Yellowstone News & Events
Yellowstone News from Trail Guides

News & Events

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:

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.

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:

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 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:

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:
January 16 & 17 - Fun Run Sled Dog Races:
January 16-18 - West Yellowstone NAIFC Ice Fishing Qualifier
January 17 - Junior National Ski Qualifier:

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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