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


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Higher Prices and Limited Access Coming to a Park Near You

Perhaps the title to this blog might be construed as being highly provocative, but reality tells me that many of the trends I'm seeing are already pointing in these directions. Please note that I'm in no way advocating for either of these as possible solutions to perceived problems, but rather simply pointing out where I believe our national parks are headed.

The perceived problem among many within and outside of our national park system is that our parks and recreational areas have become overcrowded. One only has to look at the almost constant gridlock in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains, or the over-crowded parking at the Bear Lake Trailhead in Rocky Mountain, or the congestion on Yellowstone's roads throughout the summer, to see that the pundits and park managers may have a point. As further evidence, you may also recall that our national parks saw record breaking crowds in 2014.

As a result of many factors, including increased visitation, almost every major national park has raised entrance fees over the last several months. Other parks and national forest lands, such as the Great Smoky Mountains, have instituted, or have increased backcountry camping fees.

This past May Glacier National Park announced a public comment period for a series of alternatives they're proposing to manage the Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor. Included among those proposals to manage congestion on the road are to "utilize a timed entry system or reservation system during peak season" and "require day hike permits on some trails during peak season".

It's pretty clear to me that the wheels are already in motion for raising fees and limiting access to high traffic areas.

What prompted this blog posting was an interview I heard the other night on the nationally syndicated John Batchelor Show. The host interviewed Terry Anderson from the Property and Environment Research Center in Bozeman, Montana, who has put forth several possible solutions to overcrowding in our parks and recreational areas. The 10 minute segment starts at roughly the 19:25 mark in this podcast if you wish to listen to the interview. You can also read the original article, which sparked the interview, as published in the Montana Standard.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

5 Tips on Solo Hiking

Have you ever considered solo hiking? If so, you may want to consider these five tips from Backpacker Magazine before hitting the trail:


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Jenny Lake's New Trail Segments and Current Closures: What to Know Before You Go

Below is a guest blog by the Grand Teton National Park Foundation:

This summer it will be increasingly obvious to Jenny Lake visitors that Inspiring Journeys—the multimillion dollar renewal effort at Jenny Lake for the NPS centennial in 2016—is well underway. The second of four construction seasons started in May and, as with last year, the primary focus is on backcountry trail work. In September, physical changes in the frontcountry will also start to become apparent and will impact late season visitors.

What to Expect

* The lakeshore trail on the southwest segment of the Jenny Lake trail system is now open for public use. Thanks to Grand Teton National Park trail crew members, the trail has improved substantially and was raised by 2 feet, making it easier to maintain and more enjoyable for hikers.

* The trail segment from Hidden Falls to Inspiration Point will be closed all summer while crews reconstruct bridges, rock walls, and trail tread. Inspiration Point will be accessed via the horse trail, a forested route that connects Cascade Canyon to the lakeshore trail. To access Hidden Falls, hikers will follow the classic route from the west boat dock and walk about one half of a mile to the falls. Combining these two destinations into one hike will require more time and distance than usual due to the temporary trail closure. Signs are posted along the trails to notify visitors of reroutes, be sure to check-in at a visitor center for current trail updates.

Below are before and after photos highlighting work completed along the Cascade Canyon Trail last fall:

* After Labor Day, underground infrastructure and utility work will begin in the visitor plaza and campground areas. A temporary visitor center will be moved to the south Jenny parking lot and will be readied to serve the public beginning spring 2016. The parking lot will be restriped to accommodate vehicular traffic and maximize parking efficiency in the condensed parking lots.

Get Involved

$12 million has been raised toward our $14 million goal. Grand Teton National Park will contribute $3 million to the project. Gifts of $25,000 and above will be recognized in the Jenny Lake visitor plaza. Campaign ends August 25, 2016.

Join the Effort to improve the Jenny Lake area for millions who will visit. You can give on the donation page of our website, contact us at (307) 732-0629, or text JENNY to 20222 to contribute $10.

