Canyon Village, Wyo. — Jacob Baisley spent a few minutes taking in the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River at Artist Point during a recent swing through Yellowstone National Park. For many locals, it was the celebrated first day of the season when the East Entrance opens to autos. For Baisley, it was the latest stop on an extended road trip focused on national parks. “This is definitely one of the best parks in the U.S., one of my favorites so far,” said Baisley, 33, a former Florida resident who quit his job and sold his house to spend months on the road, living out of his pickup truck. Continue Reading →
EMIGRANT, MONT. — Acting on a recommendation last month from the U.S. Forest Service, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Monday announced the withdrawal from mining for 20 years of more than 30,000 acres of federal lands in southwest Montana. Saying that “there are places to mine and places not to mine,” Zinke said Montana’s Paradise Valley, just north of Yellowstone National Park, was the kind of place where new large-scale mining wasn’t appropriate. The move extends a two-year moratorium on new mining claims in portions of the Custer Gallatin National Forest put in place by the Obama administration in 2016.
Yellowstone National Park will be one of 17 popular parks raising entry fees by $5 starting June 1 to $35 per vehicle. The move by Interior Department follows an earlier proposal that would have more than doubled entry fees to pay $70 per vehicle for visitors at Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and other major parks. That plan by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to steeply hike visitor fees was widely criticized by lawmakers and governors of both parties. The $5 fee hike, also taking effect in Grand Teton National Park, will also be imposed in other western parks, including Zion, Bryce Canyon, Mount Rainier, and Rocky Mountain parks, among others. National Park Service officials said the increased entrance fees remains would help ensure a quality experience for all visitors. Continue Reading →
CODY, WYO. — A controversial preliminary proposal to team a major corporate sponsor with Yellowstone National Park in an effort to revive interest in backcountry camping may be over before it has even started, after objections from an unexpectedly high-level opponent. Documents reviewed in late March by a number of news agencies detail a draft framework being considered that would govern an agreement between Yellowstone and online retail giant Amazon.com. The partnership would leverage the popularity of the Amazon Prime two-day delivery service to help novice hikers and campers better navigate the backcountry. But growing objections from President Donald Trump over Amazon’s business practices have cast doubt on whether the proposal will move forward. Continue Reading →
CODY, WYO. — Eagle Pass lies along the southern boundary of Yellowstone National Park, near Eagle Peak, which at 11,372 feet is the highest spot in Yellowstone. It’s not easy to reach, but photojournalist Joe Riis figured it would be a good spot for a remote camera as part of his efforts to document wildlife migrations around the park. Unfortunately, the camera was in operation only a few days before it was disabled. “A grizzly bear had hit it, and the camera was pushed down in the dirt,” said Riis, a National Geographic contributing photographer and photography fellow at the Wyoming Migration Initiative. Continue Reading →
A commercial guide leading a group of kayakers in Yellowstone National Park died Wednesday after attempting to rescue a client who capsized in the frigid waters of Yellowstone Lake. Timothy Hayden Ryan Conant, 23, from Salt Lake City, Utah, died after rangers responding to a cal for help found in the water in the West Thumb area of Yellowstone Lake, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office. One of nine kayakers being led on the trip by three guides had capsized, and was rescued by other guides while Conant was also attempting to assist. Guides brought the client to short before rangers arrived on scene to help Conant. The client was transported to the park clinic and treated for hypothermia. Continue Reading →
MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WYO. – After a day of searching for a missing hiker, crews in Yellowstone National Park on Friday found the body of man who park officials believe died following a fall. Jeff Murphy, 53, from Batavia, Illinois went for a day hike June 7 on the Rescue Creek Trail near the park’s North Entrance. The park initiated the search on June 8 when Mr. Murphy’s wife reported that he failed to check in. Murphy’s death appears to have resulted from a fall on Turkey Pen Peak, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office. Continue Reading →
Growing up on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, Marcus Dewey learned to do beadwork from his mother and grandmother. His grandmother’s most important lesson was a simple one. “I always asked my grandma, ‘Is there an easier way?’ And she said, ‘No, there’s only one way.’ And that’s what she taught me.”
He listened and learned. And he practiced. Though he’d worked earlier in life as a ranch hand, truck driver and oil field laborer, Dewey has made his living exclusively off his beadwork since 1990. Continue Reading →
CODY, WYO. — Heavy spring snowfall this week caused Yellowstone National Park managers to temporarily close some entrances, and motorists in parts of the park were told snow tires were required for entry. But having the right tires for snow in Yellowstone isn’t just an unexpected issue for some spring travelers—it’s also shaping up to be one of the biggest changes to winter travel in the park in years. The 2016-17 winter season was the fourth year the National Park Service has allowed snow coaches to use large, low-pressure tires instead of tracks, and the first winter with enough heavy snow to truly test how the tires perform in the most challenging conditions. With a majority of Yellowstone snow coaches using tires instead of tracks this past winter, the tires are getting favorable reviews from visitors and tour operators, said Christina White, a concessions management specialist for Yellowstone. Continue Reading →
CODY, WYO. — There is no surer sign of the end of winter in Yellowstone National Park than the crews currently working 12-hour shifts to clear snow from more than 300 miles of mountainous roads that traverse the park. But it’s not the aging behemoth snowplows that locals are buzzing about this spring. Rather, it’s a new mystery machine of unknown origins that some say could forever change winter travel in Yellowstone, and eventually revolutionize a $25-billion-dollar industry ripe for disruption from a bold startup with deep pockets. Despite what has become an open secret widely discussed in gateway communities around Yellowstone, National Park Service officials are sharing scant details of what some theorize is a “secret project” to bring electric snowmobiles to the world’s first national park by December of this year. Continue Reading →
Bicyclists willing to brave the unpredictable elements of spring in Yellowstone National Park can now travel 49 miles of newly plowed park roads from the West Entrance at West Yellowstone, Mont., to Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo.
There is no bicycle access to Old Faithful or Canyon until the first interior park roads open to public motorized vehicle access on Friday, April 21.
A bicycle trip into Yellowstone this time of year is not to be undertaken lightly. The quickly changing weather can be challenging. Snow and ice may still cover sections of road. Tall snow banks may line roads and pullouts be may be snow packed.
Bicyclists are required to ride single file and follow all other rules of the road. Cyclists should expect to encounter and yield to snowplows or other motorized vehicles operated by park employees or construction workers traveling in conjunction with park operations.
Bicyclists should be prepared to encounter bears, bison, elk, wolves, and other wildlife at any time. Continue Reading →