From Staff Reports
CODY, Wyo. — Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks are among more than 100 national parks that will waive entrance fees this weekend, Jan. 14-16, in observance of the federal Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday.
“Dr. King led the fight to realize his dream of a nation free of discrimination, where every citizen was able to enjoy the inalienable rights promised to all Americans,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said in a written statement.
“Dr. King’s story and those of so many others whose efforts changed our country are preserved in the national parks, places where history happened,” Jarvis said. “I hope every American can take advantage of the upcoming fee free weekend and visit their parks to experience their history firsthand.”
Visitors to Yellowstone and Grand Teton normally pay $25 per vehicle for a 7-day pass, but may enter both parks free through Monday.
Access to the interior of Yellowstone during the winter months is restricted to guided snowmobile and snow coach trips from the North, West, South and East entrances. At Old Faithful, the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and cabins and the dining room, the Geyser Grill, the Bear Den Gift Shop and the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center are all open for the winter season.
The road from the North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, through Mammoth Hot Springs on to Cooke City, Montana, outside the park’s Northeast Entrance, is open to wheeled vehicle travel all year.
At Mammoth Hot Springs, the hotel, dining room and gift shop, Yellowstone General Store, medical clinic, campground, post office, 24-hour gasoline pumps and the Albright Visitor Center are open all year.
Visitors to Grand Teton this weekend can enjoy activities like cross-country skiing, skate skiing, snowshoeing, wildlife viewing and scenic photography. A popular winter trail that spans the unplowed Teton Park Road from Taggart Lake parking area to Signal Mountain Lodge was last groomed on December 22, 2011; however, it will not be groomed again until additional snow accumulates to allow for safe operation of the groomer.
Ranger-led snowshoe hikes take place each day at 1:30 p.m. from the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. Previous experience is not necessary and snowshoes are provided for a requested donation of $5 for adults and $2 for children 8 years or older. Reservations are required and can be made at 307.739.3399.
For a complete list of wintertime ranger-led activities and programs in Grand Teton, please refer to the park’s newspaper, Teewinot, online at www.nps.gov/grte, or call the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at (307) 739-3399.
The National Park Service will also waive admission fees on 14 other days in 2012:
- National Park Week (April 21 to 29)
- Get Outdoors Day (June 9)
- National Public Lands Day (September 29)
- Veterans Day weekend (November 10 to 12).