U.S. Mint to release commemorative Yellowstone dollar coin in 2016

The design for a new coin commemorating the National Park Service centennial (left) is similar to a Yellowstone National Park quarter (right) issued in 2010.

In a preview of what is sure to be a diverse range of events and promotions next year celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the U.S. Mint on Thursday released designs for three new coins, including one featuring Yellowstone National Park. The commemorative coin designs were showed off at a Washington, D.C. ceremony at the Department of Interior attended by Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis and U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios. Designed to help fund more than 400 national park units around the country, the coins will be marketed to collectors and park supporters willing to pay a premium for them. Proceeds go to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. “When fully realized, the potential impact derived from the commemorative coin sales will be tremendous,” National Park Foundation President Will Shafroth said in a statement released by the U.S. Mint. Continue Reading →

Grand Teton rangers investigate mistakenly killed moose

A moose browses on willows as another looks on.

Grand Teton National Park rangers are working in partnership with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and conducting an investigation regarding an illegal take of a moose within the boundaries of Grand Teton National Park. Wyoming Game and Fish Wardens were contacted over the weekend by a participant of the park’s elk reduction program who reported a calf moose was mistakenly shot. State game wardens seized the meat, cited the individual for taking a moose without a license, and contacted park rangers. The meat was donated to local families in need. Continue Reading →

Rendezvous Ski Trail opens at West Yellowstone

Simona Wambeke glides down a hill during a kids' nordic ski clinic at Pahaska Tepee near the East Gate to Yellowstone National Park.

The Rendezvous Ski Trail system, located on the Custer Gallatin National Forest near West Yellowstone, Mont., is now being groomed thanks to early snow and just in time for the upcoming Yellowstone Ski Festival. During the month of November, a Yellowstone Ski Festival pass is required for all skiers. Pass prices (per skier) are $12 for one day and $55 for the entire month of November. Passes are available for sale in West Yellowstone at the Visitor Center, FreeHeel & Wheel, Holiday Inn, and at the Rendezvous Trailhead. Continue Reading →

Record October pushes Yellowstone yearly total visits past 4 million

The record summer season at Yellowstone National Park finished with a bang, as October brought more than a quarter-million visitors, pushing the annual total to more than 4 million people so far—a milestone never reached before at the world's first national park. Numbers posted by the National Park Service show that 252,013 people visited Yellowstone in October, an increase of more than 29 percent over last year, which was previously the busiest October on record, with 194,804 visitors. Continue Reading →

Record crowds push Yellowstone managers to plan for 2016


Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk has been making the rounds to gateway communities to discuss the ups and downs of the park's record summer visitation. The good news is that more people are coming to Yellowstone than ever. Which is also the bad news. Or more specifically, that so many autos and buses are rolling through the park. "We saw more vehicles in Yellowstone National Park than we've ever seen before," Wenk said last week in Cody during an informal meeting with tourism industry leaders. Wenk has also met with similar groups as part of what he called "listening sessions" in the Montana towns of Gardiner, West Yellowstone and Cooke City, as well as in developed areas in the park. Continue Reading →

New Yellowstone housing features green building, design elements

Dylan Hoffman, director of environmental affairs in Yellowstone for Xanterra Parks and Resorts, stands near the entrance to Paintbrush Lodge, a newly completed employee dormitory in Yellowstone National Park.

Staff accommodations in Yellowstone National Park have typically leaned toward the more rustic end of the spectrum, starting with a series of remote cabins built by U.S. Army soldiers in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Guest quarters have at times been only marginally better, with some lodging meant as temporary housing still being used a half-century later. So it was with understandable fanfare that a Yellowstone lodging concessioner earlier this month showed off two new environmentally friendly housing projects, both built using modular construction, and with a focus on sustainable building and design practices. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone’s 2 major charitable support groups to merge

Two charitable organizations that share a common mission of supporting Yellowstone National Park will merge, following a growing trend among nonprofit groups that support national parks across the country. The Yellowstone Association and Yellowstone Park Foundation announced on Thursday a plan to merge, creating a single entity that will raise funds and engage in educational efforts in support of Yellowstone. The new organization expects to be operating jointly by March 2016, and will be fully integrated by February 2017. Continue Reading →

Grand Teton rangers aid hiker after fall

Grand Teton National Park rangers aided an injured hiker in Avalanche Canyon Monday evening, and transported her from the area to a local medical facility. Millie Jimenez, 24-year old female from Moose, Wyo, was returning from a hike in Avalanche Canyon with a friend late Monday afternoon, October 12. Jimenez lost her footing as she descended a rock slab area. She tumbled approximately 25 feet, and then fell another 20 feet, landing on a steep and rocky slope. Continue Reading →

Yellowstone sees busiest year on record with 3.8 million visitors so far

Bison in Yellowstone National Park cause a traffic jam on the road through Hayden Valley in July 2010.

More people visited Yellowstone National Park last month than any other September on record, and the park has set a new annual visitation record, with nearly three months still remaining before the end of the year. More than 3.8 million people have visited Yellowstone through the end of September, according to figures compiled by the National Park Service. That shatters the previous annual record of 3.6 million visitors in 2010. And if October follows recent trends, Yellowstone could log more than 4 million visitors by the end of 2015. Continue Reading →