Yellowstone flooding impacts Utah travel company tours

Jun 14, 2022, 10:51 PM | Updated: 11:10 pm

A Utah outdoors travel business is scrambling to figure out what the flooding means for their summer tours to Yellowstone National Park after historic flash floods wiped out roads and left the entire park closed at all entrances.

Mountainbased Adventures is a family-owned business in Mountain Green run by three brothers and a cousin, and they are just kicking off their summer season tours.

Co-owner and Adventure Director Justin Ebert explained how they run camping and hiking tours down to all five Utah national parks, as well as Yellowstone and other nearby iconic nature spots.

Many tours are bringing in customers who are excitedly checking places like YNP off their bucket list after a travel hiatus during COVID.

“We’ve had clients that have been waiting almost two years to get out there,” Ebert said.

Their first Yellowstone trip of the season was set to take off next week. But over the last two days, Ebert has been watching the destruction and devastation unfold around Yellowstone, knowing this could impact that tour.

Yellowstone officials assess damage after historic floods

The water washed away roads, bridges, buildings, and infrastructure. Yellowstone National Park officials said Tuesday that the rebuild in some areas, particularly the northern part of the park, will be extensive and take quite some time.

“I think it’s just the widespread scale of what we’re kind of dealing with in Yellowstone right now that is sort of the trickier thing,” he said.

Clients are reaching out, he indicated, asking what this means for their trip. Ebert said things are fluid as he works on forming a solid answer.

“We do have people that are obviously waiting to hear more information, but at the same time, we understand it’s one of those things that could take some time to really know exactly what’s going on,” he said.

Ebert listened to the YNP press conference Tuesday, hoping for some answers. He found out that the northern loop of the park could be closed all season, and some of the roads will not reopen this summer. But he’s hopeful the southern loop — where their tours spend the most time in the park — will allow visitors back soon.

It’s hard to say what this means for the trip scheduled next week.

“We are in the process of getting that trip sorted out, and so we’re kind of in that sort of waiting game to find out how that’s going to play out,” he said.

In the meantime, they’re looking at alternatives, Ebert said. Luckily, they’ve had experience with changing plans quickly before.

In places like Zion, Ebert explained that they’ve seen rockfalls and flash floods lead to closures.

“We feel confident that at some point, we’ll be able to get things back up running, sort of how we were anticipating running these trips this year,” he said.

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Yellowstone flooding impacts Utah travel company tours