Thursday, May 23, 2019

Fatal Rafting Accident in Grand Teton

Grand Teton National Park rangers responded to a fatal rafting accident on Tuesday, May 21, on the Snake River. A Grand Teton Lodge Company scenic float raft on a training trip hit a log snag and got tangled. The location was near the historic Bar BC Dude Ranch. Some of the passengers fell into the cold and swift moving water, and as the boat operator attempted to dislodge the raft, he fell into the water as well. The passengers were able to climb to safety on the log snag itself and eventually back into raft, but could not find the boat operator. They contacted Teton Interagency Dispatch at approximately 3:30 p.m. requesting help.

Rangers immediately responded to the scene and various locations along the river with multiple rescue boats, and rescue/medical personnel. Teton County Search and Rescue members assisted with aerial reconnaissance in the county helicopter.

At approximately 5:15 p.m. the body of the boat operator was located and recovered near the log snag. Teton County Coroner declared the victim deceased.

All the individuals involved in the accident are employees of Grand Teton Lodge Company, a park concessioner. No injuries were reported of the three passengers.

The victim is a 44 year-old male from Moran, Wyoming. His name is being withheld until next-of-kin notifications are completed.

The National Park Service is conducting an investigation into the accident.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Warning: Yellowstone elk with calves are extremely dangerous

Yellowstone National Park has announced that elk calving season has begun!

Cow elk are much more aggressive towards people during the calving season and may charge or kick. Stay alert. Look around corners before exiting buildings or walking around blind spots: cow elk may bed their calves near buildings and cars. Keep at least 25 yards from elk at all times.

If an elk charges you, find shelter in your vehicle or behind a tall, sturdy barrier as quickly as possible.

Remember: You're responsible for your own safety.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

National Park Service Awards Contract for Second Phase of Sperry Chalet Construction at Glacier National Park

The National Park Service (NPS) today announced the award of a $4.73 million dollar contract to Dick Anderson Construction of Great Falls, MT, to complete rebuilding the historic Sperry Chalet Dormitory in Glacier National Park. The chalet was badly damaged in August 2017 during the Sprague Fire, which burned thousands of acres in the park. This is the second of two phases of construction that began in 2018.

The NPS expects that work this year will begin in early July and continue through September 30, weather permitting. The Denver Service Center, the NPS’s central planning, design, and construction management office, awarded the contract for phase two and will oversee the upcoming project.

The second and final phase of the project will include masonry repairs, the permanent roof, and all other interior finishes to complete the building and ready it for visitor use. It’s anticipated that the chalet will be ready for public overnight stays in 2020.

The first phase of the project, completed in 2018, also by Dick Anderson Construction, included building stabilization, interior seismic walls, and temporary roofing. That award was for $4.08 million.

Rebuilding of the Sperry Chalet on its original site was made possible because of the quick response and financial support of the Glacier National Park Conservancy in the amount of $396,148 to date. Immediately after the fire, the Conservancy raised significant funds for a “Phase Zero” emergency stabilization and preservation of the chalet’s stone masonry walls before winter set in. The Conservancy then provided subsequent philanthropic funding for Phase 1 construction and monitoring overflights to check on the status of the half-completed chalet as it weathered the winter. The Conservancy will contribute an additional $236,400 towards Phase 2.

“I am incredibly pleased to announce the second and final phase of the Sperry Chalet rebuilding project,” said Park Superintendent Jeff Mow. “We look forward to working with Dick Anderson again. They provided exceptional service to the National Park Service and the public last year.”

“We stand at the threshold of an historic accomplishment,” said Doug Mitchell, Glacier National Park Conservancy Executive Director. “This remarkable achievement shows the power of a public private partnership where all of us are pulling together to write the next chapter of Sperry Chalet and Glacier National Park history.”

Belton Chalets, Inc. will operate the Sperry Chalet Dining Room again this summer, serving work crews and the public. Lunch and a la carte services will be available 11 am - 5 pm. Breakfast and dinner will be available to the public via reservation with Belton Chalets, Inc. by calling (888) 345-2649. Park concessioner Swan Mountain Outfitters will offer horseback rides to the Sperry area on weekends.

The NPS is rebuilding the Sperry Chalet Dormitory at its original site within the original stone masonry walls. The design rehabilitates the chalet dormitory reflecting its period of significance (1914-1949). The visitor experience will be very similar to what it has been for decades by using as much of the remaining historic fabric, and replicating historic finishes where practicable. For more information, please visit the Sperry Chalet planning webpage.



Jeff
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Yellowstone announces strategic priorities

Yellowstone is releasing a series of major strategic priorities that will guide short and long-term decision making over the upcoming years. The priorities focus heavily on the park’s team and organization, strengthening the condition of the Yellowstone ecosystem, improving visitor experience, investing in infrastructure, and expanding partnerships and coalitions.

“It’s important that our priorities and actions are clear, not only to the NPS team here in Yellowstone, but to ensure our partners and the public understand our direction in these very important areas,” said Superintendent Cam Sholly.

Each of the park’s strategic priorities has a range of focus areas and actions that have been identified and will be continually refined and updated. The Strategic Priorities are:

1.Focus on the Core: Success in this priority is central to Yellowstone’s future and revolves around improving the working and living conditions of the Yellowstone team, how the park manages its financial resources, and how it works toward the best administrative and operational framework. An example of a specific action under this priority includes the development of a 5-year plan to substantially improve employee housing within the park. The multi-million dollar plan will work to improve existing housing, eliminate and replace 75 trailers currently used for seasonal employees, and will explore new housing partnership opportunities with gateway communities and partners.

2.Strengthen the Ecosystem and Heritage Resources: This priority focuses on understanding and responding to the effects of climate change, promoting large landscape and wildlife conservation efforts, and protecting and improving the condition of Yellowstone’s vast cultural and historic resources. Specific actions under this priority are being developed in a range of key areas including: a bison management strategy that stabilizes and potentially expands the quarantine program; working with states to protect and facilitate important wildlife migration corridors; and expanding efforts to combat the impacts of non-native species like lake trout in Yellowstone Lake.

