Yellowstone News & Events
Yellowstone News from Trail Guides

News & Events

July 21, 2014
West Yellowstone Events
Junior Smokejumper Program - Monday - Saturday
Workshops & Talks with a YNP Ranger - Daily
Historic Walking Tour - Daily
Annie Jehle Art & Photography Exhibit - Public Library
Wild West Yellowstone Rodeo - Wednesday - Saturday evenings
Live Music at Wild West Saloon - Thursday - Saturday evenings
Hebgen Lake Yacht Club Invitational Laser Regatta for Sailboats - July 26
Mountain Bike Biathlon - July 26
Free Fly Casting Clinic at Jacklin's Fly Shop - July 27



July 17, 2014
FIRE UPDATE!
The smokey haze we are experiencing is from fires in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Canada, brought in by ever shifting winds and weather fronts. At the time of this report, there are no active fires in Montana or Yellowstone National Park.

Hazy skies continue across the entire state and air quality reading are mostly in the "Moderate" to "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" range. Conditions will not change much in the next 24 hours.

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups: Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion. Moderate: Unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion.



July 15, 2014
July 16-20: Wild West Yellowstone Rodeo, nightly 7:00pm
yellowstonerodeo.com

July 19: Yellowstone Historic Center Heritage Celebration, 5-9pm
yellowstonehistoriccenter.org

July 19: Free Music in the Park, 7:00pm



July 6, 2014
Yellowstone National Park Road Improvement Schedule:
Expect possible traffic delays in the following areas due to road improvement activities. Keep in mind, scheduled projects may be delayed due to weather conditions.

• Week of July 14th: Grant Village area roads (not the Grand Loop Road).
• Week of July 21st: Lake Maintenance area and picnic area roads.
• Week of July 28th: Mammoth to Tower and Lower Mammoth housing area.
• Week of August 25th: Pebble Creek and Tower Fall campgrounds.
• Week of September 1st: East Entrance Road between miles 4 and 12.
• Week of September 8th: Indian Creek campground.
• Weeks of September 15th and 22nd: North Entrance station to Mammoth Hot Springs.

September 14th, 11 p.m. to September 30, 7 a.m., Norris campground to Indian Creek campground will be entirely closed.  

Isa Lake Bridge Replacement: Bridge reconstruction is underway with possible half hour traffic delays. The road closes September 2nd at 6:00 AM for the season.




June 30, 2014
West Yellowstone 4th of July Events
• 10:00 am - Hot Dog Eating Contest at Bullwinkles
• 1:00 - 5:00 pm - Pie on the Porch at the Union Pacific Depot
• 6:30 pm - Hometown Parade
• 7:30 pm- FREE Music in the Park featuring Adam Ezra Band
• 10:00 pm (approx.) - Fireworks

In Yellowstone
All roads, campgrounds, lodging, visitor amenities and activities are open for the season. Road construction projects on the park’s Grand Loop Road will be halted over the holiday weekend, and there will be no traffic delays or night road closures at any of the construction areas between 5:00 p.m. Thursday, July 3 and 7:00 a.m. Monday, July 7.



June 26, 2014
Grizzly Bear Study Team Research Begins In Yellowstone
Biologists with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) and Yellowstone National Park will be conducting scientific grizzly bear and black bear research operations in Yellowstone National Park from June 24 through October 31, as part of the ongoing monitoring of the activities and population of grizzly bears within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Team members will bait and trap bears at several remote sites within Yellowstone National Park. Once trapped, the bears are anesthetized to allow wildlife biologists to radio-collar and collect scientific samples for study. All trapping and handling are done in accordance with IGBST’s long-established protocols.

None of the trap sites in the park will be located near any established hiking trails or backcountry campsites, and all trap sites will have posted warnings for the closure perimeter. Potential access points will also be posted with warning signs for the closure area. Backcountry users who come upon any of these posted areas need to heed the warnings and stay out of the area.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team was established in 1973 to collaboratively monitor and manage ecosystem bears on an interagency basis. The gathering of critical data on the protected bears is part of a long-term research effort required under the Endangered Species Act to help wildlife managers devise and implement programs to support the ongoing recovery of Yellowstone’s grizzly bear population.

The IGBST is composed of representatives of the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribal Fish and Game Department, and the states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

For more information regarding grizzly bear research efforts call (406) 994-6675.



June 16, 2014
Upcoming Events
The Wild West Rodeo starts this Wednesday June 18, and will run Wed.-Sat. evenings each week throughout the summer.

Free Fly Casting has started again at Bob Jacklin's - Sunday evenings weekly.

Photographer Tom Murphy will be at the West Yellowstone Library on June 16th.



June 1, 2014
Norris to Mammoth Road Construction Reminder

Nightly road closures will begin Sunday, June 1st at 11 PM. The road will reopen at 7 AM, Monday morning. The road will be closed Sunday through Thursday nights.

The road will NOT be closed Friday and Saturday nights.
(Subject to change, given a 14-day notice).

The barricade locations are: North of Norris Campground entrance (south end barricade) and the Moose Exhibit pullout (north end barricade).

Expect 30-minute delays when the road is open to the public.

4th of July Weekend: No traffic delays between 5 PM Thursday, July 3 to 7 AM Monday, July 7.

Full road closure: 11 PM September 14 to 7 AM September 30.



May 30, 2014
The first 1.5 miles of the Slough Creek trail will be closed from 9:00 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. on June 2-5. All campsites will be open, but hikers/campers will not be able to travel between the first meadow and the trailhead during the closure time.



May 22, 2014
Beartooth Highway Opening In Time For Memorial Day Weekend
The Beartooth Highway, the scenic high elevation portion of US-212 linking Red Lodge, Montana, with the communities of Cooke City and Silver Gate, Montana, and the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park, is scheduled to open for the season at 9:00 a.m. Friday morning, May 23. Spring road clearing and maintenance is conducted by the Montana Department of Transportation and the National Park Service.

Inside Yellowstone, the road over Dunraven Pass linking Canyon Village, Tower Fall and Tower Junction also opens for the season Friday morning. 

All other park roads and all park entrances have already opened for the season. Most seasonal visitor services in the park open in time for the Memorial Day weekend. Saturday also marks the opening of fishing season in the park. Details are available online at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit, by consulting the park newspaper handed out at entrance stations, or by asking the staff at visitor centers and information stations in and near the park.

All communities near and on the way to Yellowstone are open all year, offering a wide range of recreation opportunities, activities, and services for visitors to the region.

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 Travel and Tourism at 800-225-5996, or online at http://www.wyomingtourism.org. Idaho travel information is available by contacting the Idaho Tourism Division at 800-VISITID or http://www.visitidaho.org.



May 18, 2014
Construction Update
All of the roads in the park with the exception of Dunraven Pass are now open. For more info or call our 24-hour road information line at 307-344-2117 for updates. For information on roads outside Yellowstone, please call 511 from your cell phone.

Gibbon River Bridge (near the Norris Campground road) to Gardner River Bridge (near the Indian Creek Campground road). Expect half hour delays. Starting June 1st, nightly closures from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Starting September 14th at 11:00 PM and extending to September 30th at 7:00 a.m., there will be a full road closure for this section of road. The detour will be over Dunraven Pass.

Isa Lake Bridge Replacement: Expect bridge reconstruction to start early June with possible half hour delays. Road closes on September 2nd at 6:00 a.m. for the season.

View these planned construction areas.



April 28, 2014
Notable News from Yellowstone
Snowpack in the Park this year is over 150%. This could delay backcountry camping and hiking access throughout the higher elevations.

Additional Roads to Open
May 2
Canyon to Lake; Lake to East Entrance (Lake is one mile south of Fishing Bridge).

May 9
Lake to South Entrance; West Thumb to Old Faithful (Craig Pass); Tower to Tower Fall.

May 23
Tower Fall to Canyon (Dunraven Pass); Beartooth Highway.

Xanterra Summer Construction Projects Include:
Phase 2 of the Lake Hotel which is being finished this spring
63 Cabins at Old Faithful will be returned to visitor inventory

Canyon Village cabins are being replaced with 5 new lodges containing 80 rooms. 3 will be complete in 2015 and the remaining 2 for the summer of 2017. Canyon will extend their lodging season for 28 days this fall.

Mammoth is returning cabins back to visitor inventory and is scheduled to be a year-round facility by 2017-18.

Overall, the construction will result in 25,000 less room nights inside the Park this summer/fall and will also reduce the number of RV spaces by 30 to 328.



March 27, 2014
Yellowstone Opens West Side Roads For Spring Bicycle Season
Bicyclists 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



March 19, 2014
Yellowstone Seeks Information on Illegal Bison Shootings

Yellowstone National Park is asking for the public’s help in identifying who was responsible for illegally shooting and killing three bison inside the park last week.

Park rangers determined the bison were likely shot between the evening of March 13 and morning of March15 alongside the road in the Blacktail Plateau area of northern Yellowstone.

A reward of up to $5,000 is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the crime. Anyone with information is requested to call the Yellowstone National Park Tip Line at 307-344-2132.

The Lacey Act and the Code of Federal Regulations strictly prohibit the killing or removal of any animal from inside Yellowstone. This includes animals shot legally outside the park that cross into and die within the park boundary. Taking and removing any animal parts, including shed antlers, is also prohibited.

Violators are investigated and aggressively prosecuted, and are subject to penalties including fines, restitution, and the forfeiture of vehicles, equipment and personal property associated with the violations.



March 18, 2014
As of March 15th all roads within the park are closed to vehicle traffic except the road that runs from the North Entrance to Cooke City. Road crews and facilities will begin preparing for the summer season.

The following are the proposed dates for vehicle travel:
April 18: Mammoth to Old Faithful; Madison to West Entrance; Norris to Canyon
May 2: Canyon to Lake; Lake to East Entrance
May 9: Lake to South Entrance; West Thumb to Old Faithful; Tower to Tower Fall
May 23: Tower Fall to Canyon (Dunraven Pass); Beartooth Highway



March 6, 2014
Yellowstone Bears Emerging From Dens
Grizzly bears are emerging from hibernation in the Greater Yellowstone Area, so hikers, skiers and snowshoers are advised to stay in groups of three of more, make noise on the trail and carry bear spray.

The first confirmed reports of grizzly bear activity in the Park were reported on March 4. Guides and visitors observed and photographed a grizzly bear along the road in the Hayden Valley area. The first black bear of the year was observed on February 11 near the south end of the park.

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, which is distributed at all park entrances. The park 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 telescope 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.



March 1, 2014 - Road Closures Begin for Oversnow Travel
March 1: East Entrance Road closes at 9:00 p.m.
March 2: Mammoth to Norris Junction closes at 9:00 p.m.
March 4: Norris Junction to Canyon/Norris Junction to Madison close at 9:00 p.m.
March 9: Canyon to Fishing Bridge closes at 9:00 p.m.
March 15: Remaining groomed roads close at 9:00 p.m.



January 28, 2014 - Ranger Led Hikes in West Yellowstone
Rangers from Yellowstone National Park are offering FREE snowshoe hikes on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 1:30 pm through March 9th. Snowshoe rentals are available in West Yellowstone at Bud Lilly's, Alpen Guides and Freeheel and Wheel.

Meet at the West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center
No experience necessary
Bring water and snacks
Approximate length of the hike is 2-miles/ 3 hours along the Riverside Trail
For info call: 307-344-2876

Click here for a printable flyer (PDF) with details.

The Park Rangers will also host a talk about Yellowstone on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 pm at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center. The talk is free, but there is a fee to access rest of the Center.



UPDATED WITH IMPORTANT TRAIL CLOSURES
January 28, 2104 - 2014 Road Construction Information
Norris to Golden Gate, Phase 1
This 5.4-mile Grand Loop Road reconstruction project will begin just south of the Norris Campground entrance and end south of Grizzly Lake Trailhead. Highlights of the project include a new road alignment east of Frying Pan Spring and a redesigned parking area at Roaring Mountain. The Gardner River Bridge (7-Mile Bridge) south of the Sheepeater Cliff intersection, will also be replaced under this contract. During the two-week full closure, the detour route will be over Dunraven Pass. Winter-use traffic will not be affected.

