorial Board

  • Mark Dobie, publisher
  • Michael Wright, managing editor
  • Bill Wilke, opinion page editor
  • Richard Broome, community member
  • Renee Gavin, community member
  • Charles Rinker, community member
  • Will Swearingen, community member
  • Angie Wasia, community member

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