3.Deliver a World Class Visitor Experience: This priority aims to provide clarity and direction around how the park will handle increased visitation in upcoming years – with special focus on visitor impacts on resources, staffing and infrastructure, visitor experience, and gateway communities. Importantly, the park is moving out of the data gathering phase and beginning to determine the appropriate short and long-term actions necessary to protect resources, mitigate impacts of congestion, and improve educational, recreational, and other visitor enjoyment opportunities. This priority also focuses heavily on improving public safety and resource protection.

4.Invest in Infrastructure: The park’s maintenance backlog exceeds half a billion and is likely much higher. Actions within this priority include: developing a more cogent deferred maintenance reduction plan, improving the quality of data and prioritization processes, and taking better advantage of current and future funding to improve asset conditions and protect investments.

5.Build Coalitions and Partnerships: Yellowstone’s success is predicated on strong partnerships and coalitions. The park will continue to build and align priorities with many partners including Yellowstone Forever and our incredibly generous philanthropic community, with tribes, elected officials, environmental and conservation groups, concessioners, and communities, states, and other federal cooperators.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Monday, May 20, 2019

Forest Service Requests Public Assistance Identifying a person of interest in the Roosevelt Fire Investigation

Fire investigators with U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations on the Bridger-Teton National Forest are continuing their efforts to locate the person, or persons responsible for the ignition of the Roosevelt Fire. The incident led to the loss of numerous private homes and structures in the Bondurant area, as well as serious injuries to National Forest visitors. Interviews conducted during the course of the investigation have led to a description of a person of interest in the case.

Investigators have determined the Roosevelt fire to be human caused, originating from an abandoned, or inadequately extinguished warming fire in the upper reaches of the Hoback River drainage. The fire ignited approximately three miles west of the Upper Hoback Trailhead, on a small topographic bench, along a steep timbered slope, approximately 110 yards above the trail, on the south side of the canyon. The area is located approximately three-quarters of a mile east of the lower reaches of Roosevelt Meadows, just inside the Sublette County line.

Investigators are seeking to identify an individual observed on the afternoon of Friday, September 14, 2018 below the point of origin. He's described as a white adult male, between the ages of 40 and 50 years old with brown hair and a short, scruffy beard. The individual is believed to be between 5'10" and 6' 0" tall, weighing approximately 185-200 pounds. He was seen carrying both a hunting rifle and compound bow on his pack that day. He was reported to be glassing the north rim of the canyon for an extended period of time. It's believed this person may have information as to how the fire began.

Anyone with information as to the cause of the incident, or the identity of the individual observed in the area, is urged to contact U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement at 208-557-5852. Please leave a detailed message with information as to how investigators may reach you. Continued support from National Forest visitors and our citizen partners in the community is greatly appreciated.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Gear Review: Kuhl Renegade Cargo Short

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to test my new pair of Renegade Cargo Shorts during a hike in our local park. The Renegade is made by Kühl, an outdoor clothing company based out of Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Kuhl website states that "Going off the grid takes more organization than you might think." The Renegade Cargo Short "features pockets inside other pockets to ensure your important items are secure. And the DURALUX™ fabric feels soft while giving you enough stretch to go anywhere you want to go. Get organized for the adventure ahead with men's cargo shorts made with innovative features." The product description continues by stating that "DURALUX™ feels like cotton, superior anti-abrasion, stronger, softer, more breathable than standard nylon."

By all appearances the Renegade Cargo Short is a very well-made pair of shorts. Despite being made with durable fabric, the Renegade feels fairly soft, and more importantly, is extremely comfortable. I also appreciate the ample pocket space. I own a well-known brand of hiking shorts that doesn't even have back pockets. In another well-known brand of hiking shorts that I own the pockets are extremely shallow, with barely enough room to fit my normal-sized wallet. The back pockets on the Renegade are the perfect size. Additionally, the Renegade sports side and front pockets as well.

At first I thought the shorts felt a little tight when I first put them on. However, after wearing them around the house for awhile they seemed to fit my form more naturally. Not only will I be wearing them on hikes, but the design looks so great that I'll also be wearing them around town as well.

My only real complaint with the Renegade Cargo Short is their length, which comes just over my knee-caps. Style-wise, I'm more of a fan of shorter shorts. This is just a personal preference, however.

All in all I think the Renegade is a great pair of shorts, and look forward to wearing them in the mountains this upcoming season. For more information on the Kuhl Renegade Cargo Shorts, please click here.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Friday, May 17, 2019

Men sentenced for illegal mountain lion hunt in Yellowstone National Park

Three men who violated the Lacey Act in Yellowstone National Park (an act that prohibits hunting in the park) have been sentenced in federal court. The men, from Livingston, Montana, were charged with illegally hunting a male mountain lion in the northern section of the park, north of the Yellowstone River, December 12, 2018.

According to court documents, Austin Peterson, Trey Juhnke, and Corbin Simmons, crossed the park’s marked boundary to hunt mountain lions. Each hunter admitted to shooting the lion and transporting the carcass back to their vehicle. Simmons then falsely claimed to have harvested the animal north of the park boundary in Montana. This affected the state’s quota system by denying a legal hunter the opportunity to legally harvest a lion.

On Friday, May 3, 2019, Peterson, age 20, was ordered to pay approximately $1,700 in restitution and fees, and must serve three years of unsupervised probation, during which time he is banned from hunting, fishing, or trapping worldwide. Juhnke, age 20, and Simmons, age 19, received similar sentences at hearings in April 2019. All three pleaded guilty to the charges at prior court hearings.

“I would like to express a sincere thank you to Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, law enforcement officers at Yellowstone National Park, the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch, and the US Attorney's Office - District of Wyoming for being involved in this case,” said Yellowstone National Park Chief Ranger Pete Webster. “Their thorough work spotlighted this egregious act and the consequences incurred for hunting illegally in Yellowstone National Park.”