Project Start: April 1, 2014
Traffic Delays: 30-minutes max., whenever road is open to the public
Night Closures: 11pm to 7am;
April 18-November 15, 2014 & April 17-November 13, 2015
Full Closure: Sept. 14 (11pm) to Sept. 30 (7am), 2014
Project Completion: Nov. 13, 2015

During the closure the Indian Creek/Bighorn Pass, Grizzly Lake, and Mount Holmes Trailheads will be closed. The Glen Creek Trailhead will only be accessible from the north (via Mammoth).

Isa Lake Bridge Replacement
The project to replace the Isa Lake Bridge (Craig Pass), between Old Faithful and West Thumb, will begin this June. The parking area adjacent to the bridge will also be reconstructed. The fall and spring full-closure reduced the original project duration by one full season. Winter-use traffic will not be affected.

Project Start: June 2, 2014
Traffic Delays: 30-minutes max., whenever road is open to the public
Full Closures: Sept. 2 (6am) to Nov. 8 (7am),
2014 & April 13 (6am) to June 11 (7am), 2015
Project Completion: Sept. 10, 2015

During the closure DeLacy Creek Trailhead will only be accessible from the east (via West Thumb) and Lone Star Trailhead will only be accessible from the west (via Old Faithful).



January 13, 2104 - Upcoming Events in West Yellowstone
SPAM Cup #2 and Biathlon #2
January 18-19th at the Rendezvous Ski Trails
rendezvousskitrails.com
 
Fun Run Dog Sled Races
January 18-19th at the Madison Arm Loop
wysleddograces.com

NAIFC Ice Fishing Tournament Weekend
January 17-19th at Kirkwood Resort & Marina, Holiday Inn and other local businesses. The weekend activities include a seminar Friday night, The Rocky Mountain Ice Fishing Fair Friday evening and Saturday, the Free Kids Ice Fishing Camp & Calcutta on Saturday and the Tournament itself on Sunday. For more details visit: westyellowstoneicefishing.com   
 
Kids'N'Snow Weekend: January 18-19th
Kids can enjoy a weekend full of events including:
• snowcoach samplers
• free kids ice fishing camp at Kirkwood Resort & Marina on Saturday,
• snowshoeing,
• geocache (treasure hunt),
• free movie at the IMAX,
• M120 Snowmobile Rides,
• S'mores/Skating/Sledding Saturday night at Pioneer Park,
• presentations from Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, YNP Rangers and more!

New presentations this winter include Geocache (treasure hunt with GPS) and "Lost In The Woods" with Ranger Bonnie and her S&R partner Gator. A full schedule and details will be emailed and faxed for front desk staff early this week. You can see the schedule in detail at kidsnsnow.org



Yellowstone Winter Season Begins Sunday, December 15, 2103
Yellowstone National Park will open to the public for the winter season as scheduled on December 15.

Beginning at 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning, visitors will be able to travel to the park’s interior roads on commercially guided snowmobiles or snowcoaches from the North, West and South Entrances. Travel through the park’s East Entrance over Sylvan Pass is scheduled to begin December 22.

The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, through Mammoth Hot Springs and on to Cooke City, Montana, outside the park’s Northeast Entrance is open to wheeled vehicle travel all year.

At Old Faithful, the Geyser Grill, the Bear Den Gift Shop, and the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center open for the season on December 15. The Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins and the Obsidian Dining Room open on December 18.

The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, dining room and gift shop will open for the season on December 20. The Yellowstone General Store, the medical clinic, campground, post office and the Albright Visitor Center at Mammoth Hot Springs are open all year, as are the 24-hour gasoline pumps at Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Junction.

Communities surrounding Yellowstone are open year-round, and local businesses offer a wide range of winter recreation opportunities. Extensive information and assistance for planning a visit to Yellowstone during the winter is on the park’s Web site at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/winteract.htm.

Park staff members will continue to closely monitor road conditions and weather forecasts that can have an impact on roadways and guided oversnow travel operations. Weather during the winter season is extremely unpredictable in Yellowstone and road closures or delays can occur with little or no warning. Visitors are reminded to come prepared by carrying personal emergency survival equipment in their vehicles and dressing appropriately for outside activities in extremely cold weather.



December 9, 2013
The Annual Christmas Stroll in West Yellowstone is this Thursday, December 12th from 5:30-9:00pm. The evening festivities will kick off with the Parade of Lights which leads to the town tree where Santa will arrive. You can meet the mushers and dog sled teams from 6:00-7:00 on Canyon Street between Madison and Firehole before they race Friday and Saturday, then stroll from 6:15-8:45pm. At 7:30pm there will be a FREE movie for kids K-6th grade at Bear's Den Theatre (compliments of the ClubHouse, Comfort and Kelly Inns and the Bear's Den Theatre) with hayrides (provided by the Baptist Church) to the Theatre from Madison Crossing beginning at 6:45. Visit the West Yellowstone Chamber for more information. 
 
The West Yellowstone Chamber Kids'N'Snow Program kicks off this winter December 14th -15th, 2013 and  includes the annual West Yellowstone Rodeo Run Dog Sled Races. Families have a chance to meet the mushers and their teams as they ready for races and even get their own free sled dog ride on Sunday morning. The Saturday events including "S'mores, Skating, and Sledding," and free kids snowmobile rides on a small M120 snowmobile will take place at the City Park. The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center offers a special winter learning classes and local businesses will offer the popular "Snowcoach Sampler" rides on December 15th, the first day that the west entrance opens for oversnow travel. A full schedule and registration can be found on www.kidsnsnow.org



December 9, 2013
Trail Guides Yellowstone can be found on the following social media outlets.

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November 23, 2013
Congressional Subcommittee convenes to examine the
Protecting State, Opening National Parks Act (H.R. 3286)

 
Montana tourism-related businesses are encouraged to show their support for HR Bill 3286 immediately.
 
The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation convened November 21st to examine several bills introduced in the aftermath of the recent federal government shutdown, including the Protecting States, Opening National Parks Act (H.R. 3286) introduced by Congressman Steve Daines (R-MT). 
 
This bill will direct the Secretary of the Treasury to reimburse States that use State funds for an activity conducted in FY2014 during the federal government shutdown that was necessary to operate and open to the public a National Park located, in whole or in part, within the state.
 
Matt Sease, general manager of the Super 8 Bozeman in Bozeman, Montana, and treasurer of the Montana Lodging & Hospitality Association (MLHA), and other witnesses will testify to the fact that Montana’s lodging industry and the entire national economy cannot withstand the negative impacts of another government shutdown.
  
According to 2011 statistics compiled by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Montana lodging industry is responsible for 11,352 jobs and $288 million in wages.  As of July 2013, there were 450 lodging properties across Montana, comprised of 28,473 rooms.  Smith Travel Research (STR) reports that total room revenue generated by the state’s lodging industry in 2012 was $515.9 million.
 
We are encouraging you to voice your support today or over the weekend. The hearing will only last few days!
 
To show your support for this bill, contact Congressman Daine’s office at (202) 225-3211  or visit https://daines.house.gov for more information.



November 20, 2013
Accommodations inside the park during the winter are limited to the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. The Snow Lodge is accessible by snowcoach or snowmobile while the hotel at Mammoth Hot Springs can be reached year-round by automobile.

The Old Faithful Snow Lodge opens for the winter season on December 18, 2013.
Regularly scheduled snowcoach transportation is available to bring guests to and from the Old Faithful Snow Lodge from the South and North entrances of Yellowstone. Please call the reservation office toll-free (866-439-7375) or 307-344-7311.

The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel opens for the winter season on December 20, 2013.
http://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/lodging/winter-lodges/




October 30, 2013
Last Chance to Drive To Old Faithful, Canyon Until Spring

The roads to many favorite Yellowstone destinations will close to automobile travel in a few days as the park begins preparing for the winter season.

The only road in the park which is open to wheeled vehicle travel all year is the section from the North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, through Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Junction and the Lamar Valley on to the park’s Northeast Entrance and the communities of Cooke City and Silver Gate, Montana.

All other roads will close for the season at 8:00 a.m. Monday, November 4, so park staff members can begin preparing the roads for limited, commercially guided snowmobile and snowcoach travel beginning December 15.

At Mammoth Hot Springs, the Yellowstone General Store, Post Office, medical clinic, campground and visitor center remain open all year. Pay-at-the pump fuel is available 24 hours a day all year at all park service stations.

All communities near and on the way to Yellowstone are open all year, with local businesses offering a wide range of fall and winter recreation opportunities.

Information on fall and winter lodging, camping, services and activities near the park in the Montana communities of Gardiner, West Yellowstone, Cooke City and Silver Gate is available by contacting their respective Chambers of Commerce or from the Montana Office of Tourism at 800-847-4868 or http://visitmt.com/. Those interested in visiting the Wyoming communities of Cody and Jackson can get information from their Chambers of Commerce, or by contacting Wyoming Office of Tourism at 800-225-5996 or http://www.wyomingtourism.org. If your travel plans take you through Idaho, you can get more information by calling Idaho Tourism at 800-VISITID or checking out their web site http://www.visitidaho.org.

Visitors driving to and in the park during the fall and winter are encouraged to have flexible travel plans and be prepared for changing weather conditions. Temporary travel restrictions or closures can occur at any time without notice. Mud and snow tires or tire chains may be required. Updated information on road conditions in Yellowstone is available 24-hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.



October 29, 2013
Yellowstone To Launch A Collaborative Adaptive Management Program For Winter Use


Yellowstone National Park is preparing to kick-off a collaborative Adaptive Management Program to evaluate the implementation of its new winter use management plan.

As a strategy widely used in other complex conservation programs across the globe, collaborative adaptive management will allow the National Park Service (NPS) to gather more information about park resource conditions through scientific monitoring and to seek additional public input. Managers will consider this additional information to assess and improve the management of winter use in Yellowstone National Park. Managers may also use this information to adjust NPS management actions in order to enhance the condition of park resources or the visitor experience.

An initial public meeting about Yellowstone’s Adaptive Management Program will be held in Bozeman, Montana on Friday, November 22, 2013 at the MSU Engineering and Physical Sciences Building (Room 126) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For people and organizations who cannot attend the meeting in-person, the NPS will offer the option to participate remotely. Additional details will be provided. The meeting will outline a roadmap for collaboratively developing a winter use adaptive management plan; include presentations about the park’s scientific monitoring on winter use; and offer opportunities for public input on adaptive management. The NPS requests that all interested parties RSVP to confirm their meeting attendance or remote participation by Friday, November 8, 2013.

Following the first meeting, the NPS will work with the public and all interested stakeholders on the preparation of a long-term and sustainable adaptive management plan. The plan will describe how the NPS will monitor and evaluate its management strategy for winter use for years to come.

NPS staff expects to present a draft adaptive management plan for winter use to the public in summer 2014, and to complete a final adaptive management and monitoring plan by the 2016-2017 winter season.

The Adaptive Management Program is part of the new management paradigm for winter use outlined by the recently released winter use final Plan/Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, Record of Decision and final rule.

For more information, please visit the program web page:
http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/wuamp.htm
To RSVP for the meeting, please contact Rebecca Garvoille, Yellowstone’s Adaptive Management Coordinator, at (307) 344-2265 or rebecca_garvoille@contractor.nps.gov



October 23, 2013
National Park Service Releases New Rule for Winter Use in Yellowstone


Flexible plan allows for public enjoyment, resource protection; 2013/2014 winter season will serve as transition year for snowmobiles and snowcoaches

The National Park Service has published a final rule to guide winter use in Yellowstone National Park following extensive public review and comment. The final rule authorizes oversnow vehicle (OSV) use in Yellowstone and contains provisions that allow greater flexibility for commercial tour operators, provides mechanisms to make the park cleaner and quieter than what has been allowed during the previous four winter seasons, rewards oversnow vehicle innovations and technologies that improve the Yellowstone experience, and allows for an increase in visitation. The final rule relies on impact analysis conducted through the 2013 Winter Use Final Plan/Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (final Plan/SEIS).

“This is a balanced and flexible plan that we believe will work for tour operators, for park visitors and for the iconic landscapes with which we are entrusted to protect,” said Superintendent Dan Wenk. “We appreciate the public comment and review that has gone into informing this science-based approach that will provide a safe and positive experience for the millions of visitors who come to Yellowstone every year.”

The 2013/2014 winter season will be a transition year to the new rule during which the park will allow snowmobiles and snowcoaches under the same conditions in place for the past four winters. The one-season transition period will also allow time for the NPS to advertise and award concession contracts and for commercial tour operators to adequately prepare for the new rule.

