Yellowstone ALPS (Alternating License Plate System) Introduced

Due to unprecedented Yellowstone flooding, a new system for regulating traffic has been introduced called the Yellowstone ALPS – Alternating License Plate System. In this post, learn how ALPS works and when Yellowstone plans to fully reopen after the floods.

yellowstone alps

Yellowstone Flooding – What Happened?

Last week (June 15th, 2022), torrents of rainfall hit Yellowstone National Park causing massive floods and mudslides. Officials are calling the recent Yellowstone flooding a 1 in 1,000 year event. Aren’t we lucky?

During the Yellowstone floods, all visitors were forced to evacuate as 400% times the average for this region drenched the park. To view the extent of the flood damage, check our park webcams.

As much of the park remains closed due to Yellowstone floods – find out how the park plans to manage summer traffic in the next section.

What is Yellowstone ALPS?

Yellowstone ALPS has been introduced as a way to manage traffic after recent flooding. Since Yellowstone closures are expected for some time, Yellowstone ALPS or Alternating License Plate System will regulate traffic in the meantime.

Effectively, Yellowstone ALPS will allow public to visit the park based on the last numerical digit of their license plate. For example, odd number last digits on license plates will be allowed to enter the park on odd days of the month. Even number last digits (including 0) will be allowed to enter the park on even days of the month. Also, personalized plates will fall under odd days with the new Yellowstone ALPS.

Exceptions to Yellowstone ALPS include visitors who already have overnight stays booked, touring companies, and essential services.

The hope is that Yellowstone ALPS will manage the busy summer crowds expected in the park. Park service will monitor efficiency of the system during the first few weeks before reevaluating.

Is Yellowstone Closed?

Since the floods, Yellowstone is closed with an expected re open date of June 22nd. When Yellowstone opens, only the South Loop will be accessible. The North Loop was hit by the worst flooding and this part of Yellowstone is closed until further notice.

Areas of the South Loop of Yellowstone that will be open on the 22nd include Old Faithful, West Thumb, Grant Village, Bridge Bay, Fishing Bridge, Lake Village and Norris visitor services

West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center. Also, backcountry trailheads will be limited to day use only until overnight use opens on July 1st.

Yellowstone is closed in other parts of the South Loop including Canyon, Madison, Norris and Lewis Lake campgrounds as well as the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center and Trailside Museum. Please check here for updates on closures throughout the park.

Unfortunately, it is possible that the North Loop may remain closed for the season. So, if anyone asks is Yellowstone closed – many parts are and will continue to be closed except for main attraction areas in the South Loop. The expectation is that Yellowstone ALPS will help manage traffic in open areas of the park. Yellowstone ALPS will likely discontinue once the entire park is fully open again.

It will be a different experience in Yellowstone this summer but please enjoy yourself and respect your fellow campers!