Ruffin Prevost

Ruffin Prevost is founding editor of Yellowstone Gate, an independent, online news service about Yellowstone and Grand Teton parks and their gateway communities. He lives in Cody, Wyo., where he also works as the Wyoming reporter for Reuters news service. He worked from 2005-10 as the Wyoming reporter for the Billings Gazette and has also been managing editor of WyoFile.

Recent Posts

Taste of the Trails brings ‘pure joy’

 
WAPITI, Wyo. — A five-kilometer race, run or walk is a staple fundraiser for community nonprofit groups across the country. It’s relatively simple to organize, and draws a wide range of participants—some are zealous competitors, others show up mainly to support a beloved cause. But the most exotic and popular 5K fundraiser in Cody doesn’t have any running, and it isn’t a race. Instead, it features stops at several points along the course to sample treats like artichoke dip or tomato basil soup. Continue Reading →

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Push grows to ‘plow the plug’ in public road access dispute

CODY, Wyo. — Living in a remote mountain community can come with unique challenges. But that’s something Joelle Passerello knew in 2019 when she moved to Cooke City, Mont., a tourist town literally at the end of the road. Passerello, a single mother of two, manages a gas station in the isolated mountain town located just outside the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. In the winter, the only way in or out of town is a 55-mile trek through the park’s northern range to Gardiner, Mont. Continue Reading →

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The Unique Mystique of South Fork Ice

 
CODY, Wyo. — Dozens of adventurers gathered here over the weekend to strap sharp metal blades to their feet and grip long, pointed axes in each hand before venturing into the Shoshone National Forest in pursuit of their dangerous and elusive prey: frozen waterfalls. Ice climbers from across the country attended the inaugural Wyoming Ice Festival, a four-day event offering clinics, gear demonstrations, a film screening and social gatherings for enthusiasts eager to climb some of the most challenging ice in the country. Less than an hour’s drive southwest of Cody, ice climbers converge each winter in the South Fork Valley to scale literal frozen waterfalls. Some are freestanding columns of ice—gargantuan icicles the size of grain silos—unconnected to anything but the ground below and a cliff edge above. Continue Reading →

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Washed-out Yellowstone roads may reopen by mid-October

CODY, WYO. — The north and northeast entrances to Yellowstone National Park could reopen to general visitor traffic as soon as mid-October if repair work runs according to schedule. 
Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly shared that ambitious construction timeline Monday afternoon on a community conference call with residents and business owners in the Cooke City, Mont. area. Sholly also reassured residents of the isolated alpine communities around Cooke City that they would be able to drive to either Gardiner, Mont. or Cody, Wyo. Continue Reading →

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Group seeks cooperation for winter access through Cooke City

 

CODY, WYO. — Montana business owners and residents in Gardiner, Cooke City and Red Lodge joined with Wyoming colleagues in Cody on Monday to discuss how to ensure winter access to each other’s communities and to Yellowstone National Park after record rains last month washed out bridges and roads throughout the region. Floods left the park’s north and northeast entrances closed to tourist traffic. Citing June’s catastrophic floods and the the possibility of being cut off from automobile access to food, medical care and essential supplies this winter, members of the newly formed Park Access Recommendation Committee (PARC) said they plan to meet sometime in August with public officials in Montana and Wyoming to develop a plan to plow an 8-mile section of U.S. Highway 212 traditionally left unplowed for use by recreational snowmobilers. PARC members said during their online meeting that if repairs to heavily damaged sections of the Northeast Entrance Road between Cooke City and Gardiner are not completed by winter, U.S. Highway 212 would be the only option for residents to connect by auto to the outside world. Continue Reading →

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Northern parts of flood-ravaged Yellowstone likely closed for summer

 
CODY, Wyo — Emergency crews in Yellowstone National Park and surrounding communities scrambled on Tuesday to reopen roads and restore utility service in isolated areas cut off by historic floods that forced the first summertime disaster closure of the park in more than three decades. Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly said in a press conference Tuesday that it is unlikely that the road from Gardiner, Mont. into the park and on to Cooke City, Mont. will reopen this year. That would put popular attractions like Mammoth Hot Springs and the unparalleled wildlife range of the Lamar Valley off limits. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone logs first million-visitor month in July, Park Service requires masks

 
CODY, WYO. — Yellowstone National Park logged its first million-visitor month in July, a milestone symbolic of the heavy tourist traffic across the country’s national parks, as visitors travel to wide-open spaces in response to—and in spite of—the surging delta variant of COVID-19. The National Park Service has yet to release final numbers, by Superintendent Cam Sholly told reporters last week that the park hosted approximately 1,080,000 recreational visitors in July, Yellowstone’s busiest month ever. Neighboring Grand Teton National Park also saw a record month in July, hosting an estimated 828,777 recreational visitors. Record numbers of tourists are seeking to escape to the outdoors, as COVID outbreaks are surging in hotspots around the country. Continue Reading →

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Cody Library hosts July 6 discussion on “Let’s Talk About Hard Things”

 
CODY, WYO. — Anna Sale is on a mission, and she has enlisted a few of her Wyoming friends to help get the job done. Host of the “Death, Sex and Money” podcast, Sale has written a book aimed at helping people have difficult conversations about topics many of us would rather avoid, but know we ought to address. Released in May by Simon & Schuster, “Let’s Talk About Hard Things” builds on Sale’s popular WNYC podcast, deftly weaving together a diverse range of stories about people having tough talks along five categories: death, sex, money, family and identity. Sale discusses her book at the Cody Library on Tuesday, July 6. Continue Reading →

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Hundreds gather in Cody to protest racism, excessive force

 
Approximately 300 people attended a rally at City Park in Cody on Sunday to protest against racism and also against excessive use of force by law enforcement. Attendees, most of whom were wearing protective masks, took a knee and observed 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence during the event, noting the time listed in a second-degree murder complaint filed against Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin. Charging documents stated Chauvin pressed his knee into the neck of George Floyd for nearly 9 minutes during an arrest that resulted in Floyd’s death and has sparked nationwide protests. Sunday’s event in Cody was peaceful and without incident. Among the speakers was Cody Police Chief Chuck Baker, who criticized Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police. Continue Reading →

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Early visitors eager to make Yellowstone pilgrimage

OLD FAITHFUL, WYO. — Grand Prismatic Spring is a favorite attraction in Yellowstone National Park. The largest hot spring in the U.S., its rainbow colors are a natural wonder that draws such large summer crowds that the parking lot overflows onto the road, and tourists stand three rows deep along the boardwalk, straining for a glimpse. On Tuesday morning, Jeremiah and Ashley Meyer had Grand Prismatic Spring all to themselves. The Star Valley, Wyo. Continue Reading →

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