Beginning with the 2014/2015 winter season, the previous management approach of fixed maximum number of OSVs allowed in the park each day will be replaced with a more flexible concept of managing vehicle access by transportation events, defined as one snowcoach or a group of up to 10 snowmobiles, averaging seven seasonally. New best available technology standards will be required for snowmobiles no later than the 2015/2016 season, and for snowcoaches by the 2016/2017 winter season.

Commercial tour operators will be able to use their allocated transportation events for snowmobiles, snowcoaches, or a mix of both, as long as no more than 50 of the authorized 110 daily transportation events are snowmobile transportation events. This approach allows the proportion of snowcoaches or snowmobiles in the park each day to be adjusted, allows for an increase in the size of snowmobile groups to meet demand on peak days, and permits an increase in vehicle group size per transportation event if voluntary enhanced emission standards are met.

The plan also allows one non-commercially guided group of up to five snowmobiles to enter through each park entrance every day. The park will be working with interested stakeholders to develop the Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program, along with the Yellowstone Snowmobile Education Certification. The rule also continues to allow OSV use on the East Entrance road over Sylvan Pass.

To reinforce the central approach of the agency and a key tenant of this successful rule making, park managers will continue to collaborate with the public by implementing an Adaptive Management Program, which will combine science with public input, to ensure that OSV use impacts stay within limits predicted in the final Plan/SEIS. The kick-off meeting for this program is November 22, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the campus of Montana State University in Bozeman, MT. Interested members of the public are encouraged to attend. More information can be found at
http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/wuamp.htm.

Additional information and an electronic copy of the final Plan/SEIS and rule are available online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/yell.



October 17, 2013 - Yellowstone Opens
All of the entrances to Yellowstone National Park are open to visitors. All roads in the park are open with the ex-ception 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 opened 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 are closed for the season. 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 are available online at: http://www.nps.gov/yell/conditions.htm.



October 2, 2013 - Government Shutdown
Even though Yellowstone has been closed to visitors because of the government shutdown you can still find plenty of activities in and around the town of West Yellowstone.
 
Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center – Open daily 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
An opportunity to see live bears and wolves and learn how they live and relate to us.
201 South Canyon, (406) 646-7001.
 
Yellowstone IMAX
Theater opens at 10:30 AM. Visit www.yellowstoneimax.com for schedule.
Toll Free: 888-854-5862, 101 South Canyon.

FREE West Yellowstone Historic Walking Tour
Follow this informative self guided tour and relive early West Yellowstone. The Green Bear Paw Trail that’s painted on the sidewalks will lead the way! Pick up your map at the Chamber of Commerce or at one of the 21 site locations!

Yellowstone Historic Center (Thru Oct. 13, 2013)
Discover the fascinating history of travel to our nation's – and the world's – first National Park. 220 Yellowstone Avenue, 406-646-7461. Museum - 104 Yellowstone Ave, (406) 646-1100.

Bear's Den Cinema
Showing nightly at 7:30 nightly - call for current movie.
15 Electric Street, (406) 646-7777.

Rendezvous, Riverside and Boundary Trails for hiking and mountain biking
Rendezvous Ski Trails: Trailhead is at 520 Obsidian Avenue
• Riverside Trail: Trailhead is at 21 Boundary Street

Hiking and Wildlife Viewing – Gallatin National Forest trails are open. A number of spectacular hiking trails can be found north of West Yellowstone on US 191 & 287.

Fishing – Fall fishing is great on the Madison River, as well as Hebgen and Quake Lakes. Licenses, regulations and equipment available at local fly shops and outfitters, boat rentals available at Kirkwood Resort & Marina, (406) 646-7200.
 
Horseback Riding - Dry Ridge Outfitters at Harriman State Park - Call (208) 558-7433 for reservations.
  
Day Trips and Area Attractions:
Virginia & Nevada City, Montana
Mesa Falls Scenic Byway
Madison River Canyon Earthquake Area Driving Tour
Henry's Lake State Fish Hatchery



September 30, 2013 - Government Shutdown
Here is a brief overview of what will happen in the event of a government shutdown.

• All park entrances are closed and secured.
• Visitor centers and other facilities are closed.
• Education programs and special events are canceled.
• Permits for special events are rescinded.
• Guests staying in hotels and campgrounds will be given 48 hours to leave.
• A small number of Park Service employees remain to protect park resources.

Visit the following link for more information.



September 30, 2013
The following Visitor Centers in Yellowstone will close for the season at the end of today:
Fishing Bridge
Grant Village
Madison Information Station
Norris Geyser Basin Museum and Information Station
West Thumb Information Station

The following Visitor Centers are open, but will change to fall hours on October 1st:
(9am to 5pm):
Albright Visitor Center
Canyon Visitor Education Center
Old Faithful Visitor Education Center



September 29, 2013
Albright Visitor Center Receives An Upgrade
The Albright Visitor Center in Mammoth Hot Springs will be upgraded over the coming months to be retrofit for seismic activity and bring better accessibility to the building.

The facility was originally built as bachelor officer’s quarters by the United States Army in 1909. Named after Horace Albright, the first Superintendent for Yellowstone and the second Director for the National Park Service, the building had been through a variety of uses before officially becoming the Albright Visitor Center in 1979.

Yellowstone National Park often encounters the unique challenge of adaptive use while protecting the historical structures. The current project will involve a seismic retrofit of the existing historic stone building, as well as, addressing some accessibility and life safety concerns. The seismic retrofit requires the installation of a steel frame inside the structure and attaching the frame to the stonework.

In addition to the structural changes, the exhibits will also be receiving a makeover. While each visitor center throughout the park has a specific focus, this visitor center will feature exhibits on park history and the Northern Range area of Yellowstone, with its diverse and abundant wildlife. A new and dynamic orientation area with interactive displays will offer enhanced trip planning information for visitors. Rounding out the services that will be available in the renovated facility is a backcountry permit office where hikers can obtain permits and up to date information for backcountry trip planning. The park’s nonprofit cooperating association, the Yellowstone Association, will operate a bookstore in which visitors will find a variety of educational materials about Yellowstone and the surrounding region.

Swank Enterprises, which also completed the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center and the Mammoth Justice Center, plans to complete the project by spring of 2015. The projected opening date for the new visitor center is the summer of 2015. During the project, the visitor center operations will be relocated into a temporary building located nearby. All visitor services, including the Yellowstone Association store, will continue in the temporary location.



September 17, 2013
Visitors Invited To Celebrate Hayden Valley Hawk Watch
Celebrate the spectacle of raptor (bird of prey) migration in Yellowstone National Park’s Hayden Valley this Sunday, September 22. Join education ranger and raptor enthusiast Katy Duffy to watch and learn about raptors, their ecology and their migration strategies.

If you would like to learn some raptor identification tips, meet Ranger Duffy at 9:00 a.m. Sept. 22 at the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center for a 45-minute presentation involving the mounted raptors on display there. Then travel to the park’s famed Hayden Valley to observe and learn about the raptors that flow through Yellowstone each fall.

For the field portion of the tour, visitors are invited to meet at 11:00 a.m. at the turnout 6.6 miles south of Canyon Junction and 9 miles north of Fishing Bridge Junction. Each end of this turnout will have a sandwich board indicating the program location. Also look for a uniformed ranger with a spotting scope.

Observation of raptors will occur from 11:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. Both programs are free and open to the public. For more information, please call Katy Duffy at 307-344-2296.



September 10, 2013 - Fire Update
Yellowstone National Park currently has six active fires burning. The Druid Fire in the northeast near Lamar, the Alum and Calderon near the Fishing Bridge, the Alder Fire on the Promontory at the south end of Yellowstone Lake, and the Snake and Passage Fires near the south boundary of the Park. All of these fires are being managed jointly as the Druid Complex.

The Alum Fire is still smoldering in close proximity to the Grand Loop Road corridor between the Mud Volcano site and the Fishing Bridge. Small amounts of smoke from the fire are visible intermittently from the Mud Volcano area. All these fires will likely continue to smolder in the down fuels until a season ending event involving significant rain or snowfall. For public safety, the Park/Incident are maintaining the closure of the west-side highway pullouts designated by orange cones between Nez Perce Ford and LeHardy’s Rapids.

Fire activity remains light on all fires with visible smoke also being reported on the Alder and Druid fires. The campsites on the west-side of Promontory Point have been cleared of charred snags but the general area still has potential fire activity and will remain closed. The campsites (5L8, 5L9) on the northeast portion of Promontory point were opened yesterday.



September 6, 2013 - Fire Update
The last several days have brought cool, moist and stable conditions to the Druid Complex in Yellowstone National Park. Most of the 6 widely scattered fires on the complex, all lightning starts, have benefitted from rains in the afternoon and evening periods as well as early morning fog. The fires have been so subdued that little smoke has been showing and visitors have been enjoying clear visibility with spectacular cloud formations highlighting the park’s classic landscape and wildlife views.

The firefighting force has dropped to 35 as conditions continue to improve. Firefighters will work today in the Alder fire area on Lake Yellowstone’s Promontory Peninsula. That means good news for late-season campers. They will be clearing three backcountry campgrounds of ‘snags,’ dangerous burned or partially burned trees. When the work is complete the park will be free to set a date to open them to the public.

Crews will be removing the portions of the ‘plumbing’ for sprinklers that were installed earlier when the fire was much more active. On-site inspections will be made on the Alum Fire near the Mud Volcano area to determine the exact position of the fire in relation to Highway 89.

The weather patterns for today are showing scattered showers and lightning storms tracking from the south/southwest in a northeasterly direction. These storms are moving very quickly and can produce lots of lighting and possibly hail.



September 3, 2013 - Fire Update
Of six lightning-caused fires in Yellowstone Park, only one showed widespread activity in Sunday’s dry weather. Sunday afternoon, the 7097 acre Alum Fire responded to low relative humidity and sunny skies by producing intermittent smoke columns visible from Hayden Valley overlooks and the Mud Volcano area. A few groups of live trees flared for about a minute each as they torched, sending quick pillars of dark smoke skyward amid whiter smoke from smoldering dead logs and roots on the hillside. From Mud Volcano, the smoke often resembled steam from the nearby thermal features.

Despite its show of strength, the Alum Fire lost energy as the sun sank. Fire managers had expected that the fire might gain enough momentum to reach the Grand Loop Road between Fishing Bridge Junction and the Mud Volcano, and thus might force a tourist-annoying road closure. However, the fire grew only a few acres over the holiday weekend.

Visit the following link for maps and a brief overview of each active fire inside Yellowstone National Park.



August 26, 2013 - Cooler Temperatures and Rain Bring Some Relief to Firefighting Efforts in Yellowstone
Cooler temperatures and increased humidity that accompany the storms helped to moderate fire activity this weekend. Concern remains over the potential for lightning to ignite new fires in the park; initial attack resources are available to respond if any new fires are reported. The highest priority in managing these fires remains the protection of public and firefighter safety.

Public Information Officers will be available at fire information boards at the Canyon Village and Fishing Bridge Visitor Centers on Friday afternoon to help inform visitors about the fires and answer questions.

All roads leading into and through the park as well as the roads to all campgrounds, lodging, stores and visitor services in the park are open. All visitors are encouraged to check for updates often as road closures may be needed based on the fire’s activity. Updated park road information is available 24-hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.



August 22, 2013 - Temporary Road Closures Lifted in Yellowstone
The road between Canyon Village and Fishing Bridge through Yellowstone’s Hayden Valley has reopened to visitor traffic.

Visitors are cautioned to reduce their speed well below the posted speed limits through this section of road and can expect reduced visibility due to low-level smoke across the road.

Due to concerns for public safety arising from increased activity on the Alum Fire, this section of road can be closed at any time with little warning.

When temporary closures are effected on this section of road due to the fire, all travel between Canyon Junction and the Fishing Bridge, Lake Village and Bridge Bay area requires a long detour through Old Faithful.

All other roads in Yellowstone are open, as are all park entrances, lodging, stores, campgrounds and other visitor services.

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



August 20, 2013 - Alum Fire Continues to Grow
Winds prompted two fingers of this fire to grow to the southeast on Sunday, after a long northeast run on Saturday. This lightning caused fire was discovered in the backcountry west of Mud Volcano on Wednesday, August 14, and was only 3 acres until critical fire weather on Saturday afternoon prompted it to expand to 3,000 acres in a matter of hours. The fire grew another 1,000 acres on Sunday, bringing the estimated size to 4,000 acres. The fire perimeter remains within a mile of the Grand Loop Road south of Mud Volcano and there is the potential for temporary closures of the road between Canyon Village and Fishing Bridge Junction. The latest road status information is available 24-hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.

Mud Volcano, LeHardy Rapids, and several picnic areas and pullouts, as well as, some backcountry trails in the area are temporarily closed.

Additional firefighters and engines arrived on Sunday and more are expected today and later in the week as fire mangers focus on protection of the road corridor, the boardwalk in Mud Volcano, and the nearby power line. As a precaution, structure protection efforts are already underway in Fishing Bridge, Lake Village, and Bridge Bay should the fire advance toward those areas in coming days. While area evacuations are not imminent, preparations are underway to assist residents and visitors in leaving the Fishing Bridge, Lake Village, and Bridge Bay area in the unlikely event that an evacuation is necessary in the coming days.



August 15, 2013 - Two Hikers Injured In Yellowstone Bear Encounter
Two people were treated for injuries after a backcountry bear encounter Thursday morning in Yellowstone National Park.

A group of four people were a few miles down the Cygnet Lakes Trail southwest of Canyon Village when they saw an approaching grizzly bear cub-of-the-year about 11:30 am. A sow grizzly then appeared at very close range and charged the group.

Two of the hikers immediately discharged their canisters of bear spray and the sow and cub left the area after an encounter which lasted about a minute.

All four members of the group hiked out to the trailhead under their own power. One person was treated at the scene, while the second injured hiker was transported by ambulance to an area hospital with bite and claw wounds. All four have asked that their identities not be released.



August 12, 2013 - Lightning Starts Small Fire In Northeast Yellowstone
Lightning from recent thunderstorms has started a small fire in the northeastern region of Yellowstone National Park.

The Druid Fire was reported early Friday afternoon. It is located approximately two miles north of the Northeast Entrance Road on the northern aspect of Druid Peak overlooking the Lamar Valley.

The fire is estimated to be two acres and burning in heavy spruce timber. It will be monitored by park fire crews.

Smoke may be visible at times from the road. However, no roads, campgrounds or trails are closed because of this fire, and it poses no threat to visitors.

This is the second lightning-caused fire reported in Yellowstone this week. The Snake Fire, at approximately 200 acres, continues to burn on the Yellowstone National Park/Bridger-Teton National Forest boundary near the park’s South Entrance.

The fire danger in Yellowstone National Park is currently “High.”



August 6, 2013
The Snake Fire was discovered shortly after 4:00 p.m. on Monday afternoon, August 5, burning along the boundary between the Bridger-Teton National Forest and Yellowstone National Park, approximately three miles east of Yellowstone’s South Entrance. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Hot, dry conditions prompted rapid growth in heavy timber. The fire was estimated at 200 acres on Monday evening. Firefighting efforts will be jointly managed by the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone National Park.

Some trails and backcountry campsites near Yellowstone’s South Entrance have been temporarily closed. At times a tall smoke column rising above the fire may be seen from locations a long distance away from the fire. However, all roads leading into and through the parks and the forest and all campgrounds, lodging, stores, and visitor services are open. The fire poses no threat to visitors or area residents.



July 29, 2013
A federal grant of $10.3 million has been made available for the Gardiner Gateway Project through the Federal Lands Access Program (ACCESS).

Gardiner, Montana - July 23, 2013 – Work to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park and the community of Gardiner, Montana, will soon get underway thanks to federal transportation funds allocated through the Federal Lands Access Program as part of the new Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.

The Gardiner Gateway Project will receive $10.3 million from the Federal Lands Access Program, which helps fund state and local transportation repair and improvement projects. The grant proposal which was submitted by Park County, Montana and the National Park Service (NPS) was recently approved by the Montana Program Decisions Committee. With local matching funds from the NPS and Park County, total project funding is nearly $12 million. See the press releases below for further details on this project.

For future updates please visit GardinerGatewayProject.org.

Download Press Releases

June 2012 - Montana Governor and Yellowstone Superintendent highlight tourism and economic benefits of Gardiner Revitalization Partnership Project - PDF

July, 2013 - Gardiner Gateway Project Improvements to get underway - PDF




July 12, 2013
Construction Work Begins On 9-Mile Site, Continues On Tower Road

New construction has begun on a section of the East Entrance road located near Lake Butte at the northern edge of Yellowstone Lake known as “Nine-Mile.”

A combination of water runoff from the mountain above and an unstable earth layer underneath the road surface has caused a section of the road edge to break away over time. Throughout the construction, which is expected to be completed by the end of the season, traffic will be guided through a short, one-lane section with a portable traffic light. Temporary closures may be a possibility, but are not expected.

Motorists entering the park from points east can also chose to enter the park through the Northeast Entrance at Cooke City, Montana, via the Beartooth All-American Highway (US-212) from Red Lodge, Montana, or via the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway (US-296) from Cody, Wyoming.

Construction also continues on the road between Tower Fall and Tower-Roosevelt. No nighttime closures are in effect, yet visitors could experience delays of up to a half an hour passing through the area.

The National Park Service (NPS) will notify the public in advance if any road closures are implemented due to ongoing construction projects.

For current road conditions 24 hours a day, call (307) 344-2117.



July 12, 2013
We've added five new hikes to the Trail Guides website and all of them are not only easy but most are family friendly as well.

Grebe Lake - Between Norris and Canyon - Easy

Fan Creek - Northwest between Big Sky and West Yellowstone - Easy/ Moderate

Lost Lake & Lost Creek Falls - Tower/ Roosevelt Lodge Area - Easy/ Moderate

Lamar River Trail to Cache Creek - Northeast - Easy

Cygnet Lakes - Between Norris and Canyon - Easy



June 25, 2013
Safety Concerns Prompt Temporary Closure of the Inspiration Point Overlook
Inspiration Point is a popular spot along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and offers spectacular views of the Lower Falls and the canyon itself. According to the park service the last two tiers of concrete stairs leading to the viewing platform and the platform itself have deteriorated significantly over time. At this time there is no indication of when the viewpoint will reopen.

Click here to view a map of this region.



June 17, 2013
Linx, a co-operative of public transportation providers, is now up and operating for the summer. This year, Linx has routes that transport travelers from regional airports (Salt Lake City, Bozeman, Idaho Falls, Cody, and other) to gateway communities around Yellowstone Park. There are also routes that bring visitors into Yellowstone and circle the interior "figure-8" roads twice daily. For more information, call 877-454-5469 or go to www.linx.coop



May 31, 2013
Updated Fishing Regulations
Yellowstone National Park has just recently updated its fishing regulations for the 2013 season which began on May 25th and ends the first weekend in November.  These new changes were implemented to better support the park’s Native Fish Conservation Plan. To help protect the native fish species, the limit on non-native fish caught in the park’s Native Trout Conservation Area has been eliminated.  This includes all park waters except the Madison and Firehole rivers, the Gibbon River below Gibbon Falls, and Lewis and Shoshone Lakes. 

Rainbow or brook trout caught in the Lamar River drainage must be harvested in order to protect native cutthroat trout in the headwater reaches of the drainage. This includes Slough Creek and Soda Butte Creek. Click here for more information on these special regions.

Anglers are also reminded that all lake trout caught in Yellowstone Lake must be killed to help cutthroat trout restoration efforts. All native fish found in Yellowstone waters including cutthroat trout, mountain whitefish, and Arctic grayling must be released unharmed.  Anglers are reminded that they may use only barbless artificial flies and lures and lead-free sinkers when fishing in the park.

A three-day Yellowstone National Park fishing permit is $18, a 7-day permit is $25 and an annual permit costs $40. Permits for anglers 15 years of age and younger are free.  



May 18, 2013 - Construction Delays Outside Yellowstone National Park
US-191 between Bozeman, Big Sky and West Yellowstone - Mile Marker 41 to 66
Beginning May 13th, 2013 construction will begein at the Red Cliff Campgound area (see below). Possible 60 minute delays during rock excavation. Reconstruction work in progress. There is a width restriction of 12 feet. Expect delays of 15 to 60 minutes, reduced speed to 35 MPH, single lane traffic, road closure, flaggers.

Other locations to be worked on will be: Karst Ranch area milepost 55.3; Moose Creek area milepost 56.2; Greek Creek area milepost 58.3; and Castle Rock Inn milepost 65.4. Expect survey work and other minor projects in these areas.

Red Cliff Campground will be closed until July 1st, 2013
Red Cliff Campground will be closed until July 1, 2013. This closure is due to road construction on Highway 191. The road construction near Red Cliff Campground is scheduled to be completed by July 1, 2013. If you have any questions regarding this closure, please contact Yellowstone Country Campgrounds at (406) 646-1012 or the Bozeman Ranger District at (406) 522-2520.



May 13, 2013
All roads in Yellowstone National Park are now open with the exception of Dunraven Pass. This high alpine drive links Canyon to Tower Junction and is expected to open later this month. Road construction is taking place between Tower Junction and the Tower Fall Campground.



April 19, 2013
Beginning today park visitors will be able to travel from West Yellowstone to Mammoth Hot Springs and Old Faithful. Pay-at-the pump fuel will be available 24 hours a day at both the Upper and Lower Service Stations. Restroom facilities will be available at Madison Junction and at Old Faithful beginning on April 19th. The Old Faithful Visitor Education Center, the Geyser Grill and the Bear Den Gift Shop will open for the season on Friday, April 26.

Friday, May 3
Norris Junction to Canyon Village; Canyon Village to Fishing Bridge; and Fishing Bridge to the East Entrance via Sylvan Pass. The Old Faithful Snow Lodge, Cabins and Restaurant, the Old Faithful Upper Store and the Lower Service Station convenience store all open for the season on Friday, May 3.

Friday, May 10
The road from Fishing Bridge to Grant and the South Entrance. The road from West Thumb Junction to Old Faithful will open sometime after May 10.

After May 24
(tentative): West Thumb Junction over Craig Pass to Old Faithful
Friday, June 14: Beartooth Highway (Highway 212 between Cooke City and Red Lodge, Montana

The Spring 2013 road opening schedule is based on plowing 300 miles of roads within Yellowstone Park. These dates could change depending on weather or snow conditions. Please call 406.646.7701 for the latest updates or visit:
http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/hours.htm



April 15, 2013
REVISED OPENING DATE: It looks the West Entrance to Yellowstone is now scheduled to open on April 19th instead of April 26th.

From April 21-26th, 2013 admission is free to the public in celebration of National Park's Week!



April 4, 2013
‘Cycle-Only’ Season Opens For Riders On Yellowstone’s West Side Only
Bicyclists 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, MT, to Mammoth Hot Springs beginning at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.

A 14-mile section of road between the West Entrance and Madison Junction is already open for the cycling-only shoulder season as plowing crews clear snow and ice in preparation for opening the route to automobile traffic on April 26. There is no spring bicycle-only access toward Old Faithful or Canyon at this time.

A bicycle trip into Yellowstone this time of year is not to be undertaken lightly.  The quickly changing weather can be challenging, and snow and ice may still cover sections of road. 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 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.  



March 27, 2013 - Revised Opening Dates for Yellowstone
The following dates are available on the Yellowstone Park web site.

One other note regarding spring cycling days (the period when park visitors can bike, hike, jog, rollerblade, etc. in from the West Entrance to Norris and Madison; with limited access to Old Faithful area): road crews have experienced some very heavy ice (6-12" thick) from Norris to Mammoth and more ice between Madison Junction to West Yellowstone. For that reason, cycling days has not officially opened yet. Hopefully warmer temperatures over the next couple of days will help melt the ice. We are waiting for an update from the Mammoth offices regarding the official opening for cycle days.
 