Be Social Tag your park photos with #ILoveJennyLake or #ILoveGrandTeton. Each month we will choose our favorite photo and share on Instagram. The winners will receive an annual park pass.

Grand Teton’s Lakeshore Excursions

Want to avoid the construction this summer? Jenny Lake is not the only option for day hiking in Grand Teton National Park—below are a few of our other favorite destinations.

Phelps Lake 
There are multiple ways to reach Phelps Lake, hikers can start at the Death Canyon trailhead or the Laurence S. Rockefeller Preserve. Once on the trail, visitors will hike through forested moraines to reach the lake, travelling between 3 and 4 miles round trip. Learn more:

Leigh Lake
Leigh Lake is a great spot to bring a picnic and enjoy the water on a hot summer day. The 3.7 mile hike starts at the Leigh Lake trailhead. Learn more:

Taggart Lake-Bradley Lake Loop
To visit two lakes in one day, take the 5.5 mile Taggart and Bradley Lake Loop. Hikers will gain about 585 feet of elevation which makes for a moderately strenuous hike. Learn more:

For more details about the extensive trail system in the park visit:


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Eight Reasons to Start Your Hike in the Early Morning

Like many people, I really hate getting up early in the morning. As a teenager it wasn’t uncommon for me to sleep-in until 10, 11 or even high noon on some weekends. However, over the years, as I’ve become a more active participant in hiking, I’ve come to realize that it’s best to begin your hike as early in the morning as possible. Depending on the length of the hike, we usually try to get to the trailhead within an hour of sunrise. There are several great reasons for this, including the following:

1) Starting early in the morning allows you plenty of time to beat road traffic, and find a parking spot at the trailhead. Many of the parking areas in our most popular national parks (and elsewhere) are small and fill-up fairly early during the peak tourist season.

2) Starting early also allows you to beat the crowds along the trail and at your destination. There’s nothing worse than hiking five miles to a beautiful overlook or meadow, and running into a bunch of loud and obnoxious people spoiling the peace and quiet.

3) One of the best times to see wildlife is during the early morning hours. Moreover, when there are people around, it’s more likely that wildlife will be scared away from the trail.

4) The dawn hours provide some of the best light for photography.

5) The morning usually allows you to beat the heat, especially if there’s any climbing involved to reach your destination.

6) Starting early allows more time to return to the trailhead in the event of an emergency. If you’re five miles from the trailhead and you sprain an ankle, or worse, and there’s only an hour or two of day light left, you may be limping back to the trailhead in the dark, or you may even have to bivouac on the side of the trail.

7) In many parts of the country, especially in the Rocky Mountains, thunderstorms tend to roll into the mountains during the early or mid-afternoons. Starting early allows plenty of time to reach your destination and return without getting soaked. More importantly, if you’re walking over open terrain, you’ll reduce your chances of being exposed to lightning.

8) Finally, if you’re on vacation, starting early allows you plenty of time to return back to your hotel or cabin, get cleaned up, and go to your favorite restaurant before the crowds arrive.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Living with Wildlife

In this video, Grand Teton National Park provides an overview of how visitors should act while viewing or encountering wildlife in the park. Much of the film focuses on bears, but discusses other animals, and provides a lot of stunning landscape and wildlife footage. The Grand Tetons are home to 61 mammals, and more than 200 species of birds, and it's very likely you'll see many of them during your visit:

Many wildlife species can be seen while hiking in the Tetons. Our list of the Top 10 Hikes in the Grand Tetons provide numerous opportunities for spotting a variety of wildlife.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Female Black Bear Euthanized in Grand Teton

Out of concern for public safety, Grand Teton National Park staff euthanized a 3-year-old female black bear on Thursday afternoon, June 11. Earlier in the day, the bear exhibited bold behavior and appeared to have little concern regarding the presence of humans and their activities, which prompted park officials to make the difficult decision to remove her from the population in order to reduce future threats to people and their safety. This is the first bear to be euthanized in Grand Teton this year. Two black bears were euthanized in 2014.

