Yellowstone News & Events
Yellowstone News from Trail Guides

News & Events

July 1, 2015
Summer is here, and Yellowstone is welcoming visitors for the upcoming Independence Day holiday. Since July is the park’s busiest visitation month, the following tips and reminders are provided for ensuring a safe and memorable holiday weekend vacation:

Fireworks are not allowed inside the park or on the surrounding national forest lands. Annual fireworks displays are held in many of the park’s gateway communities.

After two weeks of hot and dry weather, fire managers increased the fire danger rating to High on Tuesday. High fire danger means fires start easily and spread at a fast rate. Campfires are only allowed in designated fire rings in the 11 developed campgrounds and most backcountry campsites. To properly extinguish a campfire, use water and stir the coals and ash until they are cold to the touch.

Whether along the road or along a hiking trail, visitors are required to view wildlife from a safe distance of at least 25 yards for most large animals and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves. This is to ensure the safety of both people and animals.

Extra time should be factored into traveling from place to place in the park. Traffic congestion and delays due to a high volume of vehicles, especially when wildlife is on or near the roadway, should be expected. Visitors should keep their eyes open for animals present on the road and be prepared to stop for any wildlife sightseeing “jams.”  

You can protect yourself and Yellowstone’s valuable natural resources by staying on trails and boardwalks in thermal areas. Pets, smoking and eating in thermal areas are also prohibited.

For current, 24-hour road conditions, please call (307) 344-2117. For current camping information, weather conditions and forecasts, please call (307) 344-2113.



June 10, 2015
As of 7 a.m. Thursday June 11th, park visitors will be able to travel between West Thumb Junction and Old Faithful when the last stretch of park road over Craig Pass opens for the season.

Construction crews removed an almost 75-year-old bridge over Isa Lake on Craig Pass, replacing it with a new bridge and widening the road to handle the current volume of traffic. 

Crews have placed beams and paved the surface and approaches. "We are on target to open the road on Thursday, with minor traffic delays up to 30 minutes," said Mike Angermeier, Yellowstone landscape architect.

Crews will be working on the bridge railing, adding signs, topsoil and seed-mulching, as well as completing the pedestrian areas. The project also entails reconstructing two pullouts and adding an additional pullout to the northwest of the bridge. Expected completion of the project is Sept. 10th. 

Elsewhere in the park, improvement projects continue on a 5.4 mile stretch of road between the Norris Campground and Mammoth Hot Springs, as well as the bridge over the Gardner River. Visitors should expect up to 30 minute delays and sometimes muddy conditions as crews work to complete that project by Oct. 1st. For up-to-date road construction information, go to http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm

Visitors will also see construction activity around Gardiner as crews enhance access to Yellowstone National Park through the North Entrance. The project includes improving U.S. Highway 89, revamping parking, traffic flow, signage and lighting, providing accessible walkways, building a welcome center with public restrooms, along with a new North Entrance station and an Arch Park amphitheater. Throughout the project, visitors will still be able to access the historic Roosevelt Arch for photos. For more detailed information, go to gardinergatewayproject.org.



June 6, 2015
South Entrance Backcountry Office is Currently Closed
Due to unforseen staffing shortages the South Entrance Backcountry Office is currently closed. The closest backcountry office where you can obtain backcountry permits is at Grant Village. They anticipate having the office staffed full-time by the first week of July, and we will keep you updated as things change.

Boat permits and AIS inspections are available at the South Entrance Ranger Station on a limited basis (Monday through Thursday and some Fridays).

Please call the Central Backcountry Office at 307-344-2160 if you have any questions.



June 4, 2015
Brink of the Lower Falls Trail Reopened Today
Rangers reopened the popular Brink of the Lower Falls Trail Thursday after crews removed a large boulder, cleaned up a mud slide and repaired damage to the trail caused by heavy rains in May.

Crews used drills to break apart the 7-feet-tall and 8-feet-long boulder that came down and blocked the trail. Part of the boulder remains in place on the trail to act as a catch basin to protect the trail from further rock fall. The crews used the remaining pieces in the restoration of the damaged trail. As a precaution, crews also released some loose boulders on the slope above that may have come down and damaged the trail in the future.

"This is a popular trail, and we're glad to have it open and safe for the public again," said Canyon District Ranger Tim Townsend.

Rangers remind visitors that many trails and other areas are still saturated by recent rain and snowmelt. Visitors need to be aware of their surroundings and footing throughout the park. Current trail condition reports are available at Yellowstone visitor centers or backcountry offices.



May 30, 2015
The Boardwalk crews will be transporting material (via helicopter) into the Porcelain Basin at Norris Geyser Basin on Tuesday, June 2nd.

In order in keeping this operation safe, and efficient they will be CLOSING the entire parking lot starting at 5:30 a.m. There will be a barricade and personnel at the junction.

They anticipate reopening between 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.



May 14, 2015
Yellowstone National Park Announces New Entrance Fees Starting June 1st
Starting on June 1, 2015, Yellowstone National Park will increase entrance fees for visitors in order to fund important resource protection and visitor facility projects within the park.

“We use our entrance fees to complete critical projects that benefit park visitors and our natural resources,” said Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk. “Eighty percent of the revenue we collect stays right here in Yellowstone and funds projects including road repairs, campground upgrades, rehabilitation of park structures, accessibility improvements for people with disabilities, radio and utility systems improvements, native fish restoration and aquatic invasive species mitigation.”

The park estimates that the new entrance fees will generate $11 million of revenue per year, approximately $3 million greater than current entrance fee revenue.

The new fees are summarized here:
Vehicles
The entrance fee will be $30 per vehicle to visit Yellowstone National Park for 1-7 days. Grand Teton National Park will have a separate pass for $30. People visiting both parks can save $10 by purchasing a $50 two-park vehicle pass, also valid for 1-7 days.  

Motorcycles
Motorcycles can enter Yellowstone for $25 for 1-7 days or both parks for $40.

Individuals
Per person fees will be $15 for Yellowstone or $20 for both parks.

Annual Passes
Yellowstone’s annual pass will be $60. This pass offers visitors in the local area an option that is less expensive than the $80 Interagency Pass. The Interagency Pass rates will remain the same: Annual ($80) and Senior ($10). Military passes and Access passes (for people with permanent disabilities) will remain free.

Yellowstone National Park is a strong economic engine for the region and local communities. In 2014, the park generated $543.7 million in economic benefits and directly supported over 6,600 jobs. Previous fee increases have had no effect on visitation levels. The last entrance fee increase in Yellowstone National Park occurred in 2006 when fees were raised from $20 to $25 for private vehicles.

Park managers proposed a new structure for entrance fees and reached out to stakeholders through a public comment period in November and December 2014. The park solicited comments via mail and online, held meetings in Cody, WY, Jackson, WY, and Bozeman, MT, and held conference calls with Congressional Delegation staff, county commissioners, concessioners, and commercial use authorization holders. The 2014 proposal included a 1-3-day pass that was eliminated based on public comment.



April 14, 2015
Spring Road Vehicle Opening Schedule
Weather permitting, roads open at 8 am.

April 17: Mammoth to Old Faithful; Madison to West Entrance; Norris to Canyon

May 1: Canyon Junction to Lake; Lake to East Entrance (Sylvan Pass)

May 8: Lake to South Entrance; Tower Junction to Tower Fall

May 22: Tower Fall to Canyon Junction (Dunraven Pass); Beartooth Highway

June 11: Old Faithful to West Thumb (Craig Pass)

Yellowstone Road Construction
Norris to Golden Gate
Norris toward Mammoth Hot Springs
April 17 to October 1, expect traffic delays of up to 30 minutes.

Isa Lake Bridge Replacement
Between Old Faithful and West Thumb
Closed until June 11 at 7:00 a.m.
June 11 through September 10: expect traffic delays of up to 30 minutes.

West Yellowstone Activities
The Bear's Den and Yellowstone Giant Screen Theaters are open Monday-Saturday.

Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is open daily year-round.

Self-guided Historic Walking Tour, brochures are available at the Visitor Center in West Yellowstone, and along the route.

The Yellowstone Historic Center opens May 16th.

The Earthquake Lake Visitor Center opens on May 22nd, 10-6 pm daily.



March 21, 2015
Select Yellowstone Roads Open For Spring Bicycle Season - March 16th
Bicyclists willing to brave the often unpredictable elements of spring in Yellowstone National Park are able to travel 49 miles of park roads from the West Entrance at West Yellowstone, Montana, to Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming, beginning on March 16th.

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 17th.

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. Extra caution is advised traveling through the five mile long road construction zone north of Norris Junction, which is not paved and may be muddy.

Bicyclists are required to ride single file and follow all other rules of the road. 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.

Bears, bison, elk, wolves and other wildlife could be encountered at any time. They are strongly encouraged to carry bear spray, and should be prepared to turn around and backtrack when encountering wildlife on the road, and must stay out of closed areas.

No services are available along these sections of road. Cell phone coverage throughout the park is sparse and unreliable for communicating emergencies. 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.

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 307-344-2109 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.



March 17, 2015
Yellowstone National Park’s winter season is drawing to a close.
Park Roads that serve commercial and non-commercially guided snowmobile and commercial snowcoach travel to iconic Yellowstone locations will be closed in stages beginning Sunday, March 1st.

The road from the park’s East Entrance over Sylvan Pass and oversnow travel south into the park from Mammoth Hot Springs will end at 9:00 p.m. this Sunday. Closures on other road segments will occur during the next two weeks, with all oversnow travel scheduled to end for the season at 9:00 p.m. Sunday, March 15th.

After the roads close to oversnow travel, crews will begin to clear them of snow so they can reopen to automobile travel beginning Friday, April 17th, weather permitting.

At Old Faithful, the Old Faithful Snow Lodge, Cabins, and Dining Room will close for the winter season on Sunday March 1st. The Bear Den Gift Shop, the Geyser Grill and the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center will remain open through Sunday, March 15th.

At Mammoth Hot Springs, the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, Dining Room, and Gift Shop will close for the season Monday, March 2nd. The Mammoth Campground, Yellowstone General Store, Post Office, Medical Clinic, the Albright Visitor Center, and self-serve fuel pumps are open all year.



February 17, 2015
35th annual Yellowstone Rendezvous Race
March 7th, 2015

The 2015 Yellowstone Rendezvous Race will once again be part of the American Ski Marathon Series - North America's longest-running and largest citizen's racing and touring series - that highlights long distance ski events throughout the country. In the past, the race has attracted over 800 skiers. This year's theme is Jimmy Buffet! More details and registration: skiwestyellowstone.com

25th Annual Snowmobile EXPO
March 12-15, 2015

Arctic Cat, Polaris, Ski-Doo, and Yamaha will unveil their new 2016 snowmobile lines, vintage racing and show, M120 races and demo rides, Radar Runs, Drag Races, exhibits, casino night, Calcutta, Swoop stunts, and the return of live concerts Friday and Saturday nights with Wild Bill Productions and Octane Addictions Freestyle Show. Discount concert tickets are now on sale. snowmobileexpo.com

Yellowstone Special Stage Sled Dog Races
March 20-22, 2015

3 Days of racing - 3 stages: Day 1 - 12 miles, Day 2 - 14 miles, Day 3 - 18 miles
Spectators are welcome to cheer on the teams as they start and finish the races. Come watch the mushers compete in the Musher Olympics after Stage 1 on March 20th and March 21st spectators are welcome to compete against the mushers after Stage 2. For a complete schedule of events visit: wysleddograces.com



February 12, 2015
Bears Starting To Emerge From Dens In Yellowstone
Blame the relatively mild winter weather for the early emergence of bears in the Greater Yellowstone area.

The first confirmed report of grizzly bear activity in Yellowstone occurred on February 9. A grizzly bear was observed late in the afternoon, scavenging on a bison carcass in the central portion of the park.

With bears emerging from hibernation hikers, skiers, and snowshoers are advised to stay in groups of three of more, make noise on the trail and carry bear spray. The same advice goes for those taking guided snowmobile trips in Yellowstone.

Bears begin looking for food soon after they emerge from their dens. They are attracted to elk and bison that have died during the winter. Carcasses are an important enough food source that bears will sometimes react aggressively when surprised while feeding on them.
Updated bear safety information is available on the Yellowstone bear safety Web page at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/bearsafety.htm and in the park newspaper distributed at all park entrances.

Yellowstone also implements seasonal bear management areas closures to reduce encounters between bears and humans in areas where elk and bison carcasses are in high density.
A listing of these closures can be found at:
http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/bearclosures.htm

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 spotting scope or telephoto lens to get a closer look. All visitors traveling in the park away from developed areas should stay in groups of three or more, make noise on the trail, keep an eye out for bears and carry bear spray. Bear spray has proven to be a good last line of defense, if kept handy and used according to directions when a bear is approaching within 30 to 60 feet. 

