Thursday, August 21, 2014

One Man's Perspective on Solitude and Wilderness

Every couple of months 68-year-old Ed Zevely rides into the Colorado high country to camp for weeks at a time, and does it completely alone. Through thunderstorms, open meadows and treacherous passes, he finds his own patch of serenity. Ed provides an interesting perspective, perhaps one that all of us should consider as we go through life.

Open Door to Solitude from Filson on Vimeo.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fee-Free Day to Celebrate 98th Anniversary of the National Park Service

In celebration of the 98th anniversary of the National Park Service, all 401 national park units—including Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks—will waive entrance fees on Monday, August 25, 2014. The fee for a private, non-commercial vehicle to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks normally costs $25 for seven days. Park officials encourage visitors and local residents to take advantage of this fee free opportunity to explore Grand Teton and enjoy late summer activities; from hiking, biking and boating, to wildlife watching and photography.

To help celebrate this special day, birthday cake will be served at 12:00 noon at each of Grand Teton's visitor centers: Laurance S. Rockefeller Center, Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center, Jenny Lake, and Colter Bay Visitor Center.

In addition, a full suite of educational programs are taking place throughout the park. These programs include:

· 8:30 a.m. Inspiration Point Hike from the Jenny Lake Visitor Center
· 9:00 a.m. Taggart Lake Hike
· 9:30 a.m. Explore the Preserve Hike at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve
· 1:00 p.m. Swan Lake Hike from the Colter Bay Visitor Center
· 2:30 p.m. A Walk into the Past at the Menor's Ferry Historic District, including a ferry ride across the Snake River

A traditional guitar sing-along and evening program will take place at 9:00 p.m. at the Colter Bay amphitheater. This free public program is titled, "For Future Generations: The story of America's National Parks."

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Monday, August 18, 2014

Young Girl Falls to Her Death in Yellowstone

A young girl died Sunday morning after falling into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

The girl and family members had parked their vehicle in a trailhead parking area along the North Rim Drive, a short scenic route off the park’s Grand Loop Road near Canyon Village. The group was about two-thirds of the way down the trail to the Brink of the Lower Falls observation platform when the child reportedly stepped off the trail and then lost her footing. She fell approximately 550 feet into the canyon.

Park personnel retrieved her body around noon on Sunday.

The child’s name, age, state and hometown are being withheld pending notification of family members. The incident remains under investigation.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Body of Missing Man in Yellowstone Has Been Recovered

The body of a young man missing in Yellowstone National Park since last Monday evening has been recovered.

Twenty-two year old Darien Latty had gone tubing Monday with friends on the Lamar River near Tower Junction. Shortly after reaching the point where the Lamar River flows into the Yellowstone River, his two companions managed to get to the river's edge and get out of the much faster moving water. Latty was last seen being swept downstream, separated from his inner tube and without a life jacket.

Search efforts began Monday evening. At its peak, over 50 people were involved in the search including a helicopter, three dog teams, and several groups of searchers on foot.

Late Friday searchers spotted what they thought was a submerged body pinned to a large rock in a very steep and dangerous section of the Yellowstone River, about 1/4 mile downstream from where Latty was last seen.

A swiftwater rescue team from Gallatin County, Montana, was called in Saturday to navigate the river. Using kayaks and a raft anchored to both banks of the river, they were able to dislodge and recover Latty’s body Saturday afternoon. A helicopter was utilized to remove his body from the remote area.

The corner made a positive identification Saturday evening.

Latty, who was from northeastern Georgia community of Demorest, was in Yellowstone working as a summer seasonal employee at Roosevelt Lodge. An autopsy will be conducted to confirm the cause of death.

Floating the river is prohibited by park regulations.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Construction Work To Result In Yellowstone Road Closures After Labor Day

Two sections of Yellowstone’s Grand Loop Road will be closed due to construction after the Labor Day holiday weekend. Travel between some points will involve long detours and significantly longer than normal travel times.

The road linking Old Faithful with West Thumb and Grant Village will be closed for the season starting 6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2nd, so the bridge at Isa Lake can be removed and replaced.

This road closure will require visitors traveling between the South Entrance and Old Faithful or West Yellowstone to detour through Fishing Bridge Junction and Canyon, increasing the travel time by approximately two hours.

Despite the closure, visitors will still be able to drive south from Old Faithful as far as the trailhead to Lone Star Geyser and north from West Thumb Junction to access the DeLacy Creek trailhead.

In addition, the road from Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris will be closed due to construction from 11 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, until 7 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30.

During this closure, travel between Mammoth Hot Springs and Norris will require a detour through Tower Junction and Canyon, a drive of approximately 90 minutes. Visitors traveling between Mammoth Hot Springs and West Yellowstone should plan on the trip taking approximately two and a half hours.