The brown-colored bear climbed into the open—and temporarily unattended—trunk of a vehicle after guests of Jenny Lake Lodge removed their luggage and entered their cabin to settle in for the night. While in the trunk, the bear found food items, which she ate. She then climbed on top of the same car. Witnesses reported that the bear appeared to be trying to gain entry into the passenger compartment. The bear then proceeded to visit other cabins before she ripped into items left in a parked housekeeping cart and stole a purse, which she carried off into the woods. Witnesses also reported that the bear stood on its hind legs and pressed its front paws and face against the windows and doors of several cabins in an apparent attempt to enter.

The bear was estimated to weigh approximately 125 pounds and had no ear tags or other identification that would mark it as a previously captured bear. While attempting to catch the bear, Grand Teton personnel closed off the Jenny Lake scenic loop road for about one hour. After capturing the bear, park biologist transported it to a remote area so they could gather information on its physical condition. Biologists then euthanized the black bear using established park protocols for such management actions.

In the past two years, park staff have seen numerous food storage violations by visitors using the String Lake beaches and picnic areas. People have left coolers and tote bags with food items unattended while they enjoy wading, swimming and boating on String Lake. Because of the repeated reports of black bears getting easy access to these coolers and tote bags, park officials discussed possible restrictions against food items.

Once a bear acquires human food, it often loses its fear of people and may become dangerous. Park officials strongly remind local residents and visitors that proper storage of food items and disposal of garbage is vitally important. Thoughtless actions of people can literally lead to a life or death situation for bears that can easily become corrupted by the availability of human food and garbage. Human carelessness doesn't just endanger people;it can also result in a bear's death.

Bears roam near park developments and throughout the backcountry. For the health and safety of both bears and people, park visitors must adhere to food storage rules. With information and proper actions, people can help keep a bear from becoming human-food conditioned and possibly save its life. Detailed information about how to behave in bear country is available at park visitor centers, on the park website, and here.


Friday, June 12, 2015

Glacier National Park Welcomes 100th Million Visitor

Yesterday morning, at approximately 10 a.m., a mother and her two children from Bakersfield, California were recognized as representatives of the 100th million visitor to Glacier National Park.

According to park visitation statistics since 1911, a year after the park was established, the park has hosted 100 million visitors this month.

Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow said, “We are celebrating 100 million visitors to Glacier National Park and more importantly we are celebrating and engaging the next generation to the park.” He said, “We are pleased to celebrate this milestone with 14-year-old Pierce and 10-year-old Gretchen and their mother Becky. These kids represent the future, and upcoming stewards of Glacier National Park and other national parks, and all public lands.”

The visitors were selected as they entered the west entrance station and were escorted by park ranger vehicles to the Apgar Visitor Center. At the visitor center Superintendent Mow introduced the special visitors and spoke briefly about the significance of the event as it relates to the history and the future of the park. Refreshments were served prior to Pierce, Gretchen and Becky boarding a iconic red bus for a complimentary trip to Logan Pass for a picnic lunch.

As the representative visitors, they received an assortment of gifts and gift certificates donated from the park’s official partners Glacier National Park Conservancy, Glacier Institute and Glacier National Park Volunteer Associates, as well as the park concessioners Belton Chalets, Inc., Glacier Boat Company, Glacier Guides Inc., Glacier National Park Lodges, and Swan Mountain Outfitters.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Solo Climber Takes 200-foot Sliding Fall in Tetons - Activates Helicopter Rescue

On Tuesday afternoon, June 9th, Grand Teton National Park rangers conducted a rescue operation via helicopter for an injured climber who fell on a wet, rock slab just above the Meadows area of Garnet Canyon in the heart of the Teton Range. Charlie Emerson, 31, of Marietta, Georgia was solo climbing a 4th class rated rock slab when he slipped and slid approximately 150-200 feet before coming to rest in a snowfield at the base of the rock feature. Emerson was not wearing a helmet at the time of his fall.