While firearms are allowed in the park, the discharge of a firearm is a violation of park regulations. The park’s law enforcement rangers who carry firearms on duty rely on bear spray, rather than their weapons, as the most effective means to deal with a bear encounter.
Visitors are also reminded to keep food, garbage, barbecue grills and other attractants stored in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof food storage boxes. This helps keep bears from becoming conditioned to human foods, and helps keep park visitors and their property safe.
Bear sightings should be reported to the nearest visitor center or ranger station as soon as possible.



February 4, 2015
Fee Change for Overnight Backcountry Use Permits
The park service has announced a new fee structure for the backcountry use permits for overnight backpacking trips within Yellowstone.

Between Memorial Day and September 10th backcountry users will pay a per-person, per-night permit fee. Permit fees apply for group members age 9 years and older. Backpackers and boaters will pay a $3.00 per-person per-night fee. The group per-night fee will be capped at $15.00 per-night.

Stock parties will pay a $5.00 per-person per-night fee. There is no cap on the group per-night fee.

Backcountry users may purchase an Annual Backcountry Pass for $25.00, exempting them from the per-person, per-night permit fee. Annual Backcountry Passes are valid for the calendar year in which they are purchased.

The advance reservation fee remains $25.00 for trips reserved more than 2 days in advance.



January 25, 2015
Trail Guides Yellowstone was recently featured on “The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country.” This is a YouTube channel featuring new and original content from the state of Montana. The video was produced and filmed for The Montana Experience by Nestbox Collective.





January 6, 2015
2015 Spring Road Opening Dates

April 17: Mammoth to Old Faithful; Madison to West Entrance; Norris to Canyon
May 1: Canyon Junction to Lake; Lake to East Entrance (Sylvan Pass)
May 8: Lake to South Entrance; Tower Junction to Tower Fall
May 22: Tower Fall to Canyon Junction (Dunraven Pass); Beartooth Highway
June 11: Old Faithful to West Thumb (Craig Pass)

Weather permitting, roads open at 8 am. Changes and delays are always possible.



December 29, 2014
Upcoming Events in West Yellowstone
January 3 - Free Ski and Try Biathlon Day: skiwestyellowstone.com
January 16 & 17 - Fun Run Sled Dog Races: wysleddograces.com
January 16-18 - West Yellowstone NAIFC Ice Fishing Qualifier
January 17 - Junior National Ski Qualifier: skiwestyellowstone.com



December 21, 2014
Yellowstone Geyser Eruption Predictions Now Available On Your Smartphone and Tablet

The largest concentration of active geysers in the world—approximately half of the world’s total—are found in Yellowstone.
 
You can now discover the natural wonder of the most famous geyser of all, Old Faithful, and other geysers with a free app that you can use during your visit to the park and at home. The new app will help you find out when Old Faithful and five other predictable geysers could erupt.
 
The app also features a link to a webcam so that you can view live eruptions of Old Faithful and other nearby geysers. The FAQ section provides answers to several of the frequently asked questions that explain how a few geysers can be predicted and other fascinating details about Yellowstone’s geysers.
 
You can follow the Social Media Feed and see what’s happening in Yellowstone by browsing the park’s Twitter, YouTube and Flickr sites. Because every eruption is different, the app’s Photo Gallery contains an array of geyser eruption photos.
 
The NPS Geysers app was developed in partnership with Dr. Brett Oppegaard, Washington State University (Vancouver) and University of Hawaii, and the National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park and Harpers Ferry Center. The app was made possible, in part, by a donation from Canon USA, Inc., through the Yellowstone Park Foundation.
 
The NPS Geysers app is now available in the Google Play Store and in the Apple App Store.



December 13, 2014
The Yellowstone Association Institute is offering a Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course January 4-5, 2015, at their headquarters in Gardiner, Montana. The 16-hour certification course is essential for outdoor enthusiasts and professionals who want to learn the basics of emergency care in remote settings. Learn to assess patients and treat shock, fractures and dislocations, hypothermia, altitude illness, and more from Wilderness Medicine Institute staff. No previous certification is required. This course may also be used to recertify WMI Wilderness First Responder.
 
Tuition is $275, and shared lodging is available for a reduced rate at their Yellowstone Overlook Field Campus ($35 per person, per night). For more information or to register call: 406-848-2400 or click here.



December 10, 2014
The winter season begins in Yellowstone on December 15th, 2014. Over-the-snow travel throughout the Park will open once again to snowmobiles and snowcoaches on Monday. The Park is technically open year-round but access is limited during the winter months. Motor vehicles can still travel between Gardiner, Montana and Cooke City, Montana. There are plenty of trails in the north section of Yellowstone that are still easily accessible for hiking or cross country skiing during the winter. Click here for details.



