Yellowstone Gate

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Grand Teton Hosts 3.3 Million Visits in Pandemic Year

MOOSE, Wyo.- Grand Teton National Park hosted 3,289,639 recreation visits in 2020, the fourth highest number of recreation visits for one year in the park’s history. During 2020 the park was closed for almost two months, March 24-May 18, due to health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to 2019, total recreation visits decreased by only 3.4%, despite the pandemic, according to figures released by the park’s public affairs office.  
Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Chip Jenkins said, “National parks and public lands were extremely important to everyone this past year, providing fresh air, open space and respite from the pandemic. We anticipate that we will see continued high interest in visiting Grand Teton National Park.” Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone to open Montana entrances June 1

All roads through Yellowstone National Park will be open June 1, except for a segment from Tower to Canyon, which is under construciton.

Yellowstone National Park will open its Montana entrances on Monday, June 1 at 10 a.m. The Montana entrances include West Entrance (near West Yellowstone), North Entrance (near Gardiner), and Northeast Entrance (near Cooke City). The opening of Montana’s entrances coincides with Montana’s lifting of out-of-state travel restrictions, and will provide visitor access to all five entrances of Yellowstone National Park (the Wyoming entrances opened on May 18). The entire Grand Loop Road will be accessible for day use, the National Park Service said Thursday in a statement released by Yellowstone’s public affairs office, excluding the segment between Canyon and Tower, which is closed for road construction. On June 1, in line with the park’s three-phased reopening plan, visitors will be able to access Phase 1 services/facilities (including restrooms, self-service gas stations, trails/boardwalks, limited stores, entrance stations, medical clinics, approved tours) and a few services/facilities as outlined in Phase 2 (including takeout food service, boating, and fishing). The park will remain day-use only. Continue Reading →

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Woman injured by bison in Yellowstone

A woman in Yellowstone National Park was injured by a bison Wednesday afternoon, but declined to be taken for additional medical care. Park officials did not release full details of the incident, but said the woman approached too close to the bison, within 25 yards, somewhere in the Upper Geyser Basin, which is home to Old Faithful. The incident remains under investigation, and is the first bison-related injury of the year. Yellowstone opened Monday for the season, offering only restrooms and self-service gasoline, with no overnight accommodations. Park emergency medical providers responded to the incident immediately, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone ‘geyser virus’ eyed in ‘wildlife zombies’

A rare thermophilic virus found in the hot waters of Yellowstone National Park may be behind strange animal behavior in the region.

Local and regional public health officials are working with researchers in Yellowstone National Park to learn more about the origins and life cycle of a strange virus that could be causing highly aggressive behavior in small wildlife in the park and surrounding areas. While little is known about the newly encountered, so-called “geyser virus,” park officials stress that it doesn’t appear to pose an immediate threat to human health. But they are advising park visitors to take extra precautions around any small animal that doesn’t appear to display typical signs of fear, or that shows outright aggression. Concern about the geyser virus first arose after a series of bizarre wildlife encounters involving backcountry skiers and hikers in and around Yellowstone over the winter. Visitors reported uncharacteristically aggressive behavior from a variety of small mammals, ranging from otters to beavers to pikas. Continue Reading →

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Winter travel winds down in Yellowstone

Roads in Yellowstone National Park are closing to snowmobile and snow coach travel as the winter season winds down. Spring plowing will start as road segments close. All snowmobile and snow coach travel will end for the season Friday, March 15, at 9 p.m. As weather and plowing operations allow, some park roads will reopen to automobile travel Friday, April 19, at 8 a.m.

Road Closure Dates (gates close at 9 p.m.)

