Mt. Washburn closed in Yellowstone - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Mt. Washburn closed in Yellowstone

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Mammoth – Two of Yellowstone’s most popular trails will close soon. Mount Washburn will be inaccessible for the rest of the summer.  

During the 4th of July Holiday week, traffic is bumper to bumper all across Yellowstone.  And the parking lots at popular park attractions are filled to overflowing.  People who planned to hike the popular Mount Washburn trail from the park’s highest pass: Dunraven, had to park down the road from the parking lot.

Then, they braved the cold winds on the mountain. But, no one here complained.

Steve Lindow from Berkeley, California described the trip as, “Beautiful. Flowers everywhere. Vistas awesome.”

Yellowstone Public Affairs Specialist Morgan Warthin explained, “Between 400 and 500 people summit it on a daily basis.”

So, if so many people love the trail, why is the park shutting it down? 

Warthin said it has to be done.

She said, “It’s because we have two critical projects that will be commencing here shortly. On the Dunraven Pass side, our trails crew is doing some restoration work on the historic switchbacks.”

Warthin said the work on the trail will be intensive.

She explained, “They’re transporting rock to and from the area in an alpine environment, and so what that looks like are helicopters transporting rock back and forth.”

Chittenden Road, to the North of the Dunraven Pass hike, allows people to drive up the mountain. That will completely closed for heavy equipment that will be moving radio and cell phone antennae.

The new radio antennae will improve communication for Park Rangers who are keeping people safe in very remote areas.

She remarked, “For law enforcement officers who are in the backcountry, their only tool for communication is the radio.”

Warthin said the trails will close soon, but an exact closure date has not been set. She said the trails will be closed for the rest of 2018.