Yellowstone Opens West Side Roads For Spring Bicycle Season

8632209418_a25c7522cd_bBicyclists willing to brave the often unpredictable elements of spring in Yellowstone National Park will be able to travel 49 miles of park roads from the West Entrance at West Yellowstone, Mont., to Mammoth Hot Springs beginning at 8:00 a.m. Thursday, March 27.

There is no bicycle access to Old Faithful or Canyon until the first interior park roads open to public motorized vehicle access on Friday, April 18.

A bicycle trip into Yellowstone this time of year is not to be undertaken lightly.

The quickly changing weather can be challenging. Snow and ice may still cover sections of road which may be lined with tall snowbanks. Pullouts may remain snow packed. Bears, bison, elk, wolves and other wildlife could be encountered at any time. No services are available along these sections of road, and cyclists should expect to encounter and yield to snowplows or other motorized vehicles operated by park employees or construction workers traveling in conjunction with park operations.

Bicyclists are required to ride single file and follow all other rules of the road. They are strongly encouraged to carry bear spray, should be prepared to turn around and backtrack when encountering wildlife on the road, and must stay out of closed areas.

Riders need to have a plan for self rescue or repair and be prepared to be out in severe winter conditions for an extended period of time in the event they experience a mechanical breakdown, injury or other emergency. Cell phone coverage throughout the park is sparse and unreliable for communicating emergencies.

The road from the North Entrance at Gardiner, Mont., to Cooke City, Mont., at the park’s Northeast Entrance is open all year to cyclists and automobiles, weather permitting.

Cyclists are urged to call 307-344-2107 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays for updated road access information, or call 307-344-2113 for 24-hour weather information before committing to any ride in the park. Additional planning information is also available online at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/springbike.htm.

Updated Yellowstone National Park road information is available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.

http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/14014.htm

Yellowstone National Park Open To Visitors

GateOpen[1]The gates to the world’s first national park are open again after a 16 day closure.
Visitors are encouraged to return to the region to take advantage of the crisp weather and enjoy the last few weeks of the fall season.
All of the entrances to Yellowstone National Park are open to visitors. All roads in the park are open with the exception of the section linking Tower Junction and Canyon over Dunraven Pass, which has closed for the season. Outside the park’s Northeast Entrance, US-212 remains open through Silver Gate and Cooke City east to the junction with WY-296, the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway. The road over Beartooth Pass has closed for the season.
The Old Faithful Visitor Education Center and the temporary Visitor Center in Mammoth Hot Springs open at 9:00 a.m. today. The Mammoth Hot Springs and Lewis Lake Campgrounds are open. The Yellowstone General Store in Mammoth Hot Springs is open. Pay at the pump fuel is available by credit card at locations throughout the park. All other visitor services in Yellowstone have closed for the season.
Communities around Yellowstone are open all year. Information on lodging, camping, services, and activities near the park in Montana including the towns of Gardiner, West Yellowstone, Cooke City and Silver Gate, is available by contacting their respective Chambers of Commerce or from Travel Montana at 800-847-4868 or http://visitmt.com. Information on visiting Wyoming including the communities of Cody and Jackson is available from their Chambers of Commerce, or by contacting Wyoming Office of Tourism at 800-225-5996 or on the web at http://www.wyomingtourism.org. Idaho travel information is available by calling the Idaho Division of Tourism at 800-VISITID or online at http://www.visitidaho.org.

Updated Yellowstone National Park road information is available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2117. Updated information on current conditions in the park will be available online later Thursday at http://www.nps.gov/yell/conditions.htm.

Yellowstone is Closed!

74-5-001Due to the Federal Government Shutdown all National Parks, including Yellowstone and Grand Teton are close.

Guest staying in lodges and campgrounds have 48 hours to leave.

The road from Cooke City, Montana to Mammoth Hot Springs and then on to Gardiner, Mont. will remain open and accessible for Cooke City residents only.

Check the Yellowstone News page for up to date information and discussions.http://yellowstone.net/newspaper/

Available foods will bring bears to lower elevations this fall

mammal01left-blackbear06Unlike the last two years which produced abundant crops of whitebark pine seeds, this year few cones were produced by the high elevation trees.

