Winter season begins in Yellowstone and Grand Teton

The winter season has kicked off in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, but limited snow in Yellowstone means that travelers will face some restrictions until more snow builds up on park roads. Recent warm weather and limited snowfall has resulted in very little snowpack on many of the Yellowstone's interior roads, park officials said. Continue Reading →

Study: Ranger interaction key to bear safety for Yellowstone visitors

Yellowstone National Park managers are looking for ways to more effectively deliver safety messages about watching bears, wolves and other wildlife at roadside traffic jams.

Most visitors to Yellowstone National Park rank the chance to see a grizzly bear at or near the top of their vacation wish lists. But park managers struggle with how to best keep humans and bruins safe when crowds gather to view wildlife along the roadside. When it comes to educating visitors about the risks and rules of watching bears, it turns out the most effective communication method is the one used least often. Visitors who received an oral explanation from a park ranger were "much more likely" to correctly remember safety advice and regulations than those who got information from any other means. Yet that was the method of communication encountered by the fewest respondents. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone among 60 sites proposed for major long-term climate change study

An image from a promotional video by the National Ecological Observatory Network shows what a sample monitoring station might look like. Yellowstone National Park has been selected as one of 60 proposed NEON sites.

A site in Yellowstone National Park has been proposed as one of 60 key monitoring stations in what is shaping up to be the largest long-term study of climate change in North America. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Ecological Observatory Network will gather a wide range of data at sites spread among 20 distinct eco-climatic domains across the United States. The project, budgeted at $60 million for the 2013 fiscal year, is designed to run for 30 years or longer in an effort to help researchers track the long-term effects of climate change across the entire continent. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone extends, expands options for comments on proposed fee hikes

Yellowstone National Park managers have extended the window for accepting public comments on a proposed hike in entrance fees, as well as offering the option for taking comments online. The move comes after the National Park Service faced criticism via social media networks and coverage in the news media for not allowing comments to be submitted by email or via online comment forms. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone administrators limit input on proposed fee increases

When administrators at Yellowstone National Park began seeking public input on a proposal to increase entrance fees, something was conspicuously missing: an ability to submit feedback online. Unlike their counterparts in Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Grand Teton and other national parks, Yellowstone administrators chose to only allow comments that are mailed or hand-delivered to park headquarters in Mammoth Hot Springs. Written comments also were accepted at meetings in Cody, Jackson and Bozeman. It appears to be the first time in more than eight years that Yellowstone has put forward a notable proposal and not allowed people to weigh in through an online form or email. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone faces winter season without 3 key leaders

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk has accepted a temporary position as interim president of the National Park Foundation in Washington, D.C.

With only a month until snowmobiles and snow coaches begin entering Yellowstone National Park, three of the park's top managers will be tending to new duties in other locations. Though the timing is coincidental, and two of the moves are temporary, the circumstances will mean a big change in Yellowstone's daily leadership for the 2014-15 winter season. Yellowstone's superintendent, a top management assistant in charge of winter use and the park's lead scientist have all recently taken assignments in other states. Continue Reading →

Proposed hike for Yellowstone entry fees draws mixed reviews

The experiences and memories gained from a trip to Yellowstone National Park my be priceless, but they don't come without a cost. And that cost will go up next year under a proposal being presented this week by park leaders. Yellowstone officials are meeting with residents in gateway communities this month as part of the public comment period on a proposal to restructure and raise the park's entrance fees, as well as to establish a new permit fee for overnight backcountry camping. Currently, visitors in a single, non-commercial vehicle entering either Grand Teton National Park or Yellowstone pay $25 for a 7-day pass valid at both parks. Under the newly proposed fee structure, Yellowstone visitors would pay $30 for a 3-day pass, or they could opt for a 7-day pass good at both parks for $50. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone visitation sets record for October

It was another record visitation month for Yellowstone National Park in October. A total of 194,804 recreational visitors came to Yellowstone last month, surpassing the previous October record of 189,072 set in 2010. The dramatic year-to-year difference in visitation figures between October 2014 and October 2013 reflects the 16 day park closure due to last October’s federal government shutdown. There were 3,483,608 recreational visits to Yellowstone in first ten months of 2014, an increase of 10.26% over the same period in 2013. Continue Reading →

Death In Yellowstone: True stories of park’s fatal perils

Yellowstone National Park historian Lee Whittlesey is the author of "Death In Yellowstone," a compilation of true stories about the park's fatal perils.

Don’t bother asking Lee Whittlesey about his favorite Yellowstone ghost stories. He doesn’t believe in ghosts. He doesn’t need to. The Yellowstone National Park historian knows horror stories far scarier than made-up specters. They are haunting, disturbing and particularly terrifying because they actually happened. These are the stories of people falling into boiling water, of wild animals attacking and feasting on flesh, and the unsolved mysteries as to whether a person fell or was pushed. Continue Reading →

Grand Teton set for seasonal road closures

Grand Teton National Park will close some of its roads to seasonal travel in preparation for winter.

Residents of Jackson, Wyo. and park visitors are reminded that two roads within Grand Teton National Park will close to vehicle traffic for the season on the evening of Friday, October 31, 2014. These seasonal closures include the length of the Teton Park Road between Taggart Lake parking area and Signal Mountain Lodge parking lot, as well as the Moose-Wilson Road between Granite Canyon and Death Canyon trailheads. In addition to the annual road closures, the Moose, Moran and Granite Canyon entrance stations will be temporarily closed for the month of November and early December. They are scheduled to reopen on December 15 for the winter season. Continue Reading →