Friday, April 26th, 2013
The West Entrance at West Yellowstone

Friday, May 3rd, 2013
The East Entrance via Cody, Wyoming and Sylvan Pass

Friday, May 10th, 2013
The South Entrance via Jackson, Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park

By Memorial Day Weekend (Friday, May 24th, 2013)
Sunlight Basin Road between Cody, Wyoming and Cooke City, Montana

Mid-June
The Beartooth Highway (Highway 212 between Cooke City and Red Lodge, Montana)



March 18, 2013 - More info on the Sequestration
Please take a few minutes to watch this interview with Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk. This is a comprehensive interview regarding the sequestration budget cuts and future decisions and impacts on Yellowstone National Park.
www.kbzk.com/news/yellowstone-superintendent-says-wyoming-has-money-to-pay-for-plowing/

This interview also addresses questions that were raised about the concept of closing the interior of Yellowstone for oversnow travel for next winter. Superintendent Wenk affirms that they are going ahead to complete the Winter SEIS process.

Jackson and Cody, Wyoming are combining resources from the Wyoming Department of Transportation and fund-raising efforts to begin plowing from their entrances with their own resources. "Business groups and the tourism board in Jackson Hole, Wyo., fearing a loss of tourism dollars, have raised the funds to pay for plowing near the South gate, while those in Cody, Wyo., have met almost half their goal to open the East gate, officials said. The state of Wyoming is providing equipment and personnel to help plow park roads, while firms will pay back the transportation department for whatever it costs the agency to use its own workers on federal roads, according to a spokesman for the governor of Wyoming." (Wall Street Journal)

Weather is one key factor that impacts both the opening for spring cycle-only days and the plowing schedules within Yellowstone. The 10-day forecast is predicting a series of snow storms but temperatures warming by the end of the month.

The budget cuts being implemented go beyond plowing the roads and include staffing and staff schedules. Even if the roads are cleared by the warm temperatures, there still needs to be park staff to man gates and visitor centers. I have asked the Superintendent's office if there is anything West Yellowstone individuals, businesses, or organizations can do to assist in opening the west entrance.



March 11, 2013
By the end of March, depending on the weather and road conditions, the West Entrance to Yellowstone will open to human-powered vehicles only for Spring Cycle Days. Park fees are waived at the West Entrance and cyclists can enjoy the roads before Yellowstone opens to vehicle traffic on April 26th, 2012*. You can cycle from West Yellowstone to Madison Junction or, for the more adventurous, continue on to Norris and onto either the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone or Mammoth Hot Springs. You can also start at Mammoth Hot Springs and ride south toward Norris but you will be required to pay an entrance fee if you enter the park from this location. Foot traffic and rollerblades are also welcome.

*The West Entrance to Yellowstone will be open on Friday, April 26th, one week later than originally scheduled due to sequestration budget cuts.



March 4, 2013
Later today the Park Service will release the specifics regarding the delayed plowing and spring opening dates for Yellowstone National Park. They will also addresses other potential impacts of the budget cuts due to sequestration.

There is an added level of complexity when it comes to opening Yellowstone in the spring. Yellowstone plows more than 300 miles or roads in order to open all of its entrances; the next closest national park plows only 34 miles. Normally, the road crews would have started plowing in Mammoth last week and would have continued south to Norris, then over to Canyon, then Norris to Madison Junction and over to Old Faithful, followed by the West Entrance Road. The western part of the park is plowed at the end of the "over snow" season which typically ends on March 15th. Craig Pass and the southern sections of Yellowstone, as well as the Sylvan Pass and the eastern sections of Yellowstone follow soon after.

This year work was delayed due to anticipation of the sequester which went into effect last Friday. Additionally, there are a number of factors that impact the actual dates a gate will open. One of these is weather and snow levels. All of these factors will certainly change these schedules and access to Yellowstone National Park this year.



February 25, 2013
Only three weeks until Yellowstone National Park closes for over the snow travel this winter. Spring is just around the corner but there are still plenty of winter activities taking place in and around the park. This coming weekend is the Rendezvous Race, Youth Ski Festival, and Kids'N'Snow Weekend. March 15th to March 17th, 2013 is the annual Snowmobile EXPO and Power Sports Show.



February 18, 2013
Only one month until Yellowstone Park closes for over the snow travel this winter (given the snow holds out!) Within those four weeks are some of the busiest weeks of the winter season including events like the Rendezvous Race, Youth Ski Festival, and last Kids'N'Snow Weekend of the season.

National attention continues to grow over the looming budget cuts on March 1st and possible impact on the National Parks. Whether it happens or not at this point, the concern is already there and at a national level raising doubt in the minds of travelers about their summer vacation plans.

Over the weekend, a number of articles appeared about the looming March 1st, 2013 cuts, National Parks, and even Yellowstone. The Washington Post article contains some of the most specific details yet when it states; "Advocates for the vast numbers of visitors to America’s national parks are pressuring Congress to prevent deep automatic spending cuts that would result in reduced hours and services across the country, from the Blue Ridge Mountains to Yellowstone. Few corners of the federal government directly touch the public as do the 398 parks, monuments and historic sites, which draw 280 million visits a year. The system would feel the effects immediately of a $110 million slash should budget cuts take effect March 1 — from a three-week delay of Yellowstone’s spring opening to save money on snow plowing, to shuttered campgrounds and visitor centers along the Blue Ridge Parkway."

Yellowstone (and other National Parks) cuts evoke a great deal of emotion and response and media coverage hit national levels over the weekend. A number of local tourism organizations have already been contacted for statements. Some key points they are emphasizing to visitors concerned about spring and summer vacation plans:

The park will be open and area businesses will be open! There will still be a wide selection of places to stay, restaurants to eat at, stores to visit, and attractions like the Yellowstone Historic Museum and Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, and more!

There are many other activities to occupy a visitor who will still be able to see the park and have the vacation of a lifetime.



February 4, 2013
Budget Crisis Looming for Our National Parks - The Unfortunate Truth
A National Park Service memo leaked last week details how proposed budget cuts would require the already-beleaguered agency to furlough employees, reduce key visitor services, shorten visiting seasons, limit hours of operation, and possibly close park units this year at nearly 400 sites across the country, including Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks.

The memo, written on January 25th by Park Service Director Jon Jarvis and obtained by the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, outlines the agency’s need to retrench if lawmakers fail to reach a “sequestration” deal by March 1st, and explains the effect it would have on park services.

It instructs park officials to begin implementing budget-cut planning immediately, and calls for the potential elimination of seasonal personnel and extended furloughs of permanent employees.

Under the servicewide plan, the agency would need to slash $110 million from the $2.2 billion remaining in its budget over the next seven months, according to the group, even though the proposal comes on the heels of 6 percent in cuts over the past two years. “This is very troubling and it has the potential to turn already budget-strapped national parks into ghost towns,” retirees coalition chairwoman Maureen Finnerty, former superintendent of Everglades National Park, said.

An attachment to the memo sets forth the exact amounts that would need to be trimmed from each park – about 5 percent across the board – and includes steep cuts of $1.8 million from Yellowstone National Park and $682,000 from Glacier National Park.

The agency memo details how $85 billion in automatic spending cuts scheduled for 2013 would affect the nation’s parks if policymakers fail to reach a long-term deal.

“We expect that a cut of this magnitude, intensified by the lateness of the implementation, will result in reductions to visitor services, hours of operation, shortening of seasons and possibly the closing of areas during periods when there is insufficient staff to ensure the protection of visitors, employees, resources and government assets,” Jarvis concludes in the memo.

Each park must submit a sequestration plan by Feb. 11, and is instructed to specify the number of visitors affected as well as indicate the effect on nearby communities and businesses, according to the memo. Those reports will serve to inform lawmakers on how the sequestration will affect parks and surrounding business communities."

For more information on how you can help please visit the National Park Conservation Association website.



January 8, 2013
Events in and around West Yellowstone, Montana.

Every Saturday: Yellowstone Park ranger talk at 10 AM at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center; Snowshoe with a ranger at 1:30 PM - 307-344-2876

January 12-13th: Ice Fishing Challenge on Hebgen Lake - 406-646-7200

January 12-13th: Island Park Winter Fest www.islandparkchamber.org/winterfest.html

January 12th: Harriman Park (Island Park) free cross country ski day 208-558-7368

January 19-20th: Kids'N'Snow Weekend - www.kidsnsnow.org

January 26th: Free cross country ski day on the Rendezvous Ski Trails and a Try-It Biathlon activity - www.rendezvousskitrails.com

February 1-3rd: a National Ice Fishing Tournament Weekend with seminars, workshops, kid's clinic, and tournament - www.westyellowstoneicefishing.com

February 2nd: Cabela's Ice Fishing Clinic for kids (free rod & setup for every kid who attends) - www.westyellowstoneicefishing.com

February 2-3rd: Kids'N'Snow Weekend - www.kidsnsnow.org

February 9th: SPAM Cup (Nordic) ski races open to everyone followed by "Taste of the Trails" - www.rendezvousskitrails.com



January 1, 2013
Thank You!!





December 15, 2012
The winter season in Yellowstone begins today and many of the park roads are now open to over-the-snow travel so it's time to enjoy a snowcoach or snowmobile tour of this incredible winter wonderland. Visit the Xanterra Parks & Resorts website for information on winter snowcoach tours and lodging in Yellowstone National Park.

If you prefer to explore the backcountry of Yellowstone on snowshoes or skis visit the following link on our website for a list of ski trails within the park, or click the following link to read trip reports from our adventures in the park and see first-hand why Yellowstone is a such great winter destination.

Road Closures
Unfortunately the road south of Tower Junction is closed this winter due to construction. There is NO access to Tower Falls for the 2012/13 winter season due to the road construction between Tower Junction and the Tower store and falls parking area. Skiing, snowshoeing and hiking is PROHIBITED from Tower Junction south for approximately 5 1/2 miles to where the Old Road Trail meets the Grand Loop Road.



November 19, 2012
Over 3,500 visitors will be headed to West Yellowstone this week for the annual Yellowstone Ski Festival. In 32 years the Festival has evolved into one of the largest early season (“first tracks”) events in the U.S.

Unfortunately the warm weather may cause some changes and there is some important information to know about the Ski Fest if you are are heading to West Yellowstone for this week long event. The Ski Fest committee has alternative plans in place if events need to be moved from the Rendezvous Trails to the South Plateau, or cancelled. Decisions will be announced via email, social media, and posted at www.yellowstoneskifestival.com.



November 6, 2012
Cycle Greater Yellowstone - August 18-24th 2013
This cycling adventure may seem like a long way off but your going to want to register early for this incredible 7-day journey through the Greater Yellowstone Region. This "cause-based" bicycle tour is nearly 500 miles in length and begins in the town of West Yellowstone and ends with a ride to the top of the spectacular Beartooth Pass just outside the town of Red Lodge, Montana. The event was conceived by the Greater Yellowstone Coalition in order to raise awareness of the incredible and fragile ecosystem that surrounds Yellowstone National Park. Click the following link to learn more about the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.

The event is fully supported with 3 meals a day, baggage support, hot showers and prime camping locations along each days route. The cost is $995 per person and the event will be capped at 1,000 riders. This is an epic ride that will show you just what makes this area so special. For more information about this amazing event or to register, please visit the Cycle Greater Yellowstone website by clicking here.



October 24, 2012
On November 5th the interior park roads in Yellowstone will close to motor vehicles. The NE Entrance Road from Gardiner/Mammoth Hot Springs to Cooke City, MT is the only road that remains open all year to motorized vehicles. You can still access the interior of Yellowstone by taking a snowcoach or guided snowmobile tour from Mammoth Hot Springs or West Yellowstone. For more information on lodging and guided tours during the winter months please visit the Xanterra website.

During the month of November there is no lodging available within Yellowstone. The park service will be preparing for the winter season. Mammoth Campground is the only campground open all year.

On December 15th the park opens for winter activities and over-snow vehicles (except for East Entrance Road). The Madison warming hut and the Old Faithful Geyser Grill will be open.

On December 18th Old Faithful and the Snow Lodge and Cabins will be open.

On December 20th the Mammoth Hotel re-opens for the winter and on December 21st the Mammoth Warming Hut opens.

On December 22nd the East Entrance Road opens at 8 am for winter activities and over-snow vehicles.

Yellowstone Winter Road Closures



October 9, 2012
The road from Tower Junction to the Chittenden Road on Mount Washburn will be CLOSED to traffic 24 hours a day for the remainder of the year, however, you can still reach the Mount Washburn Trailhead from the Canyon area to the south. Autumn is a great time to hike to the summit of Mount Washburn and now that most of the fires in and around the park have been extinguished by recent snowfall, this is a great fall hiking destination. On a clear day the views can stretch as far south as the Grand Tetons. Click here for details on this picture perfect hike.

