Inside the Parks

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Mr. Bubbles: Soaking in a natural Yellowstone hot tub

Alyssa Ammen and Ben Griffith soak in Mr. Bubbles in Yellowstone National Park. Mr.Bubbles is one of the rare places you can soak in Yellowstone because it’s not a thermal feature. Hot water from thermal features nearby mixes with the cold river water.

I leaned over the water with trepidation, looking at the bubbles gurgling from the middle of the pool. I put my hand over the water, straining to feel how much heat it emitted. Then I put in my toe. My hiking partners and I knew Mr. Bubbles was one of the few places in Yellowstone National Park you can soak without being boiled alive. Continue Reading →

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Pre-ban drone videos offer aerial views of Yellowstone, Grand Teton

The National Park Service has banned the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, and after a series of incidents this summer, officials in Yellowstone National Park and elsewhere have stepped up their efforts to publicize and enforce that ban. At least three visitors have been charged in Yellowstone in connection with the use of drones, including a visitor from the Netherlands who allegedly crashed his unmanned aerial vehicle into Grand Prismatic Springs, the park’s largest hot spring, which is a favorite among photographers for its varying bands of intense color. Though it is against park regulations to shoot videos using a drone, their use was not specifically prohibited until this summer. A handful of videos posted to YouTube offer a glimpse of why camera drones are so popular with professional photographers and casual visitors. The increasing ease of use and affordability of small, lightweight aerial vehicles means they aren’t likely to disappear from use any time soon. Various models of remote-controlled helicopters—about the size of a shoebox or smaller—can fly to heights of 100 feet or more, hovering or following a specified flight path. Continue Reading →

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Shutdown wrecks long-planned vacations at Yellowstone Park

About two dozen visitors to Yellowstone National Park watch Old Faithful Geyser erupt Tuesday afternoon despite a sign advising that the attraction is closed in the wake of a federal goverment shutdown. No visitors were allowed into national parks Tuesday, while those already inside park boundaries will be asked to leave.

The prismatic colors of Morning Glory Pool in Yellowstone National Park don't typically evoke political discussions, but Tuesday was no ordinary day in the park. With a federal government shutdown barring visitors from entering national parks around the country, those remaining inside Yellowstone's boundaries were left wondering whether they would be allowed to stay, and for how long. Continue Reading →

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Parks prepare for closure as government shutdown looms

Officials are working Monday to nail down final details of contingency plans on how Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks will cope with a looming government shutdown that could arrive Tuesday, leaving the parks closed to all visitors. That would mean no visitors would be allowed into national parks on Tuesday and afterward until the shutdown is resolved. Continue Reading →

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Grand Teton rangers carry injured hiker from Avalanche Canyon

Rangers in Grand Teton National Park on Monday conducted what park officials are describing as a particularly difficult rescue operation to assist an injured hiker in Avalanche Canyon. Rangers aided Carol Nielsen, 61, of Boulder, Colo. after she sustained an unspecified injury Monday while hiking below the steep talus slope that runs from Lake Taminah to the bottom of Shosoko Falls in Avalanche Canyon. Continue Reading →

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Park Service approves plan for 100-foot cell tower near Lake Hotel in Yellowstone

A map from Verizon Wireless shows signal coverage from a proposed cell phone tower planned for the area around Lake Hotel in Yellowstone National Park. (click to enlarge)

The National Park Service has given final approval for a plan by Verizon Wireless to build a new 100-foot cell tower to serve the Fishing Bridge and Lake Village developed areas in Yellowstone National Park. A permit clearing the way for construction of the new cell tower was recently approved by John Wessels, the Director of the Intermountain Region of the National Park Service, according to a statement released Tuesday by the National Park Service. Continue Reading →

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Fall field trips in Yellowstone focus on dueling elk, gorging grizzlies

Fall in Yellowstone National Park is beautiful, as the colors change and paint the park in blazes of red, orange and yellow. But it's also the time to catch bull elk sparring for mates and grizzly bears gorging before hibernation, all without the traffic or crowds of summer. Continue Reading →

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Hike Uncle Tom’s Trail for close-up view of Yellowstone’s Lower Falls

There are dozens of places in Yellowstone National Park where you can a great view of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. But there's only one spot where you'll feel like you truly "earned" the view. Uncle Tom's Trail is a strenuous series of more than 300 steel stairs that drop 500 feet, descending about three quarters of the way form the canyon rim toward the river below. Continue Reading →

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Grand Teton rangers aid two hikers in Hanging Canyon in separate incidents

Grand Teton National Park rangers aided two climbers who were injured in separate incidents over the weekend, using a helicopter to transport one of them. Rangers responded Friday afternoon to assist a climber who seriously injured his leg while moving down a snowfield in Hanging Canyon, according to a statement released by the park's public affairs office. Continue Reading →

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