Two Grand Teton employees—conducting a research project in Garnet Canyon—witnessed Emerson's sliding fall and immediately began hiking to his location. These park employees are certified as emergency medical technicians, and they were able to effectively assess Emerson and provide emergency medical care until park rangers could arrive by helicopter. A separate backcountry party also reached Emerson and placed an emergency call for help via cell phone. That call was received by Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 12:30 p.m. Because wet, snow sloughs were shedding off areas above the accident site, the responding park researchers carefully moved Emerson to a more secure area, out of harm's way.

Park rangers happened to be conducting early season training at the Teton Interagency Helibase located at the Jackson Hole Airport. Their preseason training included a Helicopter Express ship that just came under contract with Grand Teton and Bridger-Teton National Forest to support firefighting and search and rescue operations during the 2015 season.That helicopter flew from the helibase to the Jenny Lake rescue cache located near the base of the Teton peaks at Lupine Meadows and picked up two rangers for transport to Garnet Canyon. After the ship landed on a snow-covered area near the accident site, the two rangers traversed about 200 yards to reach Emerson and place him in a rescue litter. They carried Emerson back to the helispot, and placed him inside the ship for a quick flight to the Jenny Lake rescue cache. Emerson was then transferred into a waiting park ambulance and transported to St. John's Medical Center in Jackson for further care of his multiple injuries.

Emerson did not receive a head injury, which was lucky given the fact that he was not wearing a helmet, and he was crossing wet and likely slippery rock slabs. While rock features in Garnet Canyon can be easy to ascend, they are often more difficult to descend. As these rock slabs melt out, they can be covered with slippery silt or sand, which makes good traction more challenging.

Rangers remind backcountry users to know their skills and limitations and to not exceed their abilities in questionable conditions, such as rock slabs with wet surfaces or areas experiencing snow sloughs and/or wet slab avalanches. Rangers also recommend that climbers wear a helmet whenever they are attempting to ascend or descend a cliff area or rock face. Helmets are a sensible choice even when climbers are scaling what they perceive to be a relatively easy route.


West Side Access to Logan Pass Anticipated Tomorrow

Vehicle access to Logan Pass on the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the west side of Glacier National Park is anticipated to be available tomorrow morning, Thursday, June 11. Park road crews have finished snow removal, debris clean-up, guard rail installation, and facility preparation, as well as assessing snow conditions. Vehicle access to Logan Pass from the east side of the park is scheduled to be available June 19 due to road rehabilitation work.

Services at Logan Pass will include restroom facilities and potable water. The Logan Pass Visitor Center will not be open until June 19. At that time it will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., including a bookstore managed by the Glacier National Park Conservancy.

There are two areas along the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road near Rim Rock, just below Oberlin Bend, that visitors will need to drive with caution. Approximately 200 feet of masonry guard walls were destroyed by avalanches this past winter and temporary barriers have been installed creating a narrow two-lane roadway.

Through June 19, crews will be working near Triple Arches, located approximately two miles below Logan Pass on the west side. One-lane traffic will be implemented during this time. Flaggers will direct traffic during the day and traffic control lights will be used nights and weekends. Crews will be completing some of the detail masonry work on the footing areas.

Visitors will discover a snow-covered landscape at Logan Pass. Cold temperatures and wind, as well as icy conditions, may be encountered. Be aware of snow walls along the Going-to-the-Sun Road and hazardous snow bridges near the Big Drift. Standing or walking on snow along the road is strongly discouraged.

Trails near Logan Pass will be covered in snow and visitors should exercise caution when hiking. Be aware of unseen holes in the snow and snow bridges that exist. Avoid crossing steep, snow-covered slopes where a fall could be disastrous. Visitors should have the appropriate equipment and skills if hiking on snow. The Highline Trail from Logan Pass is closed due to snow conditions. Current status of park trails can be found here.

There are vehicle size restrictions for the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Vehicles, and vehicle combinations, longer than 21 feet and wider than 8 feet are prohibited between Avalanche Campground and Rising Sun. Vehicles over 10 feet in height may have difficulty driving west from Logan Pass due to rock overhangs.