Under the Lacey Act, it is unlawful to import, export, sell, acquire, or purchase fish, wildlife or plants that are taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of US or Indian law or in interstate or foreign commerce involving any fish, wildlife, or plants taken possessed or sold in violation of State or foreign law.

If you witness a crime, have information about suspicious activity or wildlife takings in Yellowstone, call the 24-hour Tip Line at 307-344-2132. Callers can remain anonymous.

Though seldom seen by the public, biologists estimate that 20-31 adult cougars reside year-round in the northern range (an average of 12-18 females and 8-13 males). These estimates are based on field surveys and statistical analyses conducted from 2014–2017. Biologists found higher estimates in the later years of the study. The numbers do not include kitten and sub-adult cougars which accompany a portion of the adult females each year. Monitoring efforts since 2017 suggest a stable population consistent with these estimates for previous years.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Pavement Preservation Project Begins in Grand Teton This Week

Pavement preservation work on U.S. Highway 89 and other areas in Grand Teton National Park may begin Thursday, May 16, and travelers should expect up to 15-minute daytime delays as chip seal activities get underway. Work on U.S. Highway 89 will begin at the park’s southern boundary and continue northbound throughout the year, extending to the south gate of Yellowstone National Park. Road work is dependent upon weather and temperature conditions.

The park-wide pavement preservation project is expected to be completed by the end of September. Visitors will see increased construction signage and equipment staging throughout the park.

The project is funded and managed in partnership with the Federal Lands Highway Program. The contract for the project was awarded to Intermountain Slurry Seal of Salt Lake City, Utah. Activities include patching holes and sealing cracks in the pavement surface, applying a chip seal or micro seal on the road surface, followed by a fog seal to reduce airborne gravel. Striping will be the final action.

The chip sealing work is a rolling construction operation that will gradually proceed from south to north on U.S. Highway 89. Visitors can expect temporary delays and reduced speed limits in these mobile construction zones. Work at parking lots will be managed by sections so that a portion of the lot will always be accessible.

Chip sealing is a cost-effective way to provide an improved road surface and preserve the underlying pavement. When proactive preventative maintenance activities are completed on park roads, more serious and costly damage to the pavement structure will be averted.

Road work will generally occur between 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, including weekends. No work will be permitted Saturday through Monday of Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-27, or over the Independence Day Holiday, Wednesday afternoon through Sunday, July 3-7.

Weather and temperature permitting, work will occur at the following locations and dates listed:

U.S. Highway 89/191/26

South Boundary to Antelope Flats
Begin mid-May and complete by July
Expect 15-minute delays from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Expect possible 30-minute delays from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. later this summer

Antelope Flats to East Boundary near Moran
 Completed by mid-July
Expect 15-minute delays from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Expect possible 30-minute delays from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. later this summer

Moran Junction to south gate of Yellowstone National Park
Begin late August and completed by early September
Expect 30-minute delays from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Expect possible 30-minute delays from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Park Roads

Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center Parking
Begin May 15 and complete by July
 Work will be completed in two phases to allow for visitor parking and access.

Gros Ventre Road (Kelly Road)
Begin late May and complete by July
Expect 15-minute delays

South Jenny Lake Access Road and Parking
  Begin early June and complete by July
Work will be completed in four phases to allow for visitor parking and access.

Colter Bay Entrance Road
Completed by mid-July
Maximum 15-minute delays

Colter Bay Visitor Center Parking
Completed by mid-July
Work will be completed in six phases to allow for visitor parking and access.

Leeks Marina Access Road
Prior to June 15 or after September 15, or completed at night 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Maximum 15-minute delays during daytime hours
Work on the Leeks Marina Access Road and the Colter Bay Entrance Road will not be performed concurrently.

Updated road status and conditions will be available by calling the park road information line at 307-739-3682 and on the park’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

In addition to the pavement preservation work, the final phase of emergency repairs related to the June 2017 washout of the Gros Ventre Road will occur late this summer. Work is expected to begin in late July and continue into November. Traffic delays associated with the Gros Ventre Road repair project will be limited to 15 minutes between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.

The work will focus on realigning the road to restore the original 45 m.p.h. speed limit and replacing the concrete barriers with a guardrail. Additional stream bank armoring will occur upstream and downstream from the work that was completed in the fall of 2017.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Biologists set to begin grizzly bear captures for research purposes in Yellowstone National Park - Public reminded to heed warning signs

As part of ongoing efforts to monitor the population of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Yellowstone National Park and the USGS would like to inform the public that biologists with the National Park Service and Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) will be conducting scientific grizzly bear research operations in Yellowstone National Park from May 13 through July 31.

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 strict protocols developed by the IGBST.

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 bears is part of a long-term research and monitoring effort to help wildlife managers devise and implement programs to support the ongoing conservation of Yellowstone’s grizzly bear populations.

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.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Friday, May 10, 2019

Flash Sale: half-off on "Ramble On: A History of Hiking" today

As you're likely already aware, I published my new book, Ramble On: A History of Hiking, last fall. Today, I wanted to announce that for a very limited time the eBook version of the book will be on sale. Beginning at 8:00 am MST today you will be able purchase the eBook version for only $4.99 on Amazon - a 50% discount off the regular price of $9.95. You can take advantage of this limited time offer until 12;00 pm today. For more information on the book, and to purchase, please click here.

Additionally, if you like the book, I would really appreciate if you could write a short review on my Amazon page.

Thank you very much!




Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Annual Bear Monitoring and Capturing Begins in Glacier

Each year, Glacier National Park participates in an interagency effort to monitor grizzly bear population trends in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem.

To monitor population trends, experts use bait stations, automated cameras, and traps to capture and mark the animals. An estimated 300 grizzly bears live in the park. The park’s goal is to maintain a sample of up to 10 radio-marked female grizzly bears for this monitoring effort. This year, some bears may receive a collar for the first time. Others may have a collar replaced if it is near the end of its useful lifespan.