The Beartooth Highway which runs from Red Lodge, Montana over the Beartooth Plateau to the Chief Joseph Highway is closed for the season and road construction (bridge work) continues in two locations along Highway 20 in Island Park, south of West Yellowstone.



September 25, 2012
With autumn fast approaching the park service is beginning to shut down a handful of campgrounds throughout the park. For more information on camping in Yellowstone please visit the following link on our website...Yellowstone Camping

Bridge Bay - Closed
Canyon - Closed
Fishing Bridge - Closed
Grant Village - Closed
Indian Creek - Closed
Lewis Lake - Closes 11/4
Madison - Closed
Mammoth - Open all year
Norris - Closed
Pebble Creek - Closed
Slough Creek - Closes 10/31
Tower Fall - Closed



August 28, 2012
Two new wildland fires were detected today. It's turning into on of those years.

Millie Fire (in Gallatin Canyon between Big Sky and Bozeman, MT)
Firefighters are battling the newly detected Millie Fire burning in the Storm Castle drainage south of Bozeman. The 30 - 40 acre fire is located three to four miles east of Rat Lake and 18 to 20 miles south of Bozeman, MT.

The fire is burning in heavy timber and in steep and rugged terrain. There are four smokejumpers on scene, one helicopter, two engines and additional resources in route. The cause of the Millie Fire is currently unknown. Fire information will soon be available at inciweb.org or by calling the Gallatin National Forest at (406) 587-6701.

In Yellowstone Park
Lightning from Monday's isolated thunderstorms that also created a small new fire in the burn scar of the 2010 Beach Fire approximately 3 miles northwest of West Thumb.

Weather and Fire Forecast
Near record temps and RH’s dipping into the low teens forecast for low elevation areas, with conditions in most higher elevations not quite so extreme today. While sunny skies will be the rule, we can’t rule out the possibility of afternoon heating and terrain impacts causing some isolated thunderstorms to develop. Today’s mostly moderate surface winds will give way to strong gusty winds Wednesday in conjunction with a passing cold front. Red Flag Warnings are in effect today and tomorrow for the Montana portions of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, with Fire Weather Watches for areas surrounding Yellowstone.

Yellowstone National Park
Due to the lack of moisture throughout the park in the last several days, the fire danger level in Yellowstone has been elevated to Extreme and fire restrictions are still in effect. All Yellowstone park entrances, roads, campgrounds, lodging, stores, and other visitor services are open. A few trail segments and some backcountry campsites are temporarily closed (see previous post from August 23rd).

Cygnet Fire
This lightning-caused fire 5 miles southeast of Norris Junction is now estimated at 1450 acres. Firefighters continue efforts to protect a utility corridor south of the road between Norris and Canyon in case the fire reaches the area. A section of the backcountry trails and campsites along the Canyon-to-Norris road have also been closed. Smoke from the fire may be visible along several sections of park roadways throughout the week. Visitors are asked to use extreme caution while driving where firefighting crews are working along roadways.
Range Fire
This lightning-caused fire is located 8 miles southwest of Tower Fall. It was discovered on July 26 and is nearly 170 acres. This fire is not threatening any structures or roadways, but will likely produce a significant amount of smoke that will be visible from the road over Dunraven Pass and possibly through the Tower Fall area



August 23, 2012
All Yellowstone park entrances, roads, campgrounds, lodging, stores, and other visitor services are open. A few trail segments and some backcountry campsites are temporarily closed (see below).

Wildlife Alert!
The bison(buffalo) are starting to migrate from their mating grounds to fall feeding areas along the roads within Yellowstone Park. Watch for bison in unexpected places, in the middle of the road, and around blind curves. Bison are difficult to see at night due to their dark color and their eyes do not reflect light like other animals. They will not move off the road when cars approach (like a deer or other wildlife).

Yellowstone National Park
Due to the lack of moisture throughout the park in the last several days, the fire danger level in Yellowstone has been elevated to Extreme. Fire restrictions are still in effect. Fire activity has steadily increased on two fires in the central portion of the park, and smoke may be visible from several areas along the Grand Loop Road from Norris to Canyon Village and south to Fishing Bridge.

Cygnet Fire
This lightning caused fire was discovered Friday afternoon, August 10, about 5 miles southeast of Norris Junction. Visual inspections during overflights over the weekend have estimated its size at 87 acres. Two 20-person firefighting crews are working to prepare a utility corridor south of the Norris to Canyon road in case the fire reaches that area, and they will continue to monitor the fire. As a precaution, the Cygnet Lakes Trail is closed temporarily.

Fan 1 and Fan 2 Fires
The combined fires, estimated at 2 acres, were declared out Sunday morning, August 12.

Agate Fire
This lightning caused fire was discovered Tuesday, August 7. It is burning in the backcountry southeast of Tower Junction, on the east side of the Yellowstone River. It has shown little recent activity, and is still estimated at one-half of an acre. Backcountry campsite 2Y1 is temporarily closed because of this fire.

Dewdrop Fire
This lightning caused fire, burning in the backcountry nine miles southeast of Canyon, was discovered on July 27 and is now approximately 63 acres. As a precaution, an area around the fire including some backcountry campsites and trail segments are temporarily closed.

• Astringent Creek Trail at the junction of the Lower Pelican Creek Trail.
• Upper Pelican Creek Trail at the junction of the Lower Pelican Creek Trail.
• Wapiti Lake Trail East of campsite site 4M2 to Wapiti Lake.
• Fern Lake Trail
• Backcountry campsites 4B1, 4B2, 4B3, 4B4, 4W2, 4W3, 5B1, 5B2, and 5P7.

Yellowstone Fire Restrictions
Campfires are allowed only in established fire grates or fire rings in picnic areas or campgrounds. The use of portable charcoal grills is prohibited. Any fire which can produce an ash is prohibited in the backcountry. You can use portable stoves and lanterns which use propane, white gas, kerosene, or jellied petroleum for fuel anywhere in the park. Smoking is prohibited along all trails and anywhere in the backcountry. Smoking is allowed in vehicles and along roads, near buildings, and in developed campgrounds or picnic areas if you are standing in an area at least three feet in diameter where nothing on the ground will burn.

Yellowstone Road Update
A major road construction is underway from Canyon Village to Tower Junction road. Currently, there are no overnight closures, but there may be 30-minute delays. Motorcyclists are advised to slow down and use EXTREME CAUTION on loose gravel in areas of construction. Note: You can still park and climb Mount Washburn from the south side because the closure begins at the Chittenden gate. Yellowstone Park road information is available at 307-344-7381.

Yellowstone Fishing Restrictions
The following waterways were temporarily closed to all fishing effective Wednesday, August 1, 2012. There are NO restrictions on the rivers and lakes outside of Yellowstone Park and around West Yellowstone. These rivers are in the western section of Yellowstone Park. Rivers in other areas of Yellowstone are not restricted. The Gallatin River along Highway 191 in the section of Yellowstone Park between West Yellowstone and Big Sky, Montana.)

• Gibbon River below Gibbon Falls
• Firehole River below Kepler Cascades
• Madison River

Warm air temperatures, limited rainfall, runoff from thermal features, and below average stream flows have all resulted in high water temperatures in these rivers. Yellowstone National Park staff will continue to monitor water temperatures and stream flows in these and other rivers and streams throughout the park.

Around West Yellowstone, Montana
Temporary fire restrictions REMAIN in PLACE for Gallatin and Madison Counties. FIREWORKS are banned in West Yellowstone, Gallatin County, Gallatin National Forest, and Yellowstone National Park. There are NO fishing restrictions on the rivers, streams, and lakes around West Yellowstone.

Gallatin National Forest
The entire Gallatin Forest is still under Stage I restrictions with the exception of the Lee Metcalf and Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Areas. There are no fire restrictions in place for these Wilderness areas. Restrictions include:
• NO FIRES except in metal ...rings in designated recreation sites. Enclosed gas, propane, or butane-type camp stoves are still allowed.
• NO WOOD STOVES outside of wood or metal structures. Allowed stoves must have a spark arrester.
• NO SMOKING unless in an enclosed vehicle or building, at an improved place of habitation, a designated recreation site or campground, or stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is cleared of flammable materials (such as a road).

Fairy Lake Recreation Area Campground and Sacajawea Trailhead Near Bozeman
Portions of the site will reopen for day use only activities as construction progresses however; the site will remain closed to camping until construction is complete. For more information and the most current updates, contact the Bozeman Ranger District hotline at 406-522-2534.



August 13, 2012
The effects of smoke carried in from fires in northern California, northern Nevada, and Idaho fires are impacting visibility and air quality in the entire Greater Yellowstone region. The map below shows where these fires are located and how the smoke is effecting Yellowstone. Temperatures for this time of year average fairly close to normal with light to moderate winds. Without strong winds the smoke will settle in the valleys in and around the park.

forest fires

All Yellowstone park entrances, roads, campgrounds, lodging, stores, and other visitor services are open. A few trail segments and some backcountry campsites are temporarily closed (see below).

Yellowstone National Park:
The fire danger level in Yellowstone has been lowered to Very High. Fire restrictions are still in effect. Thunderstorms on Thursday and Friday brought lightning and rain to the northern third of the park, followed by moderate temperatures and sunshine on Saturday. Light fire activity continues and firefighters are being released.

Cygnet Fire
The lightning caused fire was discovered Friday afternoon, August 10, about 5 miles southeast of Norris Junction. Firefighters estimated its size at 1/10 of an acre and are continuing to monitor its activity. Smoke may become visible from Cygnet Lakes Trail and Mary Mountain Trail in Hayden Valley.

Fan 1 and Fan 2 Fires
The combined fires, estimated at 2 acres, were declared out Sunday morning, August 12. The 22-person Blue Ridge Interagency Hotshot crew from Arizona and the 6 firefighters from Saguaro National Park staffing the fire have been released. This fire is located in the northwest section of the park and located near the Fan Creek/Fawn Pass Trail.

Agate Fire
This lightning caused fire was discovered Tuesday, August 7. It is burning in the backcountry southeast of Tower Junction, on the east side of the Yellowstone River. Firefighters are monitoring this fire, which is being allowed to play its natural role in the ecosystem. It has shown little recent activity, and is still estimated at one-half of an acre. Backcountry campsite 2Y1 is temporarily closed due to the fire.

The Dewdrop Fire
Located several miles east of Canyon Village, this is the largest of five fires actively burning in the park. It is currently estimated at 25 acres. As a precaution, the following backcountry campsites and trail segments north and east of the Dewdrop Fire were closed Monday afternoon:
• Astringent Creek Trail at the junction of the Lower Pelican Creek Trail.
• Upper Pelican Creek Trail at the junction of the Lower Pelican Creek Trail.
• Wapiti Lake Trail East of campsite site 4M2 to Wapiti Lake.
• Fern Lake Trail
• Backcountry campsites 4B1, 4B2, 4B3, 4B4, 4W2, 4W3, 5B1, 5B2, and 5P7.

Other Fires and Smoke
Firefighters are also monitoring the Range, Camera, and Dewdrop 2 fires. All have shown little recent activity and are all less than one acre. While each of the park’s fires may produce a smoke column visible from some roads or trails when actively burning, most of the smoke present in the region is due to fires burning south and west of Yellowstone, and not from the small fires in the park.

Around West Yellowstone, Montana
Temporary fire restrictions REMAIN in PLACE for Gallatin and Madison Counties. FIREWORKS are banned in West Yellowstone, Gallatin County, Gallatin National Forest, and Yellowstone National Park. There are NO fishing restrictions on the rivers, streams, and lakes around West Yellowstone (see below for more information on Yellowstone Park).

Gallatin National Forest
The entire Gallatin Forest is still under Stage I restrictions with the exception of the Lee Metcalf and Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Areas. There are no fire restrictions in place for these Wilderness areas.
Restrictions include:
• NO FIRES except in metal ...rings in designated recreation sites. Enclosed gas, propane, or butane-type camp stoves are still allowed.

• NO WOOD STOVES outside of wood or metal structures. Allowed stoves must have a spark arrester.

• NO SMOKING unless in an enclosed vehicle or building, at an improved place of habitation, a designated recreation site or campground, or stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is cleared of flammable materials (such as a road).

