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

Historic Shell Store Boasts Best Burgers, Bustling Bakery

Throughout its 125-year history, the Shell Store has served as a general store, a lodge, a private residence and storage space. First opened as a place to buy canned goods, fabric, corsets and saddles, patrons can now stop there to pick up monofilament fishing line and a 12-pack of hard seltzer while charging their electric vehicle.  Since April 2020, the Shell Store Taphouse & Kitchen has also been a place for the approximately 85 residents of the remote ranching community of Shell to gather for coffee and a pastry, or grab convenience items like snacks, drinks and sundries. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Temporary Art Installation Highlights Native Presence in Yellowstone Park

Over the past 151 years, people have traveled from around the world to experience the unique landscape of Yellowstone National Park because it has remained largely untouched, showing what life there has been like for thousands of years. But for three days this week, a historic presence was briefly restored in Yellowstone after being absent for a century and a half. A village of 20 teepee lodges rejoined its rightful place among the park’s grizzly bears and bald eagles, the cottonwood trees and meandering streams, the gurgling geysers and bubbling mudpots. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

Bighorn Basin has Dinosaurs ‘Everywhere’

Paleontologist Jason Schein compares his own size to that of a fossilized tibia from a dreadnaughtus dinosaur, an 85-foot-long sauropod from the Cretaceous Period. (Courtesy photo from Elevation Science Institute)

CODY, Wyo. — Many amateur dinosaur enthusiasts, and even some career paleontologists, have a lifelong wish to find the fossilized remains of a tyrannosaurus, diplodocus or triceratops. But Jason Schein is a little sick of finding triceratops. “Triceratops—those things are just everywhere,” he said Thursday during a lecture at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

The Bird Offers Relaxed Refuge Outside the Jackson Bubble

The Bird, south of Jackson, features an expansive back deck with abundant sunshine and sweeping views of the Snake River Range stretching to the Idaho border and beyond. (photo by Ruffin Prevost)

JACKSON, Wyo. — For those first-time customers lucky enough to stumble upon The Bird for a burger and a beer on a sunny afternoon near Jackson, the restaurant’s menu has a little friendly advice: “If you’re a fun-sucker and are uptight, unhappy, or demanding, you know, can’t even have fun on vacation…maybe try somewhere that’s more geared to your sort.”

In a tourist town overrun with hordes of often demanding and ill-mannered visitors — as well as a healthy contingent of wealthy seasonal residents full of relentless five-star expectations — The Bird stands out as a jealously guarded refuge for easy-going locals and relaxed visitors. “While you are here, just cut loose,” the menu’s advisory continues, “get raucous, tell that joke you’re not sure is appropriate, stay late and have the one drink too many and we’ll drive you home.”

And you will have to drive (or be driven), because The Bird isn’t walking distance from much of anything in Jackson. Located on U.S. Highway 89, over five miles south of Jackson’s Town Square, The Bird is tucked away in the back of a funky strip mall that lies between a heavy equipment rental yard and a small engine repair shop. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Moving Heavy Metal at High Altitude in Yellowstone

Three rotary plows operated by drivers from Yellowstone National Park work in staggered succession to clear snow from the Beartooth Highway in spring 2021. (Courtesy photo from Jacob W. Frank/National Park Service)

By Ruffin Prevost

CODY, Wyo. — For several days this spring — after Yellowstone National Park had closed to snowmobiles and snow coaches, but before it had opened to automobile traffic — road maintenance crews there were burning through 1,500 gallons of diesel fuel per day. But they were hauling nothing and not building anything. In fact, they were making no permanent changes to any roads. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Yellowstone, Grand Teton Planners Tackle Traffic

Traffic backs up at Norris Junction in Yellowstone National Park in this September 2017 file photo. Park planners are working to ease congestion here and at a handful of other especially busy spots in Yellowstone. (Courtesy photo from Jacob W. Frank/National Park Service)

By Ruffin Prevost

CODY, Wyo. — With the advent of warmer weather in Yellowstone National Park and Memorial Day approaching, tens of thousands of out-of-state visitors will be arriving to kick off the summer season. Or as park employees and locals call it: construction season. Continue Reading →

Filed under: ,

Spring in Yellowstone ‘Beyond Expectations’

Bebe Bushra, an Instagram influencer from Texas, poses for a photo Sunday at Mud Volcano in Yellowstone National Park. (photo by Ruffin Prevost)

By Ruffin Prevost

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — As spring slowly takes hold in Yellowstone National Park, a familiar cast of critters are emerging to claim center stage on a landscape still shedding the snow and ice of a long, cold winter. Familiar favorites like sandhill cranes and harlequin ducks have flown in from far-flung locales. But some new stars have arrived too, including baby bison, grizzly bear cubs and even a few nascent bubbling mud pots and babbling brooks that have emerged since fall. Continue Reading →

Filed under: