Thursday, July 2, 2015

Two More People Injured By Bison In Yellowstone

As Yellowstone National Park enters the busiest month of the year, visitors are reminded that they are responsible for their safety, which includes viewing wildlife from safe distances of at least 25 yards. In recent separate incidents, two people were injured after getting too close to bison. The first encounter occurred on June 23 when an off-duty concession employee came upon a bison while walking off trail after dark in the Lower Geyser Basin area. The second incident occurred July 1, when a visitor encountered a bison while hiking the Storm Point trail in the Yellowstone Lake area.

The first incident happened when a 19-year-old female from Georgia and three friends were returning to their car after swimming in the Firehole River late at night. The girl and a companion were walking in the dark when they came upon a bison lying down about 10 feet from them. The companion turned and ran from the bison, but before the girl could react, the bison charged her and tossed her in the air. Her friends helped her to their car and drove back to Canyon Village, where all four live and work. At Canyon, the girl went to bed, but awoke a short time later feeling ill. Around one in the morning, the party called the Yellowstone Interagency Communication Center asking for medical help. Rangers transported the victim by ground ambulance to a hospital outside the park and she was released with minor injuries later that day.

The second incident occurred when a 68-year-old female from Georgia was hiking on the Storm Point trail, approximately 300 yards from the trailhead, and encountered a bison near the trail. The woman continued on the trail and as she passed the bison, it charged and gored her. A witness ran up the trail to report the incident to an Interpretive ranger leading a hike in the area. Shortly before 4:30 p.m., the ranger reported the incident to the Yellowstone Interagency Communication Center. Due to serious injuries, the woman was transported to Lake Clinic by ground ambulance and then by helicopter ambulance to a hospital outside the park.

These are the third and fourth bison encounters in Yellowstone National Park this summer. The other two occurred when visitors to the Old Faithful area approached too close to bison. Both visitors in those incidents were flown by helicopter ambulance to a hospital due to their injuries.

Visitors should remember that while many of the bison and elk in the park may appear tame, they are wild animals and should never be approached. Bison can sprint three times faster than humans can run and are unpredictable and dangerous. Park regulations require visitors stay at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all large animals - bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes and at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves. If a visitor comes upon a bison or elk along a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in developed areas, visitors must give the animal at least 25 yards by either safely going around the animal or turning around, altering their plans, and not approaching the animal.

For further information on park safety, please visit


Throwback Thursday

Mariposa Grove was one of the first federally protected tracts of land in the world. In 1864 Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant, which deeded the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees to the state of California for protection as a forest reserve. Due to concern over damage from livestock and logging, John Muir led a movement to establish a larger national park that encompassed the surrounding mountains and forests. However, when Yosemite National Park was established on October 1, 1890, it excluded the Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove. In 1903 Muir took President Theodore Roosevelt on a three-day camping trip near Glacier Point. During the trip Muir convinced Roosevelt to take control of the valley and the grove away from California. Finally, on June 11, 1906, Roosevelt signed a bill that would merge the Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove with Yosemite National Park.

Hiking in Glacier National Park
Grand Teton Hiking Trails

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Shuttle Service on the Going-to-the-Sun Road Begins Today

Glacier National Park’s free, optional shuttle system that provides shuttle services along the Going-to-the-Sun Road will begin operations July 1 and run through September 7.

On the west-side of the park, shuttle services begin at the Apgar Visitor Center. Service to all west-side shuttle stop locations begins at 9:00 a.m. with shuttles departing every 15-30 minutes until 7:00 p.m., when the last shuttle leaves Logan Pass.

Prior to 9:00 a.m. there is limited service to some spots on the west-side:

• At 7:00 a.m. and 7:18 a.m. there are express trips from the Apgar Visitor Center straight to Logan Pass, without any intermediate stops, and then continuing on to St. Mary making all regularly scheduled stops.

• At 7:36 a.m. an express shuttle departs the Apgar Visitor Center straight to Logan Pass, where a connection can be made to the St. Mary Shuttle

• At 7:56 a.m. shuttles begin service about every 15-30 minutes from the Apgar Visitor Center, with stops at Avalanche Creek, The Loop, and Logan Pass. This shuttle will not stop at Apgar Village, Apgar Campground, Sprague Creek, or Lake McDonald Lodge.

The St. Mary Visitor Center is the transit hub for shuttle services on the east-side of the park. East-side shuttles begin service at 7:00 a.m. from the visitor center and depart every 40 to 60 minutes. The last shuttles of the day leave Logan Pass for the Apgar Transit Center and St. Mary Visitor Center at 7:00 p.m. For more information on the shuttle system, click here.

For the majority of the summer season, travelers should expect construction activities between Siyeh Bend and St. Mary on the Going-to-the-Sun Road on the east-side of the park. The majority of the work involves paving the 15-mile segment from Siyeh Bend to St. Mary. Many points of interest on the east-side will be difficult to access by private vehicle during construction operations. Shuttle access is recommended for all access points and trailheads along the east-side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

There will be no construction work or delays due to roadwork over the 4th of July weekend, Friday through Monday on the east side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Following the holiday weekend, road construction will resume seven days a week. Delays will be up to 30 minutes.

Bicyclists must comply with all traffic regulations and must ride under control at all times The following sections of Going-to-the-Sun Road are closed to bicycle use between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. through Labor Day:

• Eastbound and westbound from the Apgar turnoff to Sprague Creek Campground, and
• Eastbound from Logan Creek to Logan Pass.