Due to the low yield whitebark pine crop, we are expecting an increase in human-bear encounters in the backcountry this fall as bears seek alternative foods common at lower elevations. In the last week Park and Forest officials have observed a significant increase in bear activity at lower elevations near trails, roads, and developments where bears are foraging for berries, bison carcasses, digging ant hills, and ripping open logs for ants. Berry production has been especially good this year. In addition, apple trees have been highly productive this year. However, since berry producing shrubs and apple trees are generally found at lower elevations more frequently inhabited by people, we expect human-bear encounters to be more common this fall.

Whether enjoying a day with friends hunting on National Forest System lands or hiking on your public lands remember to follow food storage guidelines. These guidelines have been in place for many years in Yellowstone National Park, the Gallatin National Forest, and the Beartooth Ranger District of the Custer National Forest and are intended to help keep both you and bears safe.

When hiking on National Park lands or hiking or hunting National Forest System lands, carry bear spray, hike in groups of 3 or more people, be alert for bears at all times, and make noise so you don’t surprise bears. If you encounter a bear, do not run, slowly back away to put distance between you and the bear. This often diffuses the confrontation. If the bear charges, stand your ground and use your bear spray. In most cases the bear will break off the charge or veer away. If the bear makes contact, drop to the ground face down on your stomach, with your hands clasped behind your neck and lie still. Make sure the bear is gone before moving.

When camping in the backcountry, hang all food and garbage from food storage poles or bear boxes that are provided at every Yellowstone Park backcountry campsite and some National Forest campsites. Food should be hung at all times except during preparation and consumption. If a bear approaches your campsite, yell and bang pots, pans, or other objects to discourage it from entering.

For more information you can visit the park and forest web sites at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gallatin, http://www.fs.usda.gov/custer and www.nps.gov/yell.

Yellowstone Fire Update

2013_09_01-09.47.05.317-CDT[1]Tuesday, September 3, 2013 – 9:00 a.m.

Rain soaked the southern tier of Yellowstone Park Monday midday. Slow-moving blanket-shaped clouds left about 1/3 inch of rain across the Alum fire, northwest of Fishing Bridge. That fire had shown more heat Sunday than in the past week. Now its growth has been slowed for another week or so by Monday’s rain. Many overlooks and picnic areas reopen during the day Tuesday along Grand Loop Road between Fishing Bridge and the Mud Volcano area. Only one two-mile “no stopping” section remains between Nez Perce Ford and LeHardy Rapids.

Less precipitation fell in the northern reaches of the park, where the Druid fire soaked up only 1/10 inch. Still, Tuesday morning saw dense fog about sunrise in low areas, as the ground gives up some of its extravagant moisture. The Druid is more likely to show smoke in coming days than are the other five lightning fires that have been smoldering in the park. Rain measurements got confounded for a few hours Monday morning. A bison rubbed and tipped the rain can of the “RAWS” remote access weather station in Hayden Valley. Firefighters depend on RAWS measurements when they predict fire spread. A National Weather Service meteorologist assigned to the Druid Complex recalibrated the instrument. As some rain remains in the forecast, fire behavior analysts saw both sides Monday: “We may be out of the woods, and we may not,” regarding extensive further spread of the Alum fire. Either way, the Alum fire is refreshing the lodgepole pine forest landscape.

Tuesday should be partly cloudy in the morning, with a stray thunderstorm in the afternoon. Humidity will stay high at 35% or more, depending on how much sunshine appears. Wednesday begins a drier trend once more. 126 remaining fire personnel are supporting hand rehabilitation of the indirect fireline that they improved in developed areas near the Grand Loop Road. Fire staffing goes up and down based on potential fire activity.

Additional information can be found on the web at:

www.druidcomplex.blogspot.com – for updates as they become available
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/unit/5382
Twitter @YellowstoneNPS
Facebook at YellowstoneNPS
Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellowstonenps/sets/72157635186710997/
Yellowstone National Park Website http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

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DRUID COMPLEX FIRE UPDATE
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Fire Information Line (307)242-7422
www.druidcomplex.blogspot.com
Recorded Fire Update (307)344-2580
Email Yellowstone.fire.info@gmail.com