Yellowstone among 17 popular parks raising entry fees

 

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 →

Yellowstone’s ‘Backcountry Prime’ faces uncertainty amid opposition to Amazon

A still image from a video posted to YouTube shows Old Faithful erupting as seen from a camera drone in 2013, before Yellowstone National Park and the National Park Service banned unmanned aerial vehicles.

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 →

Photos offer intimate look into secrets of Yellowstone migrations

 

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 →

Guide dies attempting to rescue kayaker in Yellowstone Lake

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 →

Yellowstone hiker dies after apparent fall

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 →

Master beadworker combines traditional craft, inspiration

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 →

Yellowstone snow coaches switching from tracks to tires

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 →

‘Snow Tesla’ project could bring electric snowmobiles to Yellowstone

A blurry image captured by a West Yellowstone, Mont. snowmobile guide shows a purported electric snowmobile linked to Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk.

 

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 →

Yellowstone road opens for ‘spring bicycling’ season

A bicyclist rides past freshly plowed snow along the road between Norris and Canyon Village in this 2012 file photo.

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 →

Grand Teton road opens to bicyclists

Grand Teton National Park’s Teton Park Road between the Taggart Lake Trailhead and Signal Mountain Lodge has been cleared of snow and is now open to non-motorized recreational uses such as walking, bicycling, and rollerblading. Recreationists should be alert for park vehicles that periodically travel this roadway for administrative purposes as spring opening operations continue. Road crews may be clearing auxiliary roads and wayside areas, and visitors are cautioned to keep a safe distance from rotary plows and other heavy equipment. Recreationists are cautioned that snow and ice may persist on some sections of the roadway creating slick conditions. Dogs are permitted on the Teton Park Road, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office. Continue Reading →