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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 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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Yellowstone, Grand Teton seek local input on plan to reopen parks

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 →

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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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Yellowstone south entrance reopens after closure due to wildfire

Authorities have closed the main connector road between the south end of Yellowstone National Park and northern border of Grand Teton National Park after a wildfire that started last month has grown to nearly 7,000 acres. The closure means vacation travelers must detour at least 150 miles to move between the neighboring parks, which are connected by an 8-mile scenic parkway. Continue Reading →

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Early crowds make for busy opening day at East Gate to Yellowstone Park

A Buddhist monk from Thailand takes photographs at Sylvan Lake on Friday in Yellowstone National Park.

For the past decade, at 8 a.m. on the first Friday in May, Yellowstone National Park ranger Dennis Lenzendorf has pulled aside a locked barricade to open the park's East Entrance to the season's first visitors. But this year was a little different. Normally, a few dozen cars—mainly full of locals anxious to re-enter the park on opening day—are queued up and waiting. But typically, after the first hour, traffic is sparse. This past Friday, more than 50 vehicles were still lined up at 10 a.m. waiting to enter. Continue Reading →

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Government report advises Yellowstone visitors against bison selfies

Visitors to Yellowstone National Park risk injury when allowing bison or other wildlife to approach within 25 yards. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

People visiting Yellowstone National Park this summer should follow some simple advice to avoid being injured by wildlife: keep your distance, and no bison selfies. That's the conclusion of a report issued this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that examined five separate incidents leading to injuries caused by bison in the park last summer. Continue Reading →

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Bears emerging from dens across Yellowstone region

A few grizzly bears have been spotted emerging from hibernation in Yellowstone National Park.

Grizzly bears are emerging from hibernation in the greater Yellowstone area, so hikers, skiers and snowshoers should stay in groups of three of more, make noise on the trail, and carry bear spray. Bear spray is a good last line of defense, if kept handy and used according to directions, when a bear is approaching within 30 to 60 feet. The first confirmed report of grizzly bear activity in Yellowstone National Park was February 22. Wolf biologists observed a large grizzly bear in the Nez Perce drainage. Continue Reading →

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