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Grand Teton set to begin spring plowing

Grand Teton National Park will begin spring plowing operations March 22. (NPS Photo/A White)

MOOSE, WY— Spring plowing will begin in Grand Teton National Park on Monday, March 22. The plowing operations mark the end of over-snow access on the 14-mile section of the Teton Park Road between Taggart Lake Trailhead and the Signal Mountain area. For safety reasons, visitors may not access the Teton Park Road once plowing operations are underway, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office. Rotary snow removal equipment and plows may be working at any time, and the roadway will be closed to all users at all times until further notice. Skiers and those on snow shoes using areas adjacent to the roadway are cautioned to avoid the arc of snow blown from the rotary equipment because pieces of ice and gravel can be thrown great distances. The Teton Park Road is anticipated to be accessible to activities such as cycling, roller skating, skateboarding, roller skiing, walking, jogging and leashed pet walking within the next few weeks. The road will open to motor vehicles on May 1. Other park roads such as the Moose-Wilson Road, Signal Mountain Summit Road, Antelope Flats Road, East Boundary Road, Mormon Row Road, Two Ocean Road and Grassy Lake Road remain closed to vehicle traffic when posted or gated in the spring. These roads may close temporarily to accommodate snow removal operations. The opening dates of these roads vary from year to year and are dependent on weather, snow conditions, plowing progress, wildlife activity and road conditions. The paved multi-pathways in the park are open to use when they are predominantly free of snow and ice. Continue Reading →

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Grand Teton to boost access, services after 2020 COVID restrictions

Grand Teton National Park managers are planning to offer increased access and services to 2021 visitors. NPS Photo/J. Bonney

MOOSE, WY- Summer operations in Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway will be modified in a manner that continues to promote the health and safety of park employees, volunteers, partners and visitors while providing full recreational access and increased visitor services compared to summer 2020. The park is working with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and will adjust operations as needed. 
The park is implementing preventive measures and mitigation actions to reduce the spread of infectious disease, according to a statement released by the Grand Teton public affairs office. Park visitor centers will be open with limited capacity and limited visitor services. Park staff will be stationed in the vicinity of most visitor centers to engage with visitors and provide information, with additional staff stationed at many outside locations such as overlooks and trailheads. Visitors will be able to obtain backcountry permits from the permit desks located in the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center, Colter Bay Visitor Center and the Jenny Lake Ranger Station. Boat permits will be available at both visitor centers, as well as online at Recreation.gov beginning April 6. Continue Reading →

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Grand Teton boat permits move to online system

A group paddles a canoe on Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate file photo - click to enlarge)

 

MOOSE, WY- Boaters to Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway will have the option to purchase their park boating permits online via Recreation.gov beginning Tuesday, April 6.   
The new online mail-order system will improve the visitor experience by allowing boaters to plan ahead and have their permit mailed directly to them within two weeks. The system allows for contactless ordering and will provide an opportunity for the park to share educational materials with visitors prior to their arrival.  
The park will continue to issue boating permits during summer operations at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center and Colter Bay Visitor Center permit desks, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office. Permits are required for all boats including stand-up paddleboards (SUPs), kayaks, and canoes.  
The cost for a 2021 Grand Teton National Park boat permit increases to $17 for non-motorized boats and $56 for motorized boats. Boat permit fees help offset the costs associated with waterway patrols, aquatic invasive species inspections, and transition to online services. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone closing to over-snow travel for season

Two people share a snowmobile during a January 2012 trip into Yellowstone National Park.

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY - Roads in Yellowstone National Park will begin to close to oversnow travel March 7. Spring plowing will start as road segments close. All oversnow travel will end for the season March 15 at 9 p.m. Weather-permitting, some park roads will reopen to automobile travel April 16 at 8 a.m.

Road closure dates (gates close at 9 p.m.)

March 7, Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris
March 9, Norris to Madison, Norris to Canyon Village
March 14, Canyon Village to Fishing Bridge
March 15, all remaining groomed roads

Visitor services closure dates

At Mammoth Hot Springs, the hotel and cabins, Gift Shop, Ski Shop, and food services will close March 1. The Mammoth Campground, Yellowstone General Store, Post Office, Medical Clinic, and self-serve fuel pumps stay open all year. At Old Faithful, the Bear Den Gift Shop and Geyser Grill will close March 15. Warming hut closure dates range between March 1 and March 15. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone recruiting for 2021 Youth Conservation Corps program

Participants in the Grand Teton National Park Youth Conservation Program move a log during a trail project.

 

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. – Yellowstone is currently recruiting for the 2021 Youth Conservation Corps (YCC), a residential work-based education program for young men and women between the ages of 15 and 18. Visit the YCC program to apply. Completed application materials must be postmarked by March 10, 2021. A five-week session will be offered June 28-July 30. Twelve youth will be randomly selected from across the country to participate in the program, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone switches 3 campgrounds to reservation system

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. – Beginning March 24, 2021, visitors will be able to make advance reservations at three additional campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park. Campgrounds that will change from first-come, first-served to the advance reservation system are Mammoth, Slough Creek and a portion of Pebble Creek. Reservations will go live on Recreation.gov starting March 24 at 8 a.m. Mountain Standard Time. Visitors will be able to book campsites up to six months in advance. Continue Reading →

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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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