Near Bozeman
Fairy Lake Recreation Area Campground and Sacajawea Trailhead Closed (construction). Work continues at the Fairy Lake Recreation Area to improve the Fairy Lake Campground and trailhead facilities. The Fairy Lake road will remain open providing access to Shafthouse Trail #540. Portions of the site will reopen for day use only activities as construction progresses however; the site will remain closed to camping until construction is complete. For more information and the most current updates, contact the Bozeman Ranger District hotline at 406-522-2534.

Montana
There are several wildland fires burning in northwestern and southeastern Montana but none impacting any travel routes or major roads.

YELLOWSTONE ROAD CONSTRUCTION UPDATE
A major road construction is underway from Canyon Village to Tower Junction road. Currently, there are no overnight closures, but there may be 30-minute delays. Motorcyclists are advised to slow down and use EXTREME CAUTION on loose gravel in areas of construction. Note: You can still park and climb Mount Washburn from the south side because the closure begins at the Chittenden Gate.

YELLOWSTONE Park Temporary Fishing Restrictions
The following waterways were temporarily closed to all fishing effective Wednesday, August 1, 2012 (see below). There are NO restrictions on the rivers and lakes outside of Yellowstone Park and around West Yellowstone. These rivers are in the western section of Yellowstone Park. Rivers in other areas of Yellowstone are not restricted. The Gallatin River along Highway 191 in the section of Yellowstone Park between West Yellowstone and Big Sky, Montana.)

• Gibbon River below Gibbon Falls
• Firehole River below Kepler Cascades
• Madison River

Hot air temperatures, limited rainfall, runoff from thermal features, and below average stream flows have all resulted in high water temperatures in these rivers. Yellowstone National Park staff will continue to monitor water temperatures and stream flows in these and other rivers and streams throughout the park.



August 9, 2012
A fire weather watch has been issued for Yellowstone Park, Grand Teton Park and surrounding national forests from Thursday afternoon to Thursday evening. A 'fire weather watch' means that critical fire weather conditions are forecast in conjunction with current low humidity and dry conditions. This could include scattered thunderstorms, strong wind gusts (possibly over 50 mph), and dry lightning. These conditions are favorable for fire starts and rapid fire spread.

Backcountry (off public boardwalks) hikers should check weather forecasts before leaving on late afternoon hikes into higher altitudes. Weather changes rapidly in the mountains and you should prepare for changing conditions. Upper level winds are also blowing smoke from wildland fires in Idaho into our valleys today. You can expect smoky conditions early in the morning and early evening.

All Yellowstone park entrances, roads, campgrounds, lodging, stores, and other visitor services are open. A few trail segments and some backcountry campsites have been temporarily closed (see below).

Yellowstone National Park
As of Wednesday, the Fire Danger level for Yellowstone Park has been raised to EXTREME. Three new small fires were discovered in Yellowstone late Tuesday.

Fan 1 and Fan 2 Fires
The West Yellowstone Smokejumper aircraft spotted two small fires from the air late Tuesday in the northwest corner of the park, a mile southwest of High Lake. Four heli-rappellers from the Gallatin National Forest were inserted Tuesday evening to suppress the lightning caused fires. The 22-person Blue Ridge Interagency Hotshot crew from Arizona has arrived to continue suppression efforts. The combined fires are estimated at 2 acres with 25 percent containment.

Agate Fire
This lightning caused fire was also discovered Tuesday. Is its burning in the backcountry southeast of Tower Junction, on the east side of the Yellowstone River. Firefighters are monitoring this fire, which is being allowed to play its natural role in the ecosystem. It is currently estimated at one-tenth of an acre. Backcountry campsite 2Y1 is temporarily closed due to the fire.

The Dewdrop Fire
Located several miles east of Canyon Village, this is the largest of five fires actively burning in the park. It is currently estimated at 25 acres. As a precaution, the following backcountry campsites and trail segments north and east of the Dewdrop Fire were closed Monday afternoon:
• Astringent Creek Trail at the junction of the Lower Pelican Creek Trail.
• Upper Pelican Creek Trail at the junction of the Lower Pelican Creek Trail.
• Wapiti Lake Trail East of campsite site 4M2 to Wapiti Lake.
• Fern Lake Trail
• Backcountry campsites 4B1, 4B2, 4B3, 4B4, 4W2, 4W3, 5B1, 5B2, and 5P7.

Other Fires and Smoke
Firefighters are also monitoring the Range, Camera, and Dewdrop 2 fires. All have shown little recent activity and are all less than one acre. While each of the park’s fires may produce a smoke column visible from some roads or trails when actively burning, most of the smoke present in the region is due to fires burning south and west of Yellowstone, and not from the small fires in the park.

Fire Restrictions in Yellowstone
Effective as of Wednesday August 8th, Yellowstone will reinstitute the following fire restrictions, effective at noon on Wednesday:
• Campfires are allowed only in established fire grates or fire rings in picnic areas or campgrounds. The use of portable charcoal grills is prohibited.
• Any fire which can produce an ash is prohibited in the backcountry.
• You can use portable stoves and lanterns which use propane, white gas, kerosene, or jellied petroleum for fuel anywhere in the park.
• Smoking is prohibited along all trails and anywhere in the backcountry. Smoking is allowed in vehicles and along roads, near buildings, and in developed campgrounds or picnic areas if you are standing in an area at least three feet in diameter where nothing on the ground will burn.



August 8, 2012
A ridge of high pressure is located over southwestern Montana today, keeping conditions hot and dry, with afternoon breezes up to 20 MPH. Upper level winds are blowing smoke from wildland fires in Idaho into they Yellowstone region. You can expect smoky conditions early in the morning and early evening. By Monday evening moisture from the western U.S. will begin circling through the area producing the possibility for isolated thunderstorms.

This map from InciWeb.org shows the current wildland fires in the region. While there are fires in Montana, there are no active fires near West Yellowstone or in Yellowstone or Grand Teton National Parks. Many of these wildland fires are located in rugged back country areas. Fire suppression methods are applied if there is an immediate danger to people or buildings. Others are not suppressed and will go out once fuel sources are gone or cooler, wetter weather patterns occur. helping forests regenerate by returning nutrients to the soil and clearing undergrowth.

Please note that temporary fire restrictions REMAIN in PLACE for the Gallatin National Forest, the forests surrounding West Yellowstone, Gallatin and Madison Counties. FIREWORKS are banned in West Yellowstone, Gallatin County, Gallatin National Forest, and Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park
On Saturday afternoon, a one-acre fire was observed two miles southwest of Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone Park Eight smoke jumpers and a helicopter quickly suppressed the fire. It is important to note that there are no fires currently burning in Yellowstone Park. All roads and services are open.

Yellowstone Road Update
A major project also begins to today with the nightly closure (Sunday through Thursday nights) of the Canyon Village to Tower Junction road. Note that the road will be closed from the Chittenden Road to the Tower Junction gate so that you can still park and climb Mount Washburn from the south side. The road will be open all night on Friday and Saturday nights. However, when the road is open there could still be 30-minute delays. Motorcyclists are advised to slow down and use EXTREME CAUTION on loose gravel in areas of construction. Be prepared: bring extra water, activities, juice and snacks for the kids! Bring a picnic lunch available from many places in West Yellowstone-call the Visitor Center for a list at 406-646-7701. Make sure you take a bathroom break BEFORE driving through these construction areas. Yellowstone Park road information is available at 307-344-7381.

Hebgen Lake Ranger District of the Gallatin National Forest
Gallatin National Forest is in a Stage One Fire Restriction including:
• NO FIRES except in metal ...rings in designated recreation sites. Enclosed gas, propane, or butane-type camp stoves are still allowed.
• NO WOOD STOVES outside of wood or metal structures. Allowed stoves must have a spark arrester.
• NO SMOKING unless in an enclosed vehicle or building, at an improved place of habitation, a designated recreation site or campground, or stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is cleared of flammable materials (such as a road).
Montana Updates:

Significant Road Delays Outside the Park
Just north of Ashton, Idaho on Highway 20 heading toward Island Park construction crews are resurfacing the road and delays can be significant... 30 + minutes. If you're not in a hurry take a drive along the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway and you can avoid this patch of construction for the time being... and enjoy these beautiful waterfalls in the process. Click here for directions.

Mesa Falls



July 31, 2012
FISHING RESTRICTIONS
Due to the recent warm weather in the region fishing restrictions will be in place on the following rivers beginning August 1st:
Gibbon River below Gibbon Falls
Firehole River below Kepler Cascades
Madison River at the confluence of the Gibbon and Firehole near Madison Junction

Parks' Fly Shop in Gardiner has the latest fishing reports for the national park and surrounding areas.



July 30, 2012
The West Entrance chip sealing project (West Entrance to roughly 7-mile bridge) was NOT completed as scheduled last week. It will begin today and runs through August 3rd. This could result in up to 30-minute delays for visitors traveling through West Yellowstone.

Nighttime Road Closures
Canyon Village to Tower Junction from the Chittenden Road to the Tower Junction gate will be closed nightly Sunday's to Thursday's from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. beginning on July 23rd, 2012. The road WILL be open on both Friday and Saturday nights. When the road is open you can expect up to 30-minute delays, except over Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 1-3rd) when construction is stopped temporarily for the holiday. On Sept 22nd, Dunraven Pass closes for the season.



July 23, 2012
ROAD REPORTS
I was headed back to Bozeman at around noon via the West Yellowstone Entrance Station and traffic heading into the park was backed up for miles just before reaching Seven Mile Bridge (seven miles from the west entrance). If you're staying in West Yellowstone you may want to get an early start, or be prepared for long delays while construction crews are working on these roads.

Chip sealing projects in Yellowstone begin this week which means 30-minute delays for visitors traveling through the following areas. Last year, traffic backed up all the way through West Yellowstone during the west-end chip sealing project.

• July 23rd - North Rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone area
• July 24th - South Rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone area
• July 24, 25, 26 and 27th - Geyser Basin to Madison Junction area
• July 27, 28, and 30th - West Yellowstone to Seven Mile Bridge

A major project also begins to today with the nightly closure (Sunday through Thursday nights) of the Canyon Village to Tower Junction road. The road will be closed from the Chittenden Road to the Tower Junction gate so that you can still park and climb Mount Washburn from the south side (Canyon side). The road will be open all night on Friday and Saturday nights. However, when the road is open there could still be 30-minute delays.

Yellowstone Park road information is always available at 307-344-7381.



July 18, 2012
UPDATED FIRE INFORMATION & RESTRICTIONS
As of yesterday afternoon, Yellowstone National Park has lifted their fire restrictions. Please note that temporary restrictions REMAIN in PLACE for the Gallatin National Forest, the forests surrounding West Yellowstone, and Gallatin County. FIREWORKS are banned in West Yellowstone, Gallatin County, Gallatin National Forest, and Yellowstone National Park.

The weather forecast for the next five days is dry with warm-to-hot conditions and a slight chance afternoon thunderstorms, but not the severe winds or lightning we experienced last week.

There are some significant road repairs and construction projects beginning next week in Yellowstone Park. Watch for a new update about this early next week.

Yellowstone National Park
Recent rainfall received over most of Yellowstone National Park has increased fuel moistures to the point that the prohibition on open campfires has been lifted. However, visitors should still ensure that all campfires are fully extinguished, never left unattended, and are only in areas designated for their use, and be cautious when smoking in any area where there are combustible fuels.

The increased precipitation also helped wildland firefighting crews suppress the Blacktail Fire near the park’s northern boundary. The fire, which began July 12 and reached 29 acres, is approximately 95 percent contained, with full containment expected by next week. The 8 smoke jumpers and 5 helitack crew members who initially attacked the fire have been replaced by a 4-person wildland fire crew assigned to the park from Saguaro National Park to assist with mop-up and patrol efforts.

Hebgen Lake Ranger District of the Gallatin National Forest
Gallatin National Forest is in a Stage One Fire Restriction including:
NO FIRES except in metal rings in designated recreation sites. Enclosed gas, propane, or butane-type camp stoves are still allowed.

NO WOOD STOVES outside of wood or metal structures. Stoves must have a spark arrester.

NO SMOKING unless in an enclosed vehicle or building, at an improved place of habitation, a designated recreation site or campground, or stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is cleared of flammable materials (such as a road).



