Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Take "Exploring Grand Teton National Park" with you on the trail

Are you planning to visit Grand Teton National Park this summer - or anytime down the road? I wanted to take a brief moment to remind you about the eBook we've published (and recently updated), which provides hikers with access to detailed trail information while hiking in the park.

Exploring Grand Teton National Park is the mobile version of TetonHikingTrails.com, the most comprehensive website on the internet for hiking trail information in Grand Teton National Park. This book was published to provide readers with convenient access to the information contained on TetonHikingTrails.com while in the park, or on the trail, where internet access is most likely unavailable. Additionally, the format of this book will provide a much better experience for smartphone users.

Exploring Grand Teton National Park covers 44 hikes. This includes 41 hikes within Grand Teton National Park, as well as 3 hikes in the Teton Pass area, located just south of the park boundary. Like the website, the book includes driving directions to each trailhead, detailed trail descriptions, key features along the route, difficulty ratings, photographs, maps and elevation profiles, which provide readers with a visual representation of the change in elevation they’ll encounter on each hike. Some hikes will also include historical tidbits related to the trail. Whether you're looking for an easy stroll in the park, or an epic hike deep into Grand Teton's backcountry, this book provides all the tools you'll need to make your hiking trip as enjoyable as possible.

As with our four websites, this book also contains several directories that will help you choose the best hikes suited to your preferences and abilities. This includes hikes listed by location within the park, hikes listed by key trail feature, and hikes sorted by difficulty rating. I’ve also included lists of our top 10 hikes, the best easy hikes, the top fall hikes, and the top early