Presenters sought for 7th Annual Yellowstone Winter Photo Festival

Ice forms along sections of the Lower Falls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River as frigid temperatures gripped the park during much of January. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

Photographers are invited to share their favorite winter images of the region with the public during the Seventh Annual Yellowstone Winter Photo Festival to be held next week in West Yellowstone, Mont. The festival will be held at the West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center on Wednesday, March 11 at 7:00 p.m. The festival is sponsored by the National Park Service and the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. Continue Reading →

Happy Birthday to Yellowstone Park

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President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill that created Yellowstone National Park on March 1, 1872. The act put the federal government in the business of managing public land for recreation and marked the culmination of the national park idea that had been percolating for some time. There were several rationales for setting aside the area surrounding the headwaters of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers “for the benefit and instruction of the people.” First was the determination that the area wasn’t good for anything else. The U.S. Geological Survey lead by Ferdinand V. Hayden in the summer of 1871 had determined that the area was not fit for agriculture and it was not likely that there were any mineral deposits worth mining there. Setting the area aside, proponents of the bill said, “would take nothing from the value of the public domain.” Continue Reading →

Winter travel season winding down in Yellowstone

Two people share a snowmobile during a January 2012 trip into Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park’s winter season is drawing to a close. Park roads that serve snowmobile and snow coach travel to iconic Yellowstone locations will be closed in stages beginning Sunday, March 1. The road from the park’s East Entrance over Sylvan Pass and oversnow travel south into the park from Mammoth Hot Springs will end at 9:00 p.m. Sunday. Closures on other road segments will occur during the next two weeks, with all oversnow travel scheduled to end for the season at 9:00 p.m. Sunday, March 15. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone thermal regions offer unique home to rare plants

Roy Renkin, a vegetation specialist with the National Park Service, points out sections of a forest in Yellowstone National Park that were the subject of a prescribed burn in 2007 during a 2008 media tour looking back at the summer fires of 1988.

Gift shops in and around Yellowstone National Park are filed with postcards, videos and guidebooks featuring grizzly bears and gray wolves. But you'd be hard-pressed to find a photograph—or even a passing mention—of three much rarer species found only in Yellowstone. Thanks in part to unique microclimates created by the park's hot springs, fumaroles and other thermal features, Yellowstone is the only place on earth where you'll find Ross's bentgrass, Yellowstone sand verbena and Yellowstone sulfur wild buckwheat. But most visitors to the park will never see these obscure plants. Continue Reading →

Melting snow means no snowmobiles from West Yellowstone

A long stretch of above-normal temperatures and limited snowfall in Yellowstone National Park have resulted in a dramatic reduction in the snowpack on road segments linking West Yellowstone and Old Faithful. That has left many areas along the road from West Yellowstone through Madison Junction to Old Faithful with large portions of exposed pavement visible, requiring the National Park Service to change how vehicles may access the park in that area. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone recruiting for summer Youth Conservation Corps program

Participants in the Grand Teton National Park Youth Conservation Program move a log during a trail project.

Yellowstone National Park is currently recruiting for the 2015 Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program, a residential work and education program for young men and women between the ages of 15 and 18. The program is designed to develop an appreciation for the nation's natural resources and heritage through unique educational, recreational, and work experiences, according to a statement released by the park's public affairs office. Yellowstone recruits youth from all social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds for the YCC program. Corps members work together under adult leadership to complete conservation projects such as rehabilitation of trails, campground restoration, and a wide variety of resource management, visitor support services, and maintenance projects. Continue Reading →

‘Cloud dance’ over Tetons draws eyes skyward

A 'cloud dance' over the Grand Teton captured the attention of many this week in Grand Teton National Park.

Residents around Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks often fall into a rut of taking for granted the rare and amazing natural resources in their own backyards. So it's no surprise when a grizzly bear, gray wolf or bull moose serves as a reminder of how special it is to live at the doorstep of an iconic national park. But clouds? Apparently, clouds were a major attraction Thursday in Grand Teton National Park, as an unusual cloud formation put on a dazzling show that sent visitors and veteran National Park Service employees scrambling for cameras and staring skyward. Continue Reading →

New web feature lets you ‘climb’ Grand Teton with finger-clicking ease

A climber on the summit of the Grand Teton in Grand Teton National Park surveys the Jackson Hole valley below.

If you've always wanted to climb the Grand Teton, but just haven't quite gotten around to it yet, don't worry. Now you can do it online. Add bagging an iconic peak in a picturesque national park to the long and growing list of chores folks can accomplish via the Internet, thanks to a new multimedia "eClimb" developed by Grand Teton National Park. Cyber-athletes can click their way to the Grand’s 13,770-foot summit via a web-based interactive feature and make the exhausting trek without breaking a sweat. Continue Reading →

Historic Yellowstone novel offers romantic view of park from bygone era

Visitors take in the view from atop the Old Faithful Inn in this undated Yellowstone National Park archival photo, likely from around 1910.

You don't have to go far in Yellowstone National Park to find a romantic spot that would be the perfect setting for an epic love story. From sweeping overlooks to hot springs and waterfalls to historic hotels and cabins, the park is full of beautiful places that would inspire passion in even the coldest heart. So it should come as no surprise that Yellowstone has been a popular place not only for marriage proposals and weddings, but also for many fictional romance tales, ranging from a contemporary series of popular stories to a florid yarn published more than a century ago. In fact, there have been at least three or four series of Yellowstone romance novels published over the years, along with many standalone stories. Continue Reading →