July 1, 2012
UPDATED FIRE INFORMATION & RESTRICTIONS
Due to continued weather conditions, temporary restrictions have been put into place for the national forests surrounding West Yellowstone and Yellowstone National Park. It's important to note that all roads and facilities within Yellowstone Park are open, as are all roads and activities in and around West Yellowstone. There may be potential delays (and possible closures if needed).

Route or Road Impacts
• Highway 212 (Beartooth Highway): The Index Creek Fire is located 4 miles SE of Cooke City, Montana. Smoke may be present on U.S. Highway 212. Please drive cautiously and do not stop in the vicinity of the fire or smoke If the fire increases near Hwy 212, it will be closed for public safety.

• Highway's 84 & 191 in Four Corners near Bozeman are under contruction: Possible pilot cars and one-lane traffic are possible as road crews work on the highway.
 
Yellowstone National Park
Due to continued dry and windy conditions, Yellowstone Park is in a VERY HIGH level of fire danger. Visitors are just asked to exercise caution and follow these rules:

• Lighting, building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire of any kind is prohibited in the backcountry including established campsites. Campfires are only allowed in an established fire grate at front country campgrounds, picnic areas, or housing areas. Use of portable stoves and lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel, or use of a fully enclosed sheepherder type stove with a spark arrester screen is permitted.

• Smoking is prohibited in the backcountry and on all trails. It is permissible in the front country only in an enclosed vehicle or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

• Fireworks of any kind are NOT permitted.

Gallatin Country Restrictions (outside the town of West Yellowstone)
Restrictions include all activities that might potentially cause a fire INCLUDING the discharge of fireworks.  The banning of fireworks will be lifted for one day only on July 4, 2012 – if used with extreme caution, unless weather conditions cause a change in this exception.
 
Hebgen Lake Ranger District of the Gallatin National Forest: Gallatin National Forest is in a Stage One Fire Restriction including:
NO FIRES except in metal ...rings in designated recreation sites. Enclosed gas, propane, or butane-type camp stoves are still allowed.

NO WOOD STOVES outside of wood or metal structures. Allowed stoves must have a spark arrester.

NO SMOKING unless in an enclosed vehicle or building, at an improved place of habitation, a designated recreation site or campground, or stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is cleared of flammable materials (such as a road).

Montana Fire Update
Record-breaking high temperatures and high winds have dried out our forests and grasses considerably in the last week. There are a number of wildand fires currently burning in Montana and impacting recreational access in the following areas:
• Tongue River Reservoir State Park
• Recreation facilities in the Bear Trap Canyon corridor along the Madison River are closed.
• National forest road and trail closures around Pony, MT in the Tobacco Mountains.



June 29, 2012
Fire danger in and around the park is extremely high this year and with the 4th of July just around the corner we can probably expect more human related fires to surface over the next few weeks. Fireworks are prohibited within the park and we would urge you to limit the use of fireworks if you're staying in the national forests that surround Yellowstone. Many of the gateway communities near the park, Gardiner, West Yellowstone, Livingston and Cody, will have 4th of July celebrations with plenty of fun activities throughout the day and fireworks in the evening. Check with the local Chamber's of Commerce for details. Check out our Visitor Resources page for links to these oraganizations.

There is currently a fire burning near Pilot and Index Peaks just outside the Northeast Entrance of Yellowstone along the Beartooth Scenic Highway. This is a popular driving destination that provides access to the Beartooth Pass and Cody, Wyoming via Sunlight Basin and Dead Indian Pass. You can track the progress of this fire by visiting the Incident Information System website.



June 19, 2012
A new bus service will begin operating in Yellowstone starting in late June. The Linx Bus Line will connect many of the major tourist destinations throughout the park and will provide additional transportation services to the many gateway communities located in and around the region. Buses will make stops at the following locations; Madison, Old Faithful, Grant Village, Bridge Bay, Lake Hotel, Fishing Bridge, Canyon and Norris. A one-day ticket is $20, and a week-long pass is available for only $80. For additional information visit the Linx online at: http://www.linx.coop/yellowstone-area-buses/



Thursday, May 31, 2012
Online registration for the West Yellowstone to Old Faithful Bicycle Tour begins on June 1st. Space is limited to 350 riders so don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity to tour Yellowstone in September. The ride begins and ends in the town of West Yellowstone and travels to Old Faithful. There are two feed stations, mechanical support and a group meal at the end of the day. Cost for the event is $55 per person and the dinner is an additional $12. Click here for more information on this event.



Saturday, May 26, 2012
Another fishing season begins in Yellowstone this weekend but a spring snow storm has settled in over the region and it may be a few days before it's worth hitting the rivers. The larger streams and creeks, including the Yellowstone, Lamar, Gallatin, Gardiner, Slough and Soda Butte will be running very high for the next month if not longer, so your best bet for early season fishing inside the park will be on the Gibbon, Madison, Lewis and the Firehole rivers. For a complete list of opening dates and locations visit our Yellowstone fishing regulations page.

The following campgrounds are now open in Yellowstone; Madison, Mammoth, Norris, Tower, Fishing Bridge and Bay Bridge. By June 21st most will be in operation with Grant Village usually being the last one to offically open. For a complete list of opening and closing dates for all visitor services within Yellowstone National Park please visit their website: YELLOWSTONE

Dunraven Pass which connects Tower Fall and Canyon was scheduled to open for the summer this weekend but this latest storm may create additional delays. Please call (307) 344-2117 for current road conditions in Yellowstone.



Friday, April 20, 2012

National Park Week begins on Saturday the 21st and runs through Sunday, April 29th. Entrance fees to Yellowstone National Park, along with other national parks, will be waived for the entire week. Additional park fees, including; hotel reservations, campground fees, tours and concessions are not included.



Thursday, April 19, 2012
On Friday of this week, both the North and West Entrances to Yellowstone will open to motorized traffic. If you're visiting the park you'll now be able to drive between West Yellowstone, Madison Junction, Old Faithful, Norris and Mammoth Hot Springs, weather permitting. Over the next month additional roads and campgrounds will be accessible so please check our events calendar for specific dates and locations.

It's been a very wet spring here in Bozeman and we'll be heading to the park this weekend to check out the snow and trail conditions for those areas that have been recently opened to traffic. We're looking forward to another great year of hiking and backpacking in the park and we hope you'll follow us every step of the way.



April 1, 2012
Yellowstone "Cycle" Days (April 1st - 20th) - For the next two weeks bicyclists have the rare opportunity to ride in Yellowstone before the park is officially opened to motor vehicles. Cyclists can ride from either West Yellowstone to Madison Junction (14 miles one way) or from Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris Junction (21 miles one way). NOTE: Park roads are not entirely free of traffic though and employees and road crews are still present but traffic is generally very light. If you time it right and the weather cooperates these are great early season rides that shouldn't be missed. It's a real treat to experience a quieter side of Yellowstone that is free of motor vehicle traffic.

Check with the park service before beginning your trip. Roads may be temporarily closed in the event of bad weather. Contact Yellowstone National Park or call: 307-344-2109 for the latest road conditions.

Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris Junction (21 miles one-way)
You can begin this bike ride at Mammoth Hot Springs or drive another two miles south to the parking lot located at the Upper Terraces. The road is gated at this point to prevent motor vehicle traffic from entering the Grand Loop Road. From this location it's 18.9 miles one-way to Norris Junction. After you skirt the gate there is a steady climb for about 1,000 feet over the first 2.5 miles until you reach the open expanse of Swan Lake Flat where the road will level out significantly. From here it's a very gentle and rolling grade all the way to Norris Junction. It can be very windy along the stretch through Swan Lake Flat and Gardners Hole so bring appropriate clothing for the ride. Deep snow will be prevalent along the roadsides but the highway is usually in good condition and dry for much of the ride. There are no services or water along this route. Click here for directions from the Upper Terraces to Norris Junction.

West Yellowstone to Madison Junction (14 miles one-way)
By comparison this ride is much easier than the Mammoth to Norris Junction route because there is very little elevation change over the 14 miles to Madison Junction. This is an easy ride that follows the Madison River for much of the trip so you'll have a good chance of seeing wildlife in the meadows that border the river. Once again there are no services along this route but there is water located at the Madison picnic area. Click here for directions from West Yellowstone to Madison Junction.

If you're looking to rent a bike or need other cycling gear for the ride into the park, stop in at the Freeheel & Wheel in West Yellowstone. Bike rentals run about $20-$25 per day or $8.00 for an hour. Click here for directions to their shop or call (406) 646-7744.

The East Entrance to Sylvan Pass (7 miles one-way)
South Entrance to West Thumb (21.2 miles one-way)

These two entrances are also open for cycling but are difficult locations to reach and may be closed due to snow conditions. Access to the South Entrance of Yellowstone is reached by traveling through Grand Teton National Park. The East Entrance to Yellowstone is reached from the town of Cody. Click here to see the route from the South Entrance.
Click here to see the East Entrance route to Sylvan Pass.

BE AWARE: Since the roads are free of snow, larger animals will be present along most of these routes. The same basic rules apply when encountering wildlife while cycling.

• Do not feed wildlife. Feeding animals alters their natural behavior.
• Remain 100 yards from wolves and all bears especially those with cubs.
• Remain 25 yards from larger mammals like moose, bison, elk and deer.
• Avoid close encounters with animals and their newborn offspring.
• Do not chase or intentionally disturb animals.
• Carry bear spray





March 12, 2012
If you're looking to secure your favorite backcountry campsite this summer, advanced registration for permits begins on April 1st. You must fill out the form and include a $20.00/non-refundable processing fee (cash, check or money order). This will allow you to reserve a backcountry site ahead of time.

NOTE: If you submit this mail-in form before the April 1st deadline your permit will be processed randomly. Permits received after the April 1st deadline are reviewed in the order in which they are received. This seems a little backward so it's best to time it so your form arrives in the mail on or after April 1st. All overnight stays in the backcountry of Yellowstone require a permit.

Click here to review all the requirements for the permitting process. You can also download our backountry trip planner which has the 3 page mail-in permit form along with relevant park service phone numbers and equipment checklists.

Visit our backcountry campsite locator page to see a list of all the backcountry sites for Yellowstone National Park.



March 7, 2012
Park roads will open to wheeled vehicles on the following dates:

Open year-round - North Entrance from Gardiner, MT to Cooke City, MT
April 20th - West Entrance/West Yellowstone
May 4th - East Entrance/access from Cody, WY
May 11th - South Entrance/access from Grand Teton National Park/Jackson, WY
May 25th - Northeast Entrance/access to Beartooth HWY and Chief Joseph HWY

For additional information on events in and around the park this summer please visit our events calendar page.



March 7, 2012
On Monday of this week our fan base on Facebook passed the 1,000 mark and the support continues to grow. I'm very grateful for the response this new website has received and I'm anxious to get into the backcountry this summer so I can add many more hikes to the website. Yellowstone is a big place and this is just beginning. I'm looking forward to another season in the park and I hope to see you on the trails - Brian



March 4, 2012
New Interactive Feature Added
Each hike on the Trail Guides website has now been mapped using Google Earth for a much more powerful visual experience. To launch these trail maps simply navigate to any of our featured hikes and click on icon shown below. The map will automatically open in a separate window where you can zoom in and preview the terrain for that specific hike. If you're web browser does not have Google Earth installed you can download a version by clicking the text under option 2 below.



Need Google Earth? Download it for FREE
Option 1
Download the desktop version of Google Earth here
With this version you can create and share your own custom maps.

Option 2
Download the Google Earth plug-in for your web browser here



February 20, 2012
It's hard to believe that another winter season in Yellowstone will be coming to a close beginning in March. Over-the-snow travel from the East Entrance will end on Thursday, March 1st followed by Mammoth to Norris Junction, Norris to Madison, Norris to Canyon and lastly Canyon to Fishing Bridge. On March 15th all winter travel within the park is suspended as crews begin clearing roads for the spring season which begins on April 20th weather permitting.

The Old Faithful Snow Lodge closes on March 4th and the facilities at Mammoth Hot Springs will close on the 5th. The North Entrance near Gardiner, MT and the road from Mammoth to the Northeast Entrance near Cooke City, MT is the only exception this road remains open all year. The Albright Visitor Center in Mammoth is also open year-round.

For a complete list of opening dates for roads within the park as well as frontcountry campgrounds please visit our Events Calendar page. If you have a local event you would like to include on our site please email us at: info@trailguidesyellowstone.com. Please include a brief description of the event and any relevant contact information.









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