The park’s shuttle system will begin operations on July 1 and run through Monday, September 7, Labor Day. The transit system provides two-way service along the Going-to-the-Sun Road between the Apgar Visitor Center and St. Mary Visitor Center.

Rehabilitation work on the Going-to-the-Sun Road will continue this year with activity on the east side occurring between Siyeh Bend and the St. Mary Visitor Center. Vehicle access to Logan Pass from the east side of the park is scheduled to be available on June 19. Visitors can expect 30-minute maximum traffic delays on the east side of the park this summer. Sun Point will be closed to all visitor traffic including picnicking, transit, restroom use, and hiking due to road rehabilitation activity.


Southwest Jenny Lake Trail Reopens with Early Completion of Substantial Rehab Project

Despite rainy weather during May, Grand Teton National Park trail crew members labored continuously to complete a trail improvement project on the southwest segment of the Jenny Lake trail system. The popular and well-traveled trail around the south end of Jenny Lake is now open for public use. Major trail improvement work on this portion of the Jenny Lake trail system has been underway since the spring of 2014. Park trail crews were able to finalize their work a month earlier than anticipated, and the detour to a parallel trail that rises higher above the lakeshore is no longer required.

To prepare for this trail improvement project, a contract helicopter flew in approximately 76 tons of rock material from a local Teton Range location during the spring and fall of 2014. Trail crews placed this rock and added soils to essentially raise the trail by two feet above the lake surface. Elevating the shoreline trail, along with improving the trail tread, greatly improves the overall hiking conditions, especially during times when the lake level runs higher, such as spring run-off.

While the southwest Jenny Lake trail segment is again open for public access, hikers are reminded that the popular trail connecting Hidden Falls to Inspiration Point will be closed for most of the 2015 hiking season as park trail crews replace two wooden bridges over Cascade Creek and improve the steep, rocky ledge trail to Inspiration Point. Backcountry travelers will need to use the horse trail that lies just north of the Jenny Lake westshore boat dock to reach Inspiration Point —and destinations within Cascade Canyon or beyond. Day hikers who wish to reach only Hidden Falls will simply follow the customary trail leading upslope from the westshore boat dock for one-half mile. This foot trail will dead-end at Hidden Falls, however, and hikers will not be able to proceed beyond that point to Inspiration Point. Signs will be posted on Jenny Lake's westshore to direct hikers to their desired destinations: Hidden Falls, Inspiration Point, or Cascade Canyon and beyond. Most of the backcountry trail work is expected to be completed by late fall.

All of the trail improvement work at Jenny Lake, Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point is part of the Jenny Lake Renewal Project called Inspiring Journeys. This project is being funded through a public-private partnership initiative with the Grand Teton National Park Foundation, the park's primary fundraising partner.

Next summer, major work will be underway to improve the visitor services located throughout the south Jenny Lake area, including trail segments along the east shore of Jenny Lake and all foot paths that lead from the parking areas to the lake.

To finance the Jenny Lake Renewal Project, the Grand Teton National Park Foundation is raising $14 million through its Inspiring Journeys campaign.Grand Teton National Park is contributing $3 million generated from entrance fee revenues.This public-private partnership effort serves as a signature project to highlight the National Park Service's 2016 centennial milestone. For information about the Foundation or its Inspiring Journeys campaign, please go to or phone Leslie Mattson at 307.732.0629.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

How To Use Bear Spray

While hiking in a wilderness area that has grizzly bears, your best line of defense in the unlikely event of an attack is bear spray. Perhaps counter-intuitively, bear spray is actually more effective than a gun. According to one study, bear spray is 95% effective in stopping a bear attack, while firearms are only 55% effective. Bear spray is also effective against black bears, and is something you may want to consider while hiking in black bear country.

