As Yellowstone National Parks Reopens, Wyoming Prepares For Travelers
Located in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, Yellowstone National Park is set to open on a limited basis on Monday, May 18 at noon. While there are five entrances into the park—three in Montana and two in Wyoming—the National Park Service will only open the entrances in Wyoming, specifically the South and East entrances.
Wyoming’s 14-day quarantine requirement on out-of-state visitors expired on May 8 and the state and its communities—including Casper—are preparing to welcome travelers, especially with the Wyoming entrances to Yellowstone National Park openings.
“With travel restrictions lifted in Wyoming, travelers are slowly starting to return to the Cowboy State and we’re working to be as prepared as possible,” said Brook Kaufman, CEO of Visit Casper.
For the first phase of the reopening, visitors will be able to access the lower loop of the Grand Loop Road, the park’s figure-eight road system including restrooms, self-service gas stations, trails and boardwalks. All visitors to the park are being asked to practice social distancing and follow all park rules and regulations, including staying 100 yards away from bears and wolves and 25 yards away from all other animals, including bison.
For many travelers coming to Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park, Casper is a halfway point. Located in central Wyoming, Casper is a scenic three-and-a-half-hour drive from Cody, Wyoming, which is the closet community to the park’s East Entrance.
“We want visitors to have the best experience possible when visiting Yellowstone National Park and right now, that is going to look different than usual,” added Kaufman. “Along with the park and our partners throughout the state, we also want Wyoming to be safe, minimize risks to visitors and residents and allow travelers to enjoy our offerings, while also supporting local and state economies.”
While travelers are no longer required to self-quarantine, they are encouraged to practice social distancing and are well-advised to plan to stay overnight outside of the park. For more information on timing related to in-park lodging and other related services, visit Yellowstone National Park Lodges.
In Casper, a variety of lodging accommodations are available, including hotels, motels, rentals, lodges, private campgrounds and RV parks. Visitors will also find 193 restaurants, with many offering social-distance dining, as well as to-go orders and curbside pickup.
Casper also sits on the North Platte River, an area that is known for its blue-ribbon fly-fishing. Previously, there was a suspension on non-resident short-term fishing licenses but that was lifted on Saturday, May 9, and out-of-state residents are now able to purchase fishing licenses and take guided fly-fishing trips with experienced outfitters and guides.
While travel is open in Wyoming, visitors to the park and Wyoming are asked and encouraged to do the following:
-If you’re sick, stay home and do not visit Yellowstone National Park or Casper. Instead, plan your visit for later.
-Use of face coverings is voluntary, with visitors being strongly encouraged to wear appropriate face protection.
-Continue to follow social distancing guidelines by physically staying at least 6 feet apart from people you are not traveling with.
-Self-manage and adhere to CDC, state and local health guidelines for social distancing and other best practices, including washing your hands regularly, using hand sanitizer and properly covering coughs and sneezes.
-Be prepared for limited food and lodging services in and around Yellowstone. Plan ahead to purchase food and make reservations for overnight accommodations outside of the park.
Information on travel updates, including ways to safely travel, can be found at VisitCasper.com/travel-updates/.