Brightly colored warning signs identify bait stations and trap sites. Visitors are required to heed these signs and not enter closed areas. In 2010, a man was killed by a grizzly bear seven miles east of Yellowstone National Park after wandering into a capture site. Trapping efforts will continue May 8 through October at various locations throughout the park.

“Glacier National Park is bear country, and park visitors should be prepared for bear sightings, in addition to following other hiking safety precautions,” said Jeff Mow, Glacier National Park Superintendent.

Park visitors should travel in groups and make loud noises by calling out or clapping their hands at frequent intervals, especially near streams, and at blind spots on trails. These actions help avoid surprise bear encounters. Do not approach any wildlife; instead, use binoculars, telescopes, or telephoto lenses to get a closer look. Visitors should maintain a minimum distance of 100 yards from any bear within the park.

While carrying firearms within national parks and wildlife refuges is permitted as consistent with state laws, proper use of bear spray has proven to be the best method for fending off threatening and attacking bears, and for preventing injury to the person and animal involved. Wounding a bear, even with a large caliber firearm, can put you and others in far greater danger.

Anyone participating in recreational activities in bear country is highly encouraged to have bear spray. The bear spray should be readily accessible, and hikers should know how to use it.

Visitors should store food, garbage and other attractants in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof food storage boxes when not in use. Garbage must be deposited into a bear-resistant trashcan or dumpster. These actions help keep bears from becoming conditioned to human food, and help keep park visitors and their personal property safe.

Visitors should report any bear sightings or signs of bear activity to the nearest visitor center, ranger station or by calling 406-888-7800 as soon as possible.

In addition to bear safety precautions, hikers in Glacier National Park should review other safety measures to take when exploring park trails. To help plan day hiking trips in the park, Glacier offers a Day Trip Plan to help visitors prepare for their hike. Before departure, it is vital to tell someone where in the park you are going, and how long you expect to be gone. Visitors should carry the ten essentials, including a map of the area, a compass, a flashlight, extra food, extra clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen, a pocketknife, matches in a waterproof container, a candle or other fire starter, and a first aid kit. Visitors should also carry bear spray and be prepared for suddenly changing weather events.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Big Bend National Park

After leaving White Sands National Monument, Kathy and I headed southeast towards Alpine, Texas. Along the way we were scheduled to stop at the McDonald Observatory, located in the Davis Mountains just northwest of Alpine, to take part in their Tuesday night "Star Party". If you saw my post from White Sands, you'll likely notice large billowy clouds in my photos. Those clouds proceeded to develop into major thunderstorms. Fortunately our route took us completely around these storms. However, as got to Van Horn and beyond, more clouds began to develop. We thought for sure the Star Party would be canceled. However, once we arrived at the observatory, which sits atop a relatively low mountain, we enjoyed clear skies above us - though heavy clouds and storms threatened in all directions. As the sun set, and darkness enveloped the mountain, our luck continued as the Star Party went-off as scheduled, and we were able to view the stars through several telescopes. To be honest though, we were both pretty disappointed in the "party". We thought we would be looking at supernovas and planets in great detail, but the telescopes simply did not provide that amount of power. The best part of the party was watching the lightning that seemed to spark all around us in the far-off distance.

After getting to our hotel around midnight, we were awakened early the next morning by a raging storm that looked like a hurricane from our third floor window. Just south of town we passed several mounds of hail that had accumulated from the storm. Fortunately we weren't impacted by any severe weather as we drove south towards Big Bend National Park. By the time we reached the outskirts of the park we could see a massive storm raging over the east side of the park. Our primary destination, Santa Elena Canyon, was on the west side of the park, and appeared to be under blue skies. So far so good! However, once we arrived at the trailhead we found out that Terlingua Creek was impassable due to heavy rains. We were only able to see the mouth of this spectacular canyon:



After hiking a couple of other trails on the west side of the park, we began making our way towards the east. As we progressed we could see massive storm clouds brooding towards the north. By this time it was late afternoon and we were essentially done with our visit, and were really hoping that we would be able to avoid severe storms as we headed north towards Fort Stockton. Before heading out of the park we stopped at the visitor center in Panther Junction, located near the north-central portion of the park. Here we saw a car totally destroyed by hail. There were large pock marks on the hood and trunk, and their windshield was completely destroyed. They had been waiting for several hours for a tow truck. Fortunately for us, our route took us around the storm as we headed towards the northeast.

Here are a few other photos from our time in the park:











Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

White Sands National Monument

After leaving the Santa Fe area we drove down to White Sands National Monument in south-central New Mexico. It was truly another world. The sand is pure white, and looks like snow in many places. Driving in certain places, or pulling into some parking lots you would've thought that you would need snow tires.

White Sands is the world's largest gypsum dunefield, which encompasses roughly 275 square miles of desert below the San Andres Mountains. The national monument preserves a major portion of this unique dunefield. Because the park is surrounded by the White Sands Missile Range and the Holloman Air Force Base, the park is closed for short periods due to missile testing. Therefore, it's always important to call or check the park website on the day of your visit to make sure the park is open.

White Sands National Monument has been featured in several films, including Four Faces West (1948), Hang 'Em High (1968), The Hired Hand (1971), My Name Is Nobody (1973), Bite the Bullett (1975), Young Guns II (1990), White Sands (1992), King Solomon's Mines (1950), The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), and Transformers (2007).

White Sands is also the site of the detonation of the world’s first atomic bomb, located roughly 60 miles north of the monument. Now known as the Trinity Site, the bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945.

