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

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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Yellowstone to open South, East gates May 18 in phased reopening

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CODY, WYO. — Yellowstone National Park is set to reopen at noon on Monday, May 18, but only through the south and east entrances located in Wyoming. The park’s other three entrances, all in Montana, will open later, at a date to be determined in cooperation with Montana officials. Early park visitors expecting to catch a glimpse of grizzly bears or Old Faithful Geyser should pack a lunch, as self-serve gas stations and public restrooms are the only services available during what the National Park Service is calling Phase 1 of what will be a phased reopening. Superintendent Cam Sholly said he wants to follow a slow and cautious approach Wednesday, speaking on a conference call with business leaders and elected officials in gateway communities that rely on park visitors for a large portion of their local economies. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone to see staged opening with limited services

The usual spring opening for Yellowstone National Park has been delayed to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate)

CODY, WYO. — The first Friday in May has traditionally marked the opening of the East Gate to Yellowstone National Park, drawing a mix of locals and hearty travelers anxious to experience spring in a park still thawing out from a long winter. But with Yellowstone still closed to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, tourism industry insiders are grappling with a plan for what summer might look like in the park and the gateway towns that rely on a steady stream of visitors to fill restaurants, hotels and attractions. Park manages still haven’t announced an opening date. But they have said that Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks will see staged openings that start small and rely on fewer seasonal employees, with reduced services and a focus on visitor and worker safety. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone lodging concessioner delays operations until June 15

CODY, WYO. — Yellowstone National Park’s primary lodging concessioner announced in an email to employees on Tuesday that it will not begin summer operations until June 15. Xanterra Travel Collection—which operates several hotels, campgrounds and tour activities in Yellowstone—told employees that the company is “waiting for directives from the National Park Service” as it revises its timeline for summer operations. Xanterra is the country’s largest park concessioner, operating in state parks and five national parks, in addition to Yellowstone. It relies heavily on seasonal employees who are housed in dormitories, cabins and other housing inside Yellowstone and other park properties. Continue Reading →

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