Friday, March 1, East Entrance to Lake Butte Overlook (Sylvan Pass)
Sunday, March 3, Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris
Tuesday, March 5, Norris to Madison, Norris to Canyon Village
Friday, March 15, all remaining groomed roads

At Mammoth Hot Springs, the Gift Shop, Ski Shop, and food services will close Sunday, March 3. The Mammoth Hot Springs Campground, Yellowstone General Store, Post Office, Medical Clinic, the Albright Visitor Center, and self-serve fuel pumps remain open all year. At Old Faithful, Old Faithful Snow Lodge & Cabins close Sunday, March 3. The Bear Den Gift Shop, the Geyser Grill, and the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center will close Friday, March 15. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone microbes key to major investment in new food venture

A visitor to Yellowstone National Park crashed a drone into Grand Prismatic Spring in August.


Microbes found in the extreme environments of Yellowstone National Park thermal features are key to a major financial investment in a new form of protein that could find its way into commercial foods within a few years. Sustainable Bioproducts, a biotechnology company developing a new way to grow edible protein, announced last month that investors have pledged $33 million toward commercializing a process that has its roots in a Montana microbiologist’s research into tiny organisms that thrive in the hot, acidic waters of Yellowstone. A Silicon Valley-based venture fund, 1955 Capital, was among the major investors in Chicago-based Sustainable Bioproducts, which also has offices in Bozeman, Mont. Another backer is Breakthrough Energy Ventures—whose investors include Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. Sustainable Bioproducts is developing a fermentation process that aims to produce a protein with high nutritional value, while having minimal environmental impact, according to a statement released by the company. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone among 17 popular parks raising entry fees


Yellowstone National Park will be one of 17 popular parks raising entry fees by $5 starting June 1 to $35 per vehicle. The move by Interior Department follows an earlier proposal that would have more than doubled entry fees to pay $70 per vehicle for visitors at Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and other major parks. That plan by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to steeply hike visitor fees was widely criticized by lawmakers and governors of both parties. The $5 fee hike, also taking effect in Grand Teton National Park, will also be imposed in other western parks, including  Zion, Bryce Canyon, Mount Rainier, and Rocky Mountain parks, among others. National Park Service officials said the increased entrance fees remains would  help ensure a quality experience for all visitors. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone’s ‘Backcountry Prime’ faces uncertainty amid opposition to Amazon

A still image from a video posted to YouTube shows Old Faithful erupting as seen from a camera drone in 2013, before Yellowstone National Park and the National Park Service banned unmanned aerial vehicles.

CODY, WYO. — A controversial preliminary proposal to team a major corporate sponsor with Yellowstone National Park in an effort to revive interest in backcountry camping may be over before it has even started, after objections from an unexpectedly high-level opponent. Documents reviewed in late March by a number of news agencies detail a draft framework being considered that would govern an agreement between Yellowstone and online retail giant The partnership would leverage the popularity of the Amazon Prime two-day delivery service to help novice hikers and campers better navigate the backcountry. But growing objections from President Donald Trump over Amazon’s business practices have cast doubt on whether the proposal will move forward. Continue Reading →

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Guide dies attempting to rescue kayaker in Yellowstone Lake

A commercial guide leading a group of kayakers in Yellowstone National Park died Wednesday after attempting to rescue a client who capsized in the frigid waters of Yellowstone Lake. Timothy Hayden Ryan Conant, 23, from Salt Lake City, Utah, died after rangers responding to a cal for help found in the water in the West Thumb area of Yellowstone Lake, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office. One of nine kayakers being led on the trip by three guides had capsized, and was rescued by other guides while Conant was also attempting to assist. Guides brought the client to short before rangers arrived on scene to help Conant. The client was transported to the park clinic and treated for hypothermia. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone hiker dies after apparent fall

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WYO. – After a day of searching for a missing hiker, crews in Yellowstone National Park on Friday found the body of man who park officials believe died following a fall. Jeff Murphy, 53, from Batavia, Illinois went for a day hike June 7 on the Rescue Creek Trail near the park’s North Entrance. The park initiated the search on June 8 when Mr. Murphy’s wife reported that he failed to check in. Murphy’s death appears to have resulted from a fall on Turkey Pen Peak, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office. Continue Reading →

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