The key to defending yourself against a charge is deploying the bear spray correctly. Below is a demonstration by Backpacker Magazine on how to properly use bear spray:

In a January 2012 Backpacker Magazine article, Dave Parker, a certified bear spray safety trainer, is quoted as saying that:
"If an animal comes within 50 feet, use your spray. If the bear isn’t running, point the nozzle about 30 feet away, and fire a series of one-to-two-second bursts. If it’s charging, point the spray at the bear’s chest and hold the trigger until the can is fully discharged. Out of spray and the grizzly is still charging? Don’t run, lay on your stomach, cover your head, and play dead."
Jamie Jonkel, a bear management specialist with the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, offers some additional advice:
"If a bear charges from a distance, spray a two to three second burst in the direction of the bear. Experts recommend bear spray with a minimum spray distance of 25 feet.

Point the canister slightly down and spray with a slight side-to-side motion. This distributes an expanding cloud of spray that the bear must pass through before it gets close to you. Spray additional bursts if the bear continues toward you.

Sometimes just the noise of the spray and the appearance of the spray cloud is enough to deter a bear from continuing its charge. Spray additional bursts if the bear makes additional charges.

If you have a sudden close encounter with a bear, spray at the front of the bear. Continue spraying until the bear either breaks off its charge or is going to make contact."
For more information on hiking in bear country, including how to avoid a surprise encounter, please click here.

If you need to purchase bear spray for an upcoming hiking trip, please click here.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Camas Road Listed in National Register

Glacier National Park officials have announced that the Camas Creek Cutoff Road (Camas Road) has been listed as a place of statewide historic significance in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Camas Road is a two-lane, asphalt-paved road located mostly within Glacier National Park. The road begins at an intersection with Going-to-the-Sun Road and spans approximately 11.7 miles to the North Fork Road, just outside Glacier National Park and within the boundaries of the Flathead National Forest. Camas Road is a well-preserved example of mid-twentieth century roadway engineering and construction within a National Park. The road remains in its original location and retains most of its original design. It features two bridges, the McDonald Creek Bridge and the North Fork Flathead River Bridge, as well as the Flathead River Overlook.

The Camas Road was constructed between 1960 and 1967 and cost approximately $2,500,000. The road was designed to provide improved access to the North Fork of the Flathead River. It was also designed as a segment of the never-completed “International Loop Road” to Waterton Lakes National Park.

The road was constructed under the Mission 66 program, which worked to modernize National Park Service infrastructure from 1956-1966. Over those 10 years, more than $1 billion was spent to build and improve National Park Service facilities and roads to accommodate for increased visitor use. Mission 66 projects within Glacier National Park include new housing, visitor centers, campgrounds, as well as improvements to Going-to-the-Sun-Road. The construction of the Camas Road was one of the largest Mission 66 projects within the park. It was also one of the largest entirely new roadways constructed under the Mission 66 program.

The Camas Road was constructed partly in response to a proposal to build a large dam on the North Fork of the Flathead River. Proposed by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation, the “Glacier View Dam” would have created a reservoir covering thousands of acres of the park’s land. Park administrators hoped that by improving access and increasing visitation to the North Fork, they could prevent the construction of the dam and preserve the area’s primitive status. Park administrators also hoped the road would provide an east-west alternative to the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Since opening in 1933, the Going-to-the-Sun Road had become the park’s most popular attraction and it was feared that increased visitor traffic would soon overwhelm the road. Administrators thought that the construction of a road into North Fork and eventually into Canada would encourage visitors to see other parts of the park. Neither the dam nor the International Loop Road was completed, but the Camas Road continues to provide visitor access to the North Fork.

The Camas Road also provides hikers with access to the Huckleberry Mountain Trail, as well as the Forest and Fire Nature Trail.

The National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is the official list of places worthy of preservation within the United States.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Another Yellowstone Visitor Injured in Bison Encounter

A 62-year-old Australian man sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries after an encounter with a bison near Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone National Park around 11 a.m. today.

According to witness reports, several people were crowding a bison that was lying on the grass near an asphalt path, when the man approached the bison while taking pictures with an electronic notepad. He got to within 3 to 5 feet from the bison when it charged him, tossing him into the air several times.

