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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 →

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2 grizzly bears killed in separate incidents near Yellowstone

Hunters killed two grizzly bears last week in separate incidents near Yellowstone National Park.

Two grizzly bears were killed by elk hunters acting in self defense last week in separate incidents near Yellowstone National Park. According to information released by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, both hunters were unharmed in the incidents. In each case, the hunters were able to return to their vehicles unharmed and report the incident. Continue Reading →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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Western furniture and design show endures in Cody

Western design enthusiast Peggy Ruble examines, Teton Settee, created by John Gallis of Norseman Designs West.

People who shop for Western furniture in Cody aren't just buying a club chair or desk, craftsman Jimmy Covert explains. They're investing in a piece of functional art that has a clear connection to a long history of creative, hard-working artisans in an authentic Western community. That's why artists, buyers and enthusiasts have gathered every September in Cody for the past 24 years. And it's why an annual showcase of furniture, fashion and decorative items that has never been very profitable simply won't fade away. Continue Reading →

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Grizzly involved in Idaho hunter attack likely defending cubs

Hunters killed two grizzly bears last week in separate incidents near Yellowstone National Park.

Idaho wildlife officials say their investigation into a recent grizzly bear attack on a hunter near Yellowstone National Park has determined the incident was likely the result of a surprise encounter in which a mother bear was defending her three cubs. A 55-year-old man from Idaho Falls was treated and released Monday after a grizzly bear bit his left hand. The man had been bowhunting for elk in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in the vicinity of Yale Creek, about 15 miles west of Yellowstone. Continue Reading →

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Reservation period begins for self-guided Yellowstone snowmobile trips

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

The week before Labor Day hardly seems like the ideal time for contemplating a winter trek through Yellowstone National Park. But Tuesday, Sept. 1 is a key date for anyone planning to travel through Yellowstone by snowmobile as part of a self-guided group. That's the first day to submit applications online for the lottery system that allocates spots in the self-guided tour program. Under a newly implemented winter-use plan, last winter was the first season since 2003 that allowed sledders to tour Yellowstone without a commercial guide. Despite relatively warmer temperatures and sparse snow, winter recreational visits park-wide increased by 14 percent over the previous year. Continue Reading →

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July sets record as busiest month ever in Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park managers are looking for ways to more effectively deliver safety messages about watching bears, wolves and other wildlife at roadside traffic jams.

If things seemed a little crowded last month during your visit to Yellowstone National Park, it wasn't just you. It was the million other people who picked July to visit Old Faithful, Yellowstone Lake, Mammoth Hot Springs and the park's other top attractions. July was the busiest single month ever in Yellowstone, according to numbers posted online by the National Park Service. Yellowstone saw 980,702 recreational visitors last month, a 14 percent increase over July 2014, when 858,857 recreational visitors toured the park. That's 2 percent higher than June 2010, which had been the busiest month on record until now. Continue Reading →

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Planners aim to attract Obama to Yellowstone for 2016 visit

President Barack Obama awaits the eruption of Old Faithful with First Lady Micelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia during a 2009 visit to Yellowstone National Park.

President Barack Obama had a busy week, making headlines and sparking discussions on a wide range of issues in what may well turn out to be the most defining few days of his presidency. The week's events showed that even a lame duck president with 45 percent approval ratings who has long since lost once-solid majorities in Congress can still command the nation's attention. It also explains why many in the Yellowstone National Park gateway town of Gardiner, Mont. are working hard to attract Obama as a featured guest for next summer's celebration of the National Park Service centennial. Continue Reading →

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