Veteran Yellowstone birder leads Hayden Valley Hawk Watch

A rough legged hawk takes flight east of Yellowstone National Park.

Throughout the summer, thousands of visitors come to Yellowstone National Park to catch a glimpse of awe-inspiring predators like grizzly bears and gray wolves. But during the fall, there's a different group of apex predators who travel through Yellowstone in search of prey. They often strike without warning, and sometimes go unseen until the fatal moment. Migratory raptors like hawks are a familiar sight in the park at this time of year, and visitors have a rare chance to learn about raptors from an expert, while also helping track birds of prey as part of a citizen science effort that could inform management decisions in Yellowstone. Continue Reading →

Forest trails offer unique scenic drives for four-wheelers

The Kirwin Ghost Town near Meeteetse, Wyo. is a popular Shoshone National Forest destination for four-wheelers.

CODY, WYO. — With cooler weather arriving over the Labor Day weekend and a hint of fall in the air, many local residents are engaging in an annual ritual of regret and last-minute planning as they attempt to enjoy the outdoors just a few more times before warm weather slips away for the year. But escaping the crowds isn’t always easy, with popular roadside campgrounds and recreation areas seeing heavy traffic from visitors and residents alike. And not everyone has the time (or stamina) for a multi-day backcountry hike. Fortunately, a reliable four-wheel-drive vehicle and a little planning can open vast stretches of wild landscapes to drivers willing to do a little trekking. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone faces crowds, growing challenges as Park Service celebrates centennial

Attendees at an outdoor concert held near Yellowstone National Park last week as part of the National Park Service's Centennial Celebration were told to expect traffic jams, parking hassles and long lines for admission. While the Aug. 25 event brought less congestion than anticipated, that same advisory could also apply to many summer days in Yellowstone itself. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone south entrance reopens after closure due to wildfire

A frame from a video shot Wednesday shows the Berry Fire in Grand Teton National Park burning in heavy timber close to U.S. Highway 89. Officials have closed the road, which connects Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park, resulting in the closure of Yellowstone’s south entrance, as well as some trails, a campground and a lodge in Grand Teton. The closures may last several days, depending on fire activity, weather and other factors.

Authorities have closed the main connector road between the south end of Yellowstone National Park and northern border of Grand Teton National Park after a wildfire that started last month has grown to nearly 7,000 acres. The closure means vacation travelers must detour at least 150 miles to move between the neighboring parks, which are connected by an 8-mile scenic parkway. Continue Reading →

Cody Chamber drops support for Spring Into Yellowstone wildlife festival

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After four seasons, the future is uncertain for a spring wildlife festival that was created to build early season tourism traffic, and focus on Cody as a travel destination for nature lovers who wanted a sneak peek of Yellowstone National Park before the summer crowds. The Cody Country Chamber of Commerce will no longer take a leading role in organizing Spring Into Yellowstone, executive director Tina Hoebelheinrich said, but it will assist in a transition to any credible group that wants to take over the nonprofit event. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone biologists monitoring rivers after parasite forces closure in Montana

Park officials have no plans so far to close waters in Yellowstone National Park to anglers and others following a move Friday by Montana wildlife officials to close a vast stretch of the Yellowstone River. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced the indefinitely and immediate closure of more than 150 miles of the Yellowstone River and its tributaries to fishing, boating and all other recreational activities. Continue Reading →

Montana blogger creates map guide to Yellowstone Park day hikes

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With all signs pointing to a busy summer in Yellowstone National Park—possibly even a record year for visitation—the best way to avoid the crowds will be to park your car and hit the trail. Which is exactly how Montana hiker and blogger Jake Bramante spent his summer last year. After spending 40 days in 2015 hiking, documenting and rating dozens of trails in Yellowstone, Bramante has released a comprehensive topographic map covering 65 day hikes in nearly every corner of the park. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone plans visitor surveys in effort to better manage crowds

Every year, scientists and researchers come to Yellowstone National Park to learn more about wildlife ranging from grizzly bears to gray wolves, badgers to bison. But this summer, park officials are planning some field work involving a species that hasn't been studied much in the park: Homo sapiens. Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk told a travel and tourism group here that he wants more scientific data about why people visit Yellowstone, what they expect from their trip, and what drives their actions in the park. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone Lake Hotel celebrates 125 years of hosting park visitors

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The National Park Service is observing its centennial this summer, but it was a grand old hotel 25 years older than the Park Service that kicked off the season's festivities in Yellowstone National Park on Friday. Dozens gathered at Yellowstone Lake Hotel to celebrate the structure's designation last year as a National Historic Landmark, and to mark 125 years since the hotel opened to the public in 1891. Continue Reading →

Space still available for many Spring Into Yellowstone events

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Wildlife and nature lovers looking to avoid the summer crowds have a chance this week to join expert guides on tours of some of the most scenic and inspiring spots in Yellowstone National Park and nearby public lands. Organizers of Spring Into Yellowstone say space is still available for many of the tours, lectures and workshops scheduled from Wednesday through Sunday in and around Cody and Yellowstone Park. Continue Reading →