Here are a few photos from our visit:










Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Monday, May 6, 2019

Tent Rocks in Black and White

Last week Kathy and I returned home from a two-week tour of New Mexico and Texas. Along the way we did several hikes in Big Bend National Park and Enchanted Rock State Park in Texas, as well as Bandelier, White Sands and Tent Rocks national monuments in New Mexico. During the New Mexico leg of our trip we had the opportunity to do a few hikes with our niece and nephew. The following are a few photos from Tent Rocks, captured in black and white (Kathy and I have hiked in this area in the past):


The odd cone-shaped formations that give the area its name are the products of volcanic eruptions that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago which left pumice, ash and volcanic tuff deposits over 1,000 feet thick. Over time, wind and water slowly eroded the tuff, which formed the canyons and tent rocks we see today. Some of these hoodoos, or tent rocks, reach up to 90 feet in height. The only other place in the world where you can find these unusual rock formations is in the Cappadocia region of Turkey.




 



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Join Park Ranger-Led Bird-Watching Program in Grand Teton

Grand Teton National Park will celebrate World Migratory Bird Day with a bird-watching caravan on Saturday, May 11. Park Ranger Naturalist Andrew Langford plans to visit areas throughout the park that provide great opportunities to locate, identify, and record birds as part of the North American Migration Count. The free activity begins at 8 a.m. in the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose and will finish by 4 p.m. at Christian Pond near Jackson Lake Lodge. Reservations are not required.

Anyone interested in birds is welcome to participate in the annual bird count and bird-watching excursion. Throughout the day, participants will take short walks at various locations, so those attending should wear comfortable shoes and bring a lunch, drinking water, warm clothing and rain gear. Bird field guides, binoculars and spotting scopes are also recommended items.

The 2019 World Migratory Bird Day theme "Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution" highlights plastics as a threat to migratory birds and emphasizes the simple but effective ways that people can help reduce the threat.

Observed each year in May to celebrate and support bird conservation, the day serves as the hallmark outreach event for Partners in Flight, an international conservation program whose goal is to reverse declining populations of migratory birds by bringing attention to factors that may contribute to worldwide declines.

For more information about the ranger-led program, World Migratory Bird Day and the North American Migration Count, please call the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at 307-739-3399. Participants are reminded that a valid park entrance pass is required.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Mazamas Review "Ramble On: A History of Hiking"

Earlier this week the Mazamas, one of the oldest mountain clubs in America, published a review of my new book, Ramble On: A History of Hiking. I want to sincerely thank Brian Goldman for publishing his detailed review of the book in the latest edition of Mazama Bulletin, the monthly magazine of the Mazamas.

Mr. Goldman concluded his extensive review by stating: "Overall, this book is a very comprehensive, all-encompassing overview for anyone interested in the history of hiking."

To read the entire review (on page 24), please click here.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Weather-permitting, East Entrance and select roads in Yellowstone open Friday, May 3

East Entrance to Lake Village (Sylvan Pass) and Lake Village to Canyon Village will open Friday, May 3, at 8 a.m. to public motorists.

A significant snowpack still exists in the Sylvan Pass area. Park rangers will monitor avalanche conditions. Temporary closures may occur.

For the 2019 season, expect 30-minute delays along the East Entrance Road between Fishing Bridge and Indian Pond.

Find current road status on the park website, at visitor centers, and by calling (307) 344-2117. To receive Yellowstone road alerts on your mobile phone, text "82190" to 888-777 (an automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions).



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Monday, April 29, 2019

Grand Teton Hosts Junior Ranger Day Event on Saturday, May 4

Families and children of all ages are invited to participate in Grand Teton National Park’s Junior Ranger Day on Saturday, May 4. This year’s event, titled “The Bear Necessities,” is themed around bear ecology and safety. Junior Ranger Day will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose, Wyoming. The event is free and open to the public. All children who participate in activities can earn a Junior Ranger badge.

The event will include indoor and outdoor fun for the whole family. Families can participate in activities to learn about bear identification, food storage, and how to use bear spray. Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation, The Cougar Fund, The Raptor Center, and others will be on hand to teach about bears and other predators that call this area home. Fire engines, patrol cars, and snowplows will be available for exploration.

The National Park Service is pleased to work with Systems of Education's Roll into Readiness campaign for this event. Roll into Readiness is a partnership of local education organizations to promote informal learning opportunities among families. Bilingual staff and Teton Literacy Center partners will assist with activities at the event.

Junior Ranger Day is made possible in part with support from the Grand Teton Association. The non-profit park partner will offer a discount (15% for non-members and 20% for GTA members) on merchandise in the visitor center bookstore on Saturday, May 4.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Plowing Going to the Sun Road

Right now crews are busily plowing the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. But what does this actually mean, and what does it really entail? Last year Montana Living published this short video which highlights the truly epic feat of removing the massive amount of snow that piles up along the upper reaches of the road:





Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Monday, April 22, 2019

Montana Memory Project Publishes Historic Photos and Annual Reports

Glacier National Park recently announced that the Montana Memory Project has published the Park Superintendent’s Annual Reports for 1911-1982 on its website. The annual reports provide fascinating glimpses into Glacier National Park's history through detailed descriptions of the management and state of affairs in the park for a given year. They include information on road and building construction, wildlife management, interpretive services, visitation statistics, trails, fire activity, and more. They are now available here: https://mtmemory.org/digital/collection/p16013coll84/

Also available on the Montana Memory Project is our growing collection of historical photographs from the Glacier National Park archives. They are available here: https://mtmemory.org/digital/collection/p16013coll83/

The park's efforts to increase online access to historical photographs and documents has been made possible thanks to funding from the Glacier National Park Conservancy.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Friday, April 19, 2019

2018 Highlights of NPS Investigative Services Branch

A few weeks ago the Investigative Services Branch of the National Park Service published its annual report, which recaps significant cases, operations, awards and recognitions, and other noteworthy events that happened in the program throughout the year.

ISB Special Agents investigate complex, sensitive, and/or long-term cases of all types of crimes that occur across the National Park System, and work closely with US Park Rangers in the field every day. Investigations include crimes of violence, major property crimes, fraud, embezzlement, major resource violations, drug cultivation, and other incidents. Agents investigate new cases to multi-year investigations, and from isolated incidents to crimes spanning multiple agencies and nations.