Visitors are reminded to be prepared for changing weather conditions throughout the park and use caution around water and snow. Some higher elevation trails in the park still have snow-covered areas. Hikers should exercise caution when walking on snow and be alert of possible collapsible snow and steep slide areas. The Highline Trail is open and the Ptarmigan Tunnel is open to foot traffic. Hidden Lake Overlook Trail still has significant snow-coverage. Current status of all trails within the park is available here.


Many Glacier Hotel Centennial Celebration

The Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park celebrates its 100- year anniversary this year. A celebration is planned for July 4th, but centennial activities will be offered throughout the summer.

Free ranger-led historic walking tours of Many Glacier Hotel will be offered at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. on July 4th. The free tours are also offered daily at 4 p.m. throughout the summer and an exhibit about the hotel is on display. Visitors are encouraged to attend a tour and visit the exhibit to learn about the hotel’s history and restoration.

Beginning at 2:00 p.m. on July 4th, representatives from Glacier National Park, Glacier National Park Lodges, the Glacier National Park Conservancy, and the Glacier Park Foundation will give brief presentations in the St. Moritz Room of the Many Glacier Hotel. Other activities, including music, a ranger talk, and a reminiscent hootenanny are also planned.

Parking is limited in the Many Glacier Hotel area.


Grand Teton National Park Foundation receives $100,000 Grant

Grand Teton National Park Foundation has received a grant of $100,000 from Wells Fargo to support conservation, recreation and education efforts.

The Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities grant program, funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), awarded $75,000 to support Inspiring Journeys: A Campaign for Jenny Lake. This public-private collaboration will transform Jenny Lake’s trails, bridges, key destinations and visitor complex. Additionally, Wells Fargo’s Wyoming Region awarded $25,000 for the park’s Youth Conservation Program, a teen education, stewardship and employment opportunity that provides much-needed repairs and improvements on heavily used park trails and historic sites.

Established in 2012, the Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities five-year grant program has awarded $12 million to 207 grantees and funded 247 projects to date that promote conservation and environmental sustainability.

“It’s an important time for the Foundation as we’re heading into the last year of our campaign,” said Grand Teton National Park Foundation’s president, Leslie Mattson. “The generosity of the Wells Fargo Foundation in partnership with NFWF puts us just over $12 million of our $14 million project goal to be raised in time for the NPS centennial next August. The local support of Wells Fargo is incredible, and we’re lucky to have found such a wonderful partner for the park right here in our own community.”

As part of Wells Fargo’s $100 million philanthropy commitment to nonprofits and universities by 2020, a $15 million, five-year relationship with NFWF was created and launched in 2012 to promote environmental stewardship across the country. The goal of the Wells Fargo-NFWF grant partnership and program is to provide grants for highly impactful projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment. The program will fund proposals in select cities/regions (see website for full list) in the following areas:

• sustainable agriculture and forestry
• conservation of land and water resources
• restoration of urban ecosystems
• clean energy infrastructure

Grand Teton National Park Foundation was selected from among more than 450 requests submitted by local team members and nonprofits Wells Fargo identified as being in need of extra help with green revitalization projects. In April 2012, Wells Fargo released a set of environmental commitments to be achieved by 2020; including reducing the company’s environmental impact, financing the transition to a greener economy and encouraging stronger and more sustainable communities. Part of this goal includes a $100 million environmental grants commitment by 2020 to create a “greener” future for the communities they serve.

Details of the Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities grant program and a link to the 2016 application (available in September 2015) can be found at the NFWF application website. Projects benefiting underserved communities and encouraging volunteerism are given priority consideration. The Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities grant program is funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation to promote environmental stewardship across the country.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Scenic Hikes in Glacier National Park (in Ultra HD)

What else can I say? This video by Amazing Places on our Planet shows off the awesome beauty of the greatest national park in our national park system. The video highlights three of the best hikes in the eastern portion of the park, including Grinnell Glacier Trail, Scenic Point Trail and the Iceberg Lake Trail.



Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fire Danger Climbs to High in Grand Tetons

Teton Interagency fire managers have elevated the fire danger rating to HIGH for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, and all of Teton County, Wyoming. The potential for fire activity has increased due to drying vegetation combined with higher temperatures, low humidity and brisk afternoon winds. The Teton Interagency Fire area typically does not reach high fire danger prior to mid-July. However, several factors led to the early rise in fire danger, including early melt of the winter snowpack, unseasonably warm temperatures, and scant rainfall during the past several days.

As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, visitors and local residents are reminded that fireworks are not permitted in Grand Teton National Park, on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, in Teton or Sublette counties, or on state lands. Possessing or using any kind of fireworks on U.S. Forest Service lands carries a $225 fine and a mandatory court appearance. It is critical that everyone obey the fireworks prohibition, especially given the dry and hot weather conditions predicted for the Jackson Hole area during the coming week and beyond.

A high fire danger rating means that fires can start easily and spread quickly. When determining fire danger, fire managers use several indices such as: the moisture content of grasses, shrubs and trees; projected weather conditions (including temperatures and possible wind events); the ability of fire to spread after ignition; and availability of firefighting resources across the country.

Along with the fireworks prohibition on public and county lands, campers are reminded that unattended or abandoned campfires can easily escalate into wildfires. Campers and day users should never leave a fire unattended, and always have a shovel on hand and a water bucket ready for use. All campfires must be completely extinguished and cold to the touch before leaving a site.

Campers have abandoned 21 campfires on the Bridger-Teton National Forest and in Grand Teton National Park so far this summer. The fine for an abandoned campfire is $225, but campers can also be held liable for suppression costs if their campfire becomes a wildfire. Local residents and area visitors should exercise caution and practice heightened fire safety at all times.

To report a fire or smoke in Bridger-Teton National Forest or Grand Teton National Park, call the Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 307.739.3630. For more fire information, click here or visit