It will take a little planning to make it around Yellowstone National Park this fall, as today’s closure of the road between Old Faithful and the West Thumb and Grant Village areas means extra hours of driving time.
Starting this morning the road between Old Faithful and the West Thumb and Grant Village areas was closed to allow a replacement of the Isa Lake Bridge before the winter season, taking away a direct route between the South Entrance and Old Faithful. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t get between the two points; it just means you need to do a little planning. In this case, you’ll need to take the long route, heading north to Lake and then Canyon, cutting to the west to Norris and then south past Madison Junction to Old Faithful. This will add a couple hours of driving time to your trip, and be prepared for some traffic: if hotel reservations are any indication, the Park should be hopping until the middle of the month.
There is another road closure to mention: between Mammoth Hot Springs and Norris will be closed due to construction from 11 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, until 7 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30. The detour will be over the Dunraven Pass via Canyon and Tower Falls.
The road closures are an inconvenience, to be sure, but remember: all the main areas of the Park are still accessible, even if getting to them is a little inconvenient.
Picture of Isa Lake Bridge courtesy National Park Service.