November 9, 2014
Yellowstone National Park Proposes Entrance and Backcountry Fee Restructuring
Yellowstone National Park is seeking public input on a proposal to increase the park’s entrance fees for the first time since 2006 and institute a backcountry overnight permit fee.

Under current legislation, 80 percent of the revenue from entrance fees is allowed to remain in the park and used on projects which benefit park visitors. In Yellowstone, revenue from entrance fees has allowed the park to spend approximately $4 million per year on a variety of projects including road repairs, campground upgrades, improving accessibility for people with disabilities, rehabilitation of park structures, and utility systems repairs.
Yellowstone is proposing several changes to park entrance fees. 

Currently, visitors pay $25 for a 7-day pass for a single, non-commercial vehicle entry into both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, with the current cost of an annual two-park pass at $50.

The park is proposing to offer a 3-day Yellowstone only pass for $30. A 7-day pass good for both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks would be available for $50. An annual pass to Yellowstone only will be $60. Those entering the park by motorcycle or snowmobile are currently charged $20 for a 7-day pass honored at both parks. The proposal is to offer a 3-day Yellowstone only pass valid for $25 and a 7-day pass for $40 honored at both parks. Individuals who enter the park on foot, bicycle, skis, or as snowcoach passengers currently pay $12 for a 7-day pass. That would be increased to $15 for 1-3 days in Yellowstone, or $25 for 7 days at both parks. The Interagency Pass rates will remain the same: Annual ($80), Senior ($10), Access and Military ($0).

These proposed changes would result in additional annual revenue of approximately $3 million dollars for Yellowstone National Park, which would be used to continue or enhance projects such as Yellowstone cutthroat trout restoration, maintenance for the park’s 7 campgrounds, preservation maintenance on park roads, improved restroom facilities, reconstruction and rehabilitation of trails including Tower Falls, and a new North Entrance Station facility.

Additionally, the park is proposing to institute a fee for overnight backcountry permits to help recover costs associated with operating the park’s backcountry program. In the past, Yellowstone has not charged an overnight backcountry permit fee, but a reservation fee has been charged since 1996.

The proposed backcountry camping permit fee would be $3 per person (age 9 and older) per night with a maximum party limit of $15 per night for backpackers. Stock groups would be charged $5 per person per night with no maximum fee limit. The current $25 fee for trips reserved more than 48 hours in advance would remain the same.

Users would be able to purchase an Annual Backcountry Pass for $25 which would exempt that individual from the per-person per-night fee.

Additional revenue from overnight backcountry permit fees would be used to help to sustain the current level of service that visitors expect and ensure that Yellowstone can continue to provide service at multiple locations throughout the park.

The current revenue stream from advance reservations covers 17% of the cost to operate all backcountry offices, while the proposed fee is expected to raise backcountry fee revenue to approximately 43% of the cost to operate backcountry offices.

The public is encouraged to attend one of the following public meetings to learn more about the proposed fee changes:
• Tuesday, Nov 11 in Cody, WY.: Holiday Inn at Buffalo Bill Village 6:30-8:00 pm
• Wednesday, Nov 12 in Jackson, WY.: The Lexington 6:30-8:00 pm
• Tuesday, Nov 18 in Bozeman, MT.: Hilton Garden Inn 6:30-8:00 pm

Comments may also be hand-delivered during normal business hours to the mailroom in the park’s Administration Building in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming, at one of the public scoping meetings, or mailed to: Management Assistant Office, Attn: Entrance Fee Proposal, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, WY, 82190.

Comments will not be accepted by fax, e-mail, or in any other way than those specified above. All comments must be received by midnight MST on Friday, December 5th, 2014.



November 8, 2014
West Yellowstone Events

Nov. 15: Annual Ski Swap
Nov. 25-29: Yellowstone Ski Festival
Dec. 18: Christmas Stroll - Theme is You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch!
Dec. 18-20: Rodeo Run Sled Dog Races (meet the mushers & teams at the Stroll)
Dec. 20 & 21: Kids'N'Snow Weekend

Yellowstone Park Interior Roads are now closed to motorized travel. Visitors can still hike, bike (or ski) into the Park. The West Gate will open Dec. 15 to over-the-snow travel (snowcoach and snowmobile).









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