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 →
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.
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
By Ruffin Prevost
CODY, WYO. — Two of the country’s busiest national parks are expecting to reopen to visitors at some point this year, but details are still far from final on when that will happen, or how that process will unfold. On a conference call lasting nearly two hours Monday with Wyoming civic and business leaders in Cody and Jackson, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly and Grand Teton National Park Acting Superintendent Gopaul Noojibail stressed a cautious approach to reopening their respective parks. They were joined on the call by Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, and billed the discussion as a listening session, saying it would take time to develop a plan for reopening the parks. A similar call is planned this week for participants in Montana. Continue Reading →