The report shows that there is much more going on within our national parks than most citizens probably realize. For example, the report notes this investigation in Yellowstone National Park:
On the morning of January 16, 2018, park staff discovered 52 bison, held at the Stephens Creek facility for possible quarantine, had been released from the pens. US Park Rangers and ISB Special Agents opened a criminal investigation of the incident and park staff worked to locate and recapture the bison. The bison were being held and tested for brucellosis at Stephens Creek as part of a plan being considered to establish a quarantine program in support of augmenting or establishing new conservation and cultural herds of disease-free plains bison. The program would also enhance cultural and nutritional opportunities for Native Americans, reduce the shipment of Yellowstone bison to meat processing facilities, and conserve a viable, wild population. The Stephens Creek facility is closed permanently to the public.
The report also provides follow-ups to a few news items we've reported on in the past few years. To read the full report, please click here.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Monday, April 15, 2019

Golden eagle dies from lead poisoning - was Yellowstone’s first golden eagle marked with a transmitter

A golden eagle was found dead on December 6, 2018, near Phantom Lake in the northern section of Yellowstone National Park. A recent lab necropsy indicated the cause of death was lead poisoning. Levels found in the golden eagle were extremely high and well over lethal toxicity.

The adult female was the first golden eagle in Yellowstone’s history to be marked with a radio transmitter. The marked raptor was part of a study to understand productivity, movements, survival, and cause of death in Yellowstone. The study is being conducted and funded by Yellowstone National Park, University of Montana, Yellowstone Forever, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Transmitter data revealed that the eagle ranged extensively during the 2018 autumn hunting season north of the park before it died. Hunter-provided carrion, especially gut piles, is an important food resource for golden eagles and other avian scavengers. The lead levels in the marked eagle indicated it likely ate carrion that contained lead fragments.

If carrion contain lead fragments, they can be deadly to scavengers. Lead is an environmental toxin well known for its capability to directly impact wildlife. Studies by Craighead Beringia South, a non-profit research institute based in Kelly, Wyoming, have shown that fragmented bullets often stay in the discarded remains of wild game and subsequently enter the food chain as they are consumed by other animals. Lead poisoning can result when wildlife species ingest the toxic materials.

In November of 2011 and March 2015, Craighead Beringia South researchers from Livingston, Montana, also documented mortalities from elevated lead levels of two golden eagles that ranged north of the park.

Non-lead ammunition is safer for birds.

Golden eagles are large, long-lived raptors that feed on many medium-sized mammals, birds, and carrion. Yellowstone considers golden eagles a species of concern.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Friday, April 12, 2019

2019 late winter survey of northern Yellowstone elk

Elk numbers in Yellowstone National Park’s northern herd are fewer compared to last year, however the population remains above the 10-year average and other recent counts. Low calf survival will likely impact the population over the next two years, according to a population survey conducted last month.

The Northern Yellowstone Cooperative Wildlife Working Group conducted its annual late winter classification of the northern Yellowstone elk population on March 17-19, 2019. The survey was conducted from a helicopter by staff from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks, which is part of the Working Group. Typically, an annual trend count is conducted by fixed-wing aircraft to count the total number of elk, and a separate helicopter survey is conducted to classify elk by age and sex in order to estimate calf and yearling bull survival and ratios of mature bulls in the population. This year the surveys were combined, and elk were counted and classified by helicopter.

All observed elk were counted across the survey area, and when possible staff also classified elk by age and sex. This survey was conducted consistently with the 2016 classification survey in order to assess population changes over the past three years. Survey conditions were favorable across the region, however winter conditions were severe, and many elk were observed to be in poor condition.

Staff counted 5,800 elk, including 1,361 elk (23.5 percent) inside Yellowstone National Park and 4,149 elk (71.5 percent) north of the park. The total count of 5,800 elk was 23 percent lower than the 7,579 elk observed during the 2018 trend count, and 23 percent lower than the 7,510 total elk counted during the 2016 classification survey, but higher than the 10-year average count of 5,399 elk. The long-term average of observed elk numbers since surveys began in 1976 is 10,634 elk, with a peak high count of 19,045 elk in 1994 and a low count of 3,915 elk observed in 2013.

Of the 5,800 elk counted, staff classified 5,510 elk by age and sex, resulting in ratios of 15.2 calves, 5.2 yearling bulls and 12.6 brow-tined bulls per 100 cows. Calf and yearling bull ratios were lower than recent surveys and long-term averages. Brow-tined bull ratios were higher than recent surveys, but below long-term average. Staff observed 16 percent fewer cows, 46 percent fewer calves and 42 percent fewer yearling bulls as compared to the 2016 classification survey. Brow-tined bull numbers increased by 21.3 percent from 432 observed in 2016 to 524 observed in 2019.

This is the second consecutive year with calf ratios below the threshold of 20 calves per 100 cows considered necessary to maintain a stable population. It is likely that additional winter mortalities will occur into spring, further reducing overall numbers and recruitment. Below-average yearling bull and calf recruitment is likely to result in lower numbers of brow-tined bulls being recruited into the population over the next two years.

Though overall elk numbers are down this year as compared to 2018, it is not unusual to observe fluctuations in numbers of elk counted due to survey quality, elk movements and sight ability of elk, which vary with conditions. Trends in elk populations are best assessed by considering multiple years of survey data together. The trend for this population has been increasing since 2013; this is the first year since 2013 that elk numbers have fallen from the previous year. The Working Group will continue to monitor trends of the northern Yellowstone elk population and evaluate the relative contribution of various components of mortality, including predation, environmental factors and hunting.

The Working Group was formed in 1974 to cooperatively preserve and protect the long-term integrity of the northern Yellowstone winter range for wildlife species by increasing our scientific knowledge of the species and their habitats, promoting prudent land management activities, and encouraging an interagency approach to answering questions and solving problems. The Working Group is comprised of resource managers and biologists from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks; National Park Service (Yellowstone National Park); U.S. Forest Service (Custer Gallatin National Forest); and U.S. Geological Survey-Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center in Bozeman.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Teen survives grizzly attack - deploys bear spray to repel bear

A 17-year-old male was attacked by a bear south of Ennis on Sunday. He fortunately survived the attack with relatively minor injuries.