When responding rangers arrived on scene, the bison was approximately 100 yards from the victim. The victim was transported to a ground ambulance and then taken by helicopter ambulance for further medical treatment.

Visitors are reminded that Yellowstone wildlife is wild. Wildlife should not be approached, no matter how tame or calm they appear. When an animal is near a trail or boardwalk, visitors should still give it a wide berth, not approaching closer than the recommended safe distances: 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.

Bison can sprint three times faster than humans can run and are unpredictable and dangerous. Visitors are advised to always give the animals enough space, even if that means altering their plans to avoid crowding the animal.


Teton Crews Rescue Stranded Visitors After Wind Storm Downs Trees

A strong wind storm blew through Grand Teton National Park and surrounding areas shortly before 6:00 p.m. yesterday. The event temporarily stranded visitors on the Teton Park, Moose-Wilson, and Signal Mountain Summit roads and blocked traffic in many other areas. Park rangers, road crews, and fire engines quickly responded to clear park roads of over 150 downed trees and search teams were able to rescue all park visitors by 11:00 p.m. Despite the number of falling trees, no injuries were reported.

High winds were observed throughout the park, with wind speeds of 52 m.p.h. recorded at the Jackson Hole Airport at 5:56 p.m. Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received reports of many downed trees and power lines blocking park roads, and disrupting access and service to campgrounds and other park areas shortly thereafter. Park rangers quickly built a list of affected areas which included the Teton Park Road at Cottonwood Creek, Catholic Bay, and Mount Moran Turnout; Moose-Wilson Road; Signal Mountain Summit Road; North Park Road near the Moran Entrance Station; Colter Bay Visitor Center and Campground; Pilgrim Creek Road; Cattleman's Bridge Road; Deadman's Bar Road; as well as other ancillary areas in the park.

While response efforts were complicated by power, phone, and internet outages, park crews were able to clear over 150 trees and rescue all park visitors by 11:00 p.m. Park rangers staffed downed power line areas on the Teton Park and Pilgrim Creek roads through the night. Lower Valley Energy crews were able to remove downed lines from the Teton Park Road around 6:00 a.m. Tuesday and the road was re-opened. Only minor property damage to vehicles and structures was reported.

While most park areas and services are open at this time, many areas are operating on backup power generators. Park maintenance crews and Lower Valley Energy are continuing to restore full functionality to utility systems, water systems, wastewater treatment facilities, and other park infrastructure. Full repair of this infrastructure is expected to take a few days.

Visitors to Grand Teton are reminded that severe weather can strike at any time during the summer months. Keep a keen eye to the sky, and be prepared to spend extended periods of time in your vehicle or campsite. Downed power lines should always be treated as live and should never be approached.


Two-day Closure Scheduled for June 9 & 10 on Moose-Wilson Road

To accommodate a dust abatement application, a brief travel closure will be in place for about 48 hours, beginning 4 a.m. Tuesday, June 9, on the unpaved section of the Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park. The road will reopen by 8 a.m. Thursday, June 11.

Motorists and bicyclists should plan to use an alternate route on June 9-10 as this temporary closure will prevent making a 'through trip' on the Moose-Wilson Road from Granite Canyon Entrance Station to the Teton Park Road at Moose, Wyoming. This will be the first dust abatement treatment for the 2015 season.

For those wishing to reach the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve or the Death Canyon Trailhead, access will only be possible by heading south from the Teton Park Road junction near the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center.

The closure will also impact hikers wishing to hike from the Granite Canyon Trailhead.

The product used for dust abatement is a slurry of magnesium chloride—the same product that is used to treat dirt roads in and around Jackson Hole. This product coats the road surface, but it can also adhere to the undercarriage of vehicles. Motorists who drive the unpaved portion of the Moose-Wilson Road after it reopens on Thursday may want to rinse off their vehicles to eliminate any residue.

Roadwork schedules may change, or be delayed, due to weather conditions, equipment malfunction, or other extenuating circumstances.