Roosevelt Arch - Gardiner
North entrance at Gardiner is now open for travel to Cooke City and Silver City. Photo: Wikimedia

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Yellowstone National Park has opened its North Entrance at Gardiner, but only for motorists traveling to Silver Gate or Cooke City, which are at the park’s Northeast Entrance.

Park Superintendent Cam Sholly said Saturday that Cooke City has been isolated because of the park’s closure in late March due to the coronavirus and the fact that the scenic Beartooth Highway hasn’t been plowed on the Wyoming side. The National Park Service is responsible for the Beartooth Highway in Wyoming and in Yellowstone.

Sholly said the opening for through traffic that began Thursday offers a chance to help Cooke City get back on its feet as the expected June 1 opening of Montana’s three entrances to Yellowstone nears. The third entrance is at West Yellowstone.

Until then, people traveling from Gardiner to Cooke City are not allowed to stop or recreate in the park and must follow posted speed limits, or they could be cited, The Billings Gazette reported.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has said he hopes to move the state to the second phase of reopening on June 1, which would also include lifting a 14-day quarantine for visitors and expanding allowed capacity at bars and restaurants.

The two entrances to Yellowstone from Wyoming opened on May 18 for day use.