Visitors will still be able to access the road to Sheepeater Cliff from the north and Norris Campground from the south during this two week road closure. Indian Creek Campground closes for the season on Sept. 8, before this road closure goes into effect.

Before and after the full closure, expect construction delays of up to 30 minutes on this road segment. This section of road will also be closed nightly between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. prior to the Sept. 14 full closure, except over the holiday weekend.

There is one ongoing road project immediately outside the park's North Entrance. Travelers can expect 24 hour access with brief delays on a short section of US-89 through Gardiner, Mont., starting Monday, Sept. 1.

With careful planning, those traveling from North to South or East to West through Yellowstone should experience limited impacts to their travel times. Travelers are encouraged to consult the Official Park Map to plan their travel around the road closures. The map is distributed to visitors at park entrance stations and is also available online. Detailed road information is available 24 hours a day online or by calling 307-344-2117.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hiker Injured on Mt. Siyeh

Glacier National Park personnel responded to a medical emergency on Sunday, August 10th. Personnel met the injured party along the Continental Divide Trail in the Siyeh area. Two hikers, a father and son from Alabama, were climbing down from Mount Siyeh when a boulder was dislodged. The 21 year old son avoided the direct impact from the boulder but did receive injuries from the glancing blow of the rock and subsequent 200 foot tumble. He sustained lacerations to his head and chin, among other injuries.

In an attempt to summon aid, the father waved his arms while yelling. He then fired one gunshot toward a solid surface to indicate that an emergency was occurring. Nearby hikers reported hearing the gunshot and yelling. One hiker aided the father and son as they began hiking out. Park personnel met them on the trail before the junction between Siyeh Pass Trail and Piegan Pass Trail. Two Bear Air hoisted them to West Glacier where they were picked up by Three Rivers Ambulance and taken to North Valley Hospital in Whitefish.

The boulder was estimated to weigh 200 pounds by the father. Falling boulders can pose a serious safety hazard, especially off trail in the higher elevations. Glacier’s rock is predominantly sedimentary. Sedimentary rock can fragment easily causing rock slides. We encourage climbers to wear helmets and avoid climbing directly below one another.

Visitors are allowed to carry a firearm in Glacier National Park. Federal law, as of 2010, allows the carrying of firearms within national parks and wildlife refuges consistent with state law. Although visitors are allowed to carry firearms, it is illegal to discharge a firearm in Glacier National Park.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Make Plans Now for a Great Fall Hiking Trip to Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is a great place to visit anytime of the year, but during the fall it's an especially wonderful time. In addition to weather that is usually spectacular, and with fewer crowds, hikers will have many options for viewing beautiful fall colors, especially those of aspens and western larch.

Roughly 55% of Glacier National Park is covered by forest. Of that percentage, roughly 90% is coniferous forest. The remaining 10% is considered to be deciduous forest, and is primarily made up of aspen, western larch and black cottonwood.

Some of the best places to see aspens, in all their shimmering golden yellow and orange glory, are on the eastern side of the Continental Divide. Towards the end of September is usually the best time to see aspens at their peak, and some of the best trails to find them include Redrock Falls, Bullhead Lake, Swiftcurrent Pass and Apikuni Falls in the Many Glacier area, Oldman Lake, Pitamakan Pass and Firebrand Pass in the Two Medicine area, the Beaver Pond Loop near the St. Mary entrance, as well as the Forest and Fire Nature Trail near the Camas Creek Entrance (just north of Apgar). Bowman Lake near the northwestern corner of the park is another great option.

Western larch:

The western and southern portions of Glacier are some of the best places to see larch as they turn bright yellow during the mid-to-late October timeframe. Although western larch, also known as tamaracks, appears to be an evergreen, they’re actually needle-bearing deciduous trees. After turning golden yellow in the fall, these trees lose their needles, and appear to be dead during the winter months.

If you wish to hike among the larch during the fall, visit any of the trails from the Sperry Chalet Trailhead near the Lake McDonald Lodge. This would include hikes up to Sperry Chalet, Snyder Lake and the Mt. Brown Lookout. On the western end of Lake McDonald, Rocky Point is another great choice. Any of the trails on the southern end of the park, such as Loneman Lookout, Scalplock Mountain Lookout or the South Boundary Trail, are all excellent options for viewing tamaracks at peak color.

The park strongly urges autumn hikers to make sure they are familiar with safety precautions while traveling in bear country, and to be prepared for variable temperatures and rapidly changing weather conditions.

If you do plan to visit Glacier this fall, be sure to visit the accommodation page on our hiking website to help with all your vacation planning.

Hiking in Glacier National Park