NPS Warns of Traffic Delays for Yellowstone Visitors at These Constructions Sites

Plan your summer vacation accordingly.

<p>raksyBH/Getty Images</p>

raksyBH/Getty Images

Travelers to Yellowstone National Park should expect more traffic jams this summer as crews work on a pair of major improvement projects in the popular park.

The National Park Service is warning parkgoers to expect more traffic thanks to efforts to replace both the Lewis River Bridge and the Yellowstone River Bridge, according to a recent announcement. Each of these projects is expected to span many months.

“It’s important that visitors plan accordingly for these delays located along the park’s southern and northern road corridors,” the NPS wrote in a statement.

Related: The Best Times to Visit Yellowstone National Park

Travelers should expect up to 20-minute delays for the Lewis River Bridge, which sits about 10 miles north of the South Entrance on the South Entrance Road. The road will be open to wheeled vehicles from May through Oct. 31, but nearby pullouts and the trail to Lewis River Falls will be closed during the work.

Construction on the bridge, including removing and replacing the bridge itself, started in 2022 and is expected to finish in the fall. When completed, visitors can expect additional parking and viewing opportunities.

Additionally, parkgoers can expect delays of up to 30 minutes near the Yellowstone River Bridge, which sits near the Tower Junction along the Northeast Entrance Road. The NPS warned area hiking trails may temporarily close during the construction project, which started last year and isn’t expected to wrap up until 2026.

As part of the project, the NPS is replacing the 1961 “structurally deficient” bridge with a new 1,285-foot-long, 175-foot-high steel girder bridge upstream to “preserve year-round access to/from the Northeast Entrance and communities of Silver Gate and Cooke City, Montana.” The NPS said the project will also increase access to trails, fishing, and viewpoints.

The construction comes as Yellowstone prepares for its most popular and crowded season: summer. That’s when the weather is the most pleasant, and it’s possible to spot elk, moose, bison, and mountain goats.

The park, which straddles Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, is also one of the most popular in the country and one of the best places to spot wildlife.

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