The teen and his family were visiting their cabin in Wolf Creek, about 30 miles south of Ennis, on the east side of the Madison Valley. He was out looking for shed antlers in the area.

According to the teen, he was walking down a hill around 2 p.m. when he heard a “thump” behind him. He turned around to see a bear charging at him. The teen was carrying bear spray, but he was unable to deploy it immediately because of the bear’s rapid approach. The bear pushed him up against a tree and held him there momentarily. When the bear let go, the teen fell over and attempted to crawl between two trees and protect his head and vitals. The bear then pinned him face-down on the ground. The teen, who was wearing a hoodie and a backpack, said he was able to reach over his shoulder and spray the bear with bear spray, and the bear left.

The young man began walking out and made radio contact with his family. He was treated for his injuries at Madison Valley Medical Center and later released.

FWP was notified of the attack at 3:45 p.m. Based on the teen’s description of the bear’s behavior, the bear was mostly likely a grizzly bear. FWP has notified people who live in the area of the attack. The area has very limited public access and does not get many visitors.

The bear’s behavior in this incident appears to be typical of surprise close encounters. FWP will continue to monitor the area, which is well within occupied bear habitat. The investigation is ongoing, but no further management action is being taken at this time.

FWP reminds everyone to be cautious when in the field as bears are active during the spring, summer and fall months. Some recommended tips for avoiding negative encounters with bears include:

• Be prepared and aware of your surroundings.
• Carry and know how to use bear spray.
• Travel in groups whenever possible.
• Stay away from animal carcasses.
• Follow U.S. Forest Service food storage regulations.
• If you encounter a bear, never approach it. Back away slowly and leave the area.

For more information on bear safety, visit fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/livingWithWildlife/beBearAware/.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Sure Sign of Spring: Grizzlies Out on Rocky Mountain Front

It’s a sure sign of spring when grizzly bears emerge from their dens on the Rocky Mountain Front.

Mike Madel, bear management specialist with Fish, Wildlife and Parks in Choteau, flew over the Front April 2 and located eight grizzlies with radio collars and saw five other non-collared bears.

“The collars turn on April 1,” Madel said. “So, it’s a good time to fly on the Front and try to locate them.”

Most bears have emerged from their winter dens in the mountains, Madel said, though some are still near their dens. “This time of year, they are generally lethargic but looking for food,” he said.

Landowners and residents along the Rocky Mountain Front are urged to remove attractants that could cause conflicts with bears. Attractants would include livestock feed, bird feeders, pet food, garbage, spilled grain and livestock carcasses.

In addition, recreationists, like shed antler hunters, should carry bear spray and know how to use it if a grizzly charges: Point the spray slightly down and start spraying right before the bear gets 30 feet away from you.

Wesley Sarmento, FWP bear management specialist in Conrad, said he had not observed any grizzlies but had a couple of reliable reports of bears north of Valier along the Marias River and Birch Creek.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Glacier National Park Announces New Recreation Access Display on Website

Glacier National Park announced yesterday that it has introduced a new feature to its website. The Recreation Access Display (RAD) provides information on campgrounds, weather, parking lot status, and area closures throughout the park, updated every minute. In the summer fill times for campgrounds and parking lots, and times of area closures from the previous day will be highlighted, so visitors can plan for the best times to visit and to understand visitation levels and crowd sizes.

As you may have noticed in recent years, the park is a busy place in the summer, so utilizing this new source of info is highly recommended to minimize frustration and ensure you make RAD memories that last you a lifetime. You can find the Recreation Access Display on the current conditions page: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/conditions.htm



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Flathead Forest Flyover

This short film is from the creators of More Than Just Parks, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service. It highlights all of the outdoor adventures you can participate in during a visit to the Flathead National Forest:


MTJF | Flathead from Your Forests Your Future on Vimeo.




Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Winter Wildlife Closures Extended to Protect Bighorn Sheep

Grand Teton National Park has extended two existing wildlife closures of important winter ranges to protect bighorn sheep due to severe winter conditions of significant snowfall and cold temperatures during the month of February. The existing closure near the summit area of Static Peak and the Mount Hunt/Prospectors Mountain Complex within the park is extended from April 1 to April 30, 2019.

Recreational use in these areas is prohibited during this time. These winter closures have been in effect since the late 1990s and early 2000s to mitigate the loss of low elevation winter ranges and address the reduction in available winter habitat for bighorn sheep.

Winter is a difficult time for bighorn sheep to survive. The sheep live off their fat reserves built up during the summer. Additional energy expenditures resulting from recreational disturbance can cause sheep to burn unnecessary calories that could compromise their ability to survive and reproduce.

Albright Peak and Buck Mountain are accessible for winter backcountry recreationists.



Jeff
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Friday, March 29, 2019

Planning Ahead for a 2019 Trip to Glacier - Expect Road Work Delays

Glacier National Park has begun preparations for the 2019 summer season. Summer is not only the time when most of the public comes to visit the park, but also the opportunity to complete important maintenance projects on roadways and facilities. “A little bit of planning can help visitors maximize their time in Glacier and be prepared for some of this year’s projects they may encounter,” said Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow.

Pavement Preservation Project
This spring, the park will begin a two-year pavement preservation project on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Chief Mountain Road, a portion of Camas Road, and in parking lots and other smaller roads throughout the park. Most work will occur before July 1 or after September 2, 2019 to avoid periods of extremely high visitation. The project requires warm, dry conditions for success which will be challenging given typical Glacier weather conditions in the late spring and early fall. Hiker and biker access along the Going-to-the-Sun Road is expected on weekends during the spring plowing season, unless weather conditions cause significant project delays at the beginning of the season. Hiker and biker access on weekday afternoons is not anticipated. Any adjustment to the schedule will be posted on the park’s road status website.

