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 →

First grizzly bears of spring spotted in Yellowstone National Park

A few grizzly bears have been spotted emerging from hibernation in Yellowstone National Park.

Spring is officially a few days away, but after a bearish winter, the first grizzly of the season has been spotted in Yellowstone National Park. 
Early Wednesday morning, March 15, a park employee observed a grizzly bear between Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower-Roosevelt, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office. It is the first confirmed bear sighting this year, although bear tracks have been observed since February 22. Later in the morning, park staff saw two more grizzly bears scavenging carcasses in the northern part of the park.   
When bears emerge from hibernation they look for food and often feed on elk, bison and other animals that died over the winter. Sometimes, bears will react aggressively while feeding on carcasses. 
All of Yellowstone National Park and much of the surrounding area is bear country. Continue Reading →

Total solar eclipse to boost August tourism across Wyoming

Solar flares are visible in the sun's corona during a total solar eclipse. (NASA image)

 

CODY, WYO. — Late this summer, the stars will align for an event that is likely to result in one of the busiest tourist days in Wyoming history. Well, at least one star will align. A total solar eclipse will be visible Mon., Aug. 21 across a coast-to-coast swath of the U.S., and Wyoming is poised to host a major influx of visitors seeking the best vantage and weather for the rare celestial display. Continue Reading →

Former internee sees echoes of Heart Mountain in new travel restrictions

On Sunday, Sam Mihara will lead a discussion in Washington, D.C. about how a presidential order wreaked havoc for him and thousands of other people, making travel impossible, splitting up families, upending lives and sowing chaos amidst the careful plans and long-held dreams of a select group of people. But it won't be President Trump's Jan. 27 executive order that suspended travel from seven Muslim-majority countries that Mihara will focus on. He and others who were confined at the Heart Mountain internment center during World War II will discuss Executive Order 9066, signed 75 years ago by President Franklin Roosevelt on Feb. 19, 1942. Continue Reading →