Roads Open Friday

April 18, 2014 in Featured

Roads from West Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful and Canyon Open Friday

For the first time since fall, visitors to Yellowstone National Park will be able to drive to see Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone starting Friday morning, April 18. The road segments from West Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs to these popular visitor destinations open for the season at 8:00 a.m.

13784611423_f7c5f75626_mEach spring, Yellowstone National Park plow crews clear snow and ice from 198 miles of main road, 124 miles of secondary roads and 125 acres of parking lots inside the park as well as 31 miles of the Beartooth Highway outside the park’s Northeast Entrance to prepare for the summer season.

Additional road segments in the park will open during May as road clearing operations progress. Yellowstone’s East Entrance is scheduled to open to travel on Friday, May 2. The park’s South Entrance is set to open to the public on Friday, May 9. The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Mont., through Mammoth Hot Springs to the Northeast Entrance, Silver Gate and Cooke City, Mont., is open all year. The road east of Cooke City to WY-296 typically opens by mid-May. Crews from the National Park Service and the Montana Department of Transportation strive to open US-212 over the Beartooth Pass to Red Lodge, Mont., in time for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

As an added incentive for spring visitors, park entrance fees will be waived April 19 and 20 to kick off National Park Week. A seven-day pass to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks is normally $25 for a private, non-commercial vehicle.

Visitors should be aware that spring in Yellowstone is very unpredictable and often brings cold temperatures, high winds and falling snow. Even cleared sections of roads can be narrow and covered with a layer of snow, ice and debris. Visitors should use extreme caution when driving as road clearing operations can be ongoing at any time throughout the park. In the case of extreme weather conditions, temporary road closures are also possible with little or no advance warning.

Due to the snow present in the park’s interior, walking on trails or on boardwalks through thermal areas may also be difficult or impossible for some time. Bears have emerged from hibernation in the Greater Yellowstone Area and are on the hunt for food. If you plan to hike, ski or snowshoe in the park you are advised to stay in groups of three of more, make noise on the trail and carry bear spray. Yellowstone regulations require visitors to stay 100 yards from black and grizzly bears at all times. The best defense is to stay a safe distance from bears and use binoculars, a telescope or telephoto lens to get a closer look.

Very limited visitor services will be available during the next several weeks. For updated information, go to http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/index.htm or consult the park newspaper you receive at the entrance station.

Construction is underway north of the entrance to the Norris Campground on the road to Mammoth Hot Springs. A 5.4 mile section of the road is being rebuilt, as is the bridge over the Gardner River. Visitors should expect daytime delays of up to 30 minutes, with nightly closures between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. beginning June 1. This section of road will be closed to all traffic from 11:00 p.m. September 14, to 7:00 a.m. on September 30.

Work will also begin this year to replace the Isa Lake Bridge, which is on the road between Old Faithful and West Thumb Junction. This section of road will close to through travel for the season at 6:00 a.m. on September 2.

Details on both of these projects and updated Yellowstone National Park road information is available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2117, or on the Web at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm.

- www.nps.gov/yell -

Yellowstone Opens West Side Roads For Spring Bicycle Season

March 28, 2014 in Featured

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

October 17, 2013 in Featured

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.

OPEN – Yellowtone National Park

October 17, 2013 in Featured

Madison River - Yellowstone National Park

Madison River – Yellowstone National Park

All entrances to Yellowstone National Park are OPEN to the public. All park roads except the section between Canyon and Tower are open to travel. Limited services are available

Yellowstone is Closed!

October 1, 2013 in Featured

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

September 12, 2013 in Featured

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.