Woman dies in Grand Teton rafting accident

A rafting accident on the Snake River resulted in the death of one member of a private boating party Sunday evening, July 13, in Grand Teton National Park. Donna Viehman, 63, of Jackson, Wyoming was riding in a rubber raft just north of the Moose Landing with five other people, including her husband, when the raft hit a mid-stream obstruction. The raft overturned and spilled all six persons into the river at approximately 6:20 p.m. Continue Reading →

‘Melting’ road reopens in Yellowstone after repairs

Temporary repairs have been completed, allowing Firehole Lake Drive in Yellowstone National Park to open to travel. The 3.3 mile scenic loop drive is located off the park’s Grand Loop Road, halfway between Old Faithful and Madison Junction. This side road travels through an active thermal area with normally high ground temperatures. The addition of high air temperatures last week resulted in damage to the blacktop surface. Continue Reading →

Scenic road in Yellowstone closed after ‘melting’ from extreme heat

Extreme heat has damaged Firehole Lake Drive in Yellowstone National Park, causing a temporary closure of the popular scenic road in the park's Lower Geyser Basin.

A popular scenic road in Yellowstone National Park has been temporarily closed due to a damaged road surface from extremely high ground temperatures. Extreme heat from surrounding thermal areas has caused thick oil to bubble to the surface of Firehole Lake Drive. The heat has damaged the blacktop and created unsafe driving conditions, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office. Yellowstone is a seismically active area where deep underground heat drives geysers, bubbling mudpots and other thermal features, and manmade features ranging from boardwalks to roads and even buildings often suffer from extreme heat. Firehole Lade Drive is located off the Grand Loop Road halfway between Old Faithful and Madison Junction in the park’s Lower Geyser Basin. Continue Reading →

Tourists injured in Grand Teton tour bus crash

A bus crash Thursday in Grand Teton National Park injured all 27 people in the vehicle.

Twenty-four people were treated for injuries follwing a commercial tour bus Thursday afternoon in Grand Teton National Park. A bus carrying 26 passengers and a driver crashed approximately four miles north of Colter Bay Village. Ambulances and a passenger van were used to transport 24 people for medical care at St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson, Wyoming. Two seriously injured passengers were flown by helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone manages people instead of grizzlies during bear jams

In Grand Teton National Park just south of Yellowstone, a volunteer wildlife brigade is trained each year to help manage people at bear jams. Both parks' programs run up consideral expense, but a study says roadside bears in Yellowstone bring more than $10 million annually to the regional economy.

Yellowstone visitors would pay an additional $41 to ensure seeing roadside grizzlies, a study shows, and the attraction creates 155 jobs and more than $10 million a year for the regional economy. The $41 visitors would pay is on top of the $25-per-vehicle entrance fee. If Yellowstone no longer allowed grizzly bears to use roadside habitat — and instead chased, moved or killed them — the regional economy would lose more than $10 million a year and 155 jobs according to the paper “The economics of roadside bear viewing.” Continue Reading →

Yellowstone history presentation in Cooke City on July 12

The Miner's Saloon is a popular watering hole in Cooke City, Mont., at the northeast border of Yellowstone National Park.

I love Montana’s many small museums and it looks like I’ll get to preview a brand new one next week in Cooke City, at the northeastern edge of Yellowstone National Park. I’ll be presenting my Humanities Montana Program, “Sidesaddles and Geysers,” on Saturday, July 12, at 7:30 p.m. at Joe’s Campfire next to the Cooke City Community Center. Joe’s Campfire is part of the new Cooke City Museum and honors a park ranger who used to lecture there on nature and history. I’m thrilled to be carrying on Joe’s legacy. Continue Reading →

Schwabacher Landing Road reopens in Grand Teton

The Schwabacher Landing Road and parking area in Grand Teton National Park will open to public access on Thursday, June 19. A paving project on the upper portion of Schwabacher Road just west of Highway 26/89/191 (Hwy 89) has been completed, allowing for this popular park location to open for the summer season. An overlay road project will be underway on 10.5 miles of Hwy 89 between Craighead Hill, about two miles north of Moose Junction, and Cunningham Cabin that lies north of Triangle X Ranch. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone visitation up slightly so far in 2014

Visitation to Yellowstone National Park for the month of May and for the first five months of 2014 overall is up almost six percent compared to the previous year. Visitation to the world’s first national park begins to pick up in May as weather improves and interior roads and visitor facilities begin to open to the public. There were 310,039 recreational visitors to Yellowstone in May and a total of 415,185 for the first five months of 2014. Continue Reading →