yellowstone national park

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Yellowstone Park proposes increase in campground fees

Campers prepare a meal at Indian Creek Cmpground in Yellowstone National Park in this 1977 file photo. (J. Schmidt - click to enlarge)

Camping in one of the Yellowstone National Park Service campgrounds operated by the National Park Service will get a bit more expensive this summer based on a proposed fee increase. For the Mammoth Hot Springs and Norris campgrounds which have flush toilets, the daily fee would be increased from $14 to $20, according to a statement released by the park's public affairs office. At Tower Fall, Lewis Lake, Indian Creek, Pebble Creek and Slough Creek campgrounds which have vault toilets, the daily camping fee would go from $12 to $15. Continue Reading →

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10 New Year’s resolutions for Yellowstone Park in 2013


With the first 10 days of 2013 already history, at least a few of us have probably broken a few New Year's resolutions. But what about Yellowstone National Park? What goals should the nation's first national park set for the coming year? While it may seem silly to imagine a national park making New Year's resolutions, it's worth remembering that a big part of public land management is resolving conflicts. Those who manage the parks on our behalf would do well to have a few resolutions they'd like to see accomplished this year. So in the spirit of self-improvement, here are (in no particular order) 10 New Year's resolutions for 2013 in Yellowstone National Park. Continue Reading →

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Montana judge’s ruling gives Yellowstone bison more room to roam

A trio of bison make their way along a highway near Yellowstone National Park. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

Bison migrating out of the North Gate of Yellowstone National Park during cold and snowy weather will have some extra room to roam following a ruling by a Montana judge. District Court Judge E. Wayne Phillips on Monday dismissed a lawsuit brought by state and local livestock groups that sought to block a plan that would allow bison to move throughout a 70,000-acre "tolerance zone" of mostly federal land north of the park. Continue Reading →

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Remembering the first commercial tour guide in Yellowstone Park

Most of the earliest Yellowstone National Park tourists came from Montana because that’s where the access rivers ran. The north entrance via the Yellowstone River was 60 miles from the farm town of Bozeman, and the west entrance via the Madison was 90 miles from the gold rush town of Virginia City. Both rivers flow through rugged canyons that made travel difficult. In fact, the Madison Canyon was so bad that early travelers chose to cross the continental divide twice to avoid it. But that was a small sacrifice. Passage over the Raynolds and Targhee Passes was relatively easy. Besides, traveling this route provided the reward of a stop at Henry’s Lake. Continue Reading →

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Visit Cave Falls in the remote Bechler area of southwestern Yellowstone Park

Cave Falls is 250 feet wide, making it the widest waterfall in Yellowstone National Park. It is located in the Bechler area in the southwestern corner of Yellowstone. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

Cave Falls in the southwestern corner of Yellowstone National Park is only about 20 feet tall, but what it lacks in height, it makes up for in width. At 250 feet wide, there is no wider waterfall in the park, and it's a short and easy hike from the parking area to view Cave Falls. The Bechler area of Yellowstone is a remote section that most folks have never heard of, much less visited. Unlike the five major entrances to the park, the vehicle entrance at Bechler gets you just inside Yellowstone's boundaries, but not much further. Continue Reading →

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Most Yellowstone roads close for winter, free admission for Veterans’ Day


Most roads in Yellowstone National Park closed today for the end of the season, but the North Entrance road from Gardiner, Mont. to Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo. and on to Cooke City, Mont. remains open year-round. Visitors to Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park and all national parks can enjoy free admission this weekend in honor of Veterans' Day. Free admission is offered to all visitors, not just to veterans or military personnel. The annual fee-free event was established in 2006. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone visitor offers first-hand account of being tossed into air by bison

Yellowstone National Park visitor Robert Dea usues binoculars to watch a bison moments before it gores him. (courtesy photo by Barbara Dea - click to enlarge)

A close encounter in June between a visitor and a bison in Yellowstone National Park made international headlines. But for the man who was badly injured, the experience taught him that it's not just wild animals that can be capricious and brutal, but also reporters and online commenters. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone conference to focus on using science in management decisions

Scientists will present their latest research on everything from soil microbes to moose migration this week during a conference in Yellowstone National Park focused on using scientific data in making policy deicisions throughout the greater Yellowsotne area. The 11th Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem begins this evening and runs through Wednesday at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, where researchers from a wide range of scientific disciplines will gather to share details of their work. Continue Reading →

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Elk poached in remote corner of Yellowstone Park

An elk in Yellowstone National Park munches on the last of summer's green grass as fall brings cooler temperatures. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

Authorities in Yellowstone National Park are seeking information that would help identify the individual or persons responsible for illegally retrieving a bull elk carcass from inside the park last month. Park rangers determined the bull was shot sometime between Sept. 11 and Sept. 21, inside the park’s southern boundary behind the Wyoming Game and Fish Department patrol cabin along Thorofare Creek, according to a statement released by the park's public affairs office. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone’s Mirror Plateau: A world away from the boardwalks

At an elevation of about 9,000 feet and 3.5 miles from an established trail, Mirror Lake on Yellowstone’s Mirror Plateau is one of the park’s more remote destinations. (Bradly J. Boner/WyoFile — click to enlarge)

There are so many things in Yellowstone National Park that can make you feel physically small — the roaring waterfalls, geysers spraying more than 100 feet in the air and bison as big as a small car. But it is in the backcountry that you not only feel small, but also insignificant, a speck in a world that seems to expand into an immeasurable vastness. I’d never heard of the Mirror Plateau until I read about it in an outdoor magazine last winter. I was intrigued by the idea of the isolation within a place that draws millions of visitors each year. It isn’t just rugged; it’s trail-less. It isn’t just obscure; it’s unknown to most people. It isn’t just untrammeled; overnight travel is limited to only several weeks in the summer and 14 total permits. Continue Reading →

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