Significant pavement preservation work will occur on the following schedule:

• Spring 2019-June 22: Avalanche Creek to Jackson Glacier Overlook
• Spring 2019-June 30: Chief Mountain Road (night work with traffic control in place)
• Spring 2019-early July: West Entrance Station to Avalanche Creek (with traffic control)
• After September 3, 2019: West Entrance Station to Avalanche Creek (with traffic control)
• September 2-September 15: Avalanche Creek to Logan Pass (night work with traffic control)
• September 16-September 30 (likely): Avalanche to Logan Pass hard closure - Logan Pass will be accessible from the St. Mary Entrance.

The park will also conduct pavement preservation in other areas throughout the summer, including Apgar Campground, Apgar Loop Road, Apgar Visitor Center, Lake McDonald Lodge parking lot, Logan Pass parking lot, Rising Sun Motel parking lot, St. Mary Visitor Center parking lot, St. Mary Campground, and the Swiftcurrent area. Portions of parking lots and campgrounds will be temporarily unavailable while this work occurs.

Boating Season
This year, park waters will open on May 11 on the west side of the park, and on June 1 on the east side of the park. All hand-propelled watercraft are required to receive an aquatic invasive species (AIS) inspection and free permit prior to launch. Gas-powered motorized boats will be allowed on Lake McDonald following a 30-day “dry time”. Similar to last year, boaters can have their boat sealed to their trailer at the Apgar AIS Inspection Station or an inspection station run by the State of Montana, Whitefish Lake, Blackfeet Nation, or the Confederated Salish-Kootenai. Non-trailered boats with electric trolling motors with less than 10 horsepower will be allowed on Bowman, Two Medicine, St. Mary, and Swiftcurrent Lakes. These vessels will not require a 30-day “dry time” because the non-water-cooled motors are classified as a lower risk, similar to hand-propelled watercraft. The park is currently developing plans to reopen additional lakes to gas-powered motorboats with a 30-day “dry time” later this summer. More details on the logistics of these opportunities will be released as they are developed.

North Lake McDonald Road
Following the 2018 Howe Ridge Fire, park and private landowner activity is anticipated to occur throughout the summer along North Lake McDonald Road. Significant portions of the road were impacted by the fire. Fire recovery activities, including restoring telephone service, installing electrical line, and removing logs and other debris will be ongoing, with trenching and heavy equipment moving in and out of the area. This work will begin in the spring. The park expects this minor road to be closed to visitor traffic for the 2019 summer. The park will update the trail status page with additional information about the Trout Lake Trailhead and Upper McDonald Creek Trail as more details, the timing of these activities, and potential local impacts to trail use are known.

Sperry Chalet
The phase 2 rebuild for Sperry Chalet will continue once the snow melts. The bid opportunity for phase 2 construction is anticipated for release this spring. Phase 1 was completed by Dick Anderson Construction last fall. The second and final phase of this reconstruction effort will include stone masonry work and all other finishes necessary to complete the chalet. The Sperry Chalet dormitory building was badly burned during the 2017 Sprague Fire.

Similar to 2018 phase 1 construction, the park will mitigate possible impacts to grizzly bears during the construction season. A closure will be in place in the Snyder Lake and Lincoln Lake drainages from mid-July to the end of October to allow bears additional uninterrupted space to forage. The trail to Sperry Chalet may be intermittently closed while helicopter or mule trains deliver supplies to the construction site. Concessioner Swan Mountain Outfitters will offer guided horseback trail rides to Sperry Chalet on Saturdays and Sundays. The Sperry Chalet Dining Room is anticipated to begin operating in early July to serve construction crews and visitors to the area. Lunch and a la carte services will be available from 11 am - 5 pm. Breakfast and dinner will be available to the public via reservation with Belton Chalets, Inc. by calling (888) 345-2649.

Goat Haunt and Two Medicine
The park is experiencing a critical staffing shortage on the east side of the park, particularly for water utility operators. Frontcountry areas like St. Mary and Many Glacier are being prioritized for opening so that visitor and commercial services can begin operations.

Goat Haunt may not have an operational water or hydroelectric power system for a portion of the summer as a result of staffing shortages. Backcountry users can still hike through Goat Haunt. Until water systems and restroom facilities are operational, the Goat Haunt Shelters backcountry campground will be unavailable and tour boat landings may not be possible. These measures are being implemented to reduce human waste impacts while the water system is not operational.

Crews expect to have the Two Medicine public water system reassembled and operational by the end of May, which is later than last year due to staffing levels. Depending on snow conditions, the park expects that the Two Medicine Road will open to vehicles prior to that date. Visitors can expect to use available vault toilets in the early season. The Two Medicine Campstore will open May 27. The road to Two Medicine opened in its entirety on May 18 last year, and often opens in mid-May based on plowing conditions and staffing levels available to operate the area.

The park is actively seeking interim solutions by recruiting applicants for important utility operator positions. A job announcement with a $10,000 recruitment bonus is currently posted on USAJobs.

Trip Planning
Glacier National Park has experienced extremely high visitation over the last several years, particularly mid-June through mid-September. 2018 visitation of 2,965,309 people was the second highest on record, despite wildfires and area closures on the west side of the park. Visitors to the park should plan ahead and identify several possible destinations in the event that they find an area already full and need to adjust their itinerary. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is currently closed from Lake McDonald Lodge on the west side of the park to the gate just past the entrance at St. Mary on the east side of the park. It typically opens between mid-June and mid-July each year, depending on spring snow and plowing conditions. This year, it will not open to Logan Pass before June 22 due to the parkwide pavement preservation project.

There are many other great hikes outside of the most popular hiking destinations normally cited in social and mass media. To help disperse hikers, and for a bit of solitude, seek trails away from the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor and the Many Glacier area. This list of hikes, sorted by location within the park, will help provide some ideas for your hiking itinerary. As you make plans for your trip this year, be sure to visit the listings on our Accommodations and Things To Do pages, which will help with your vacation planning needs, and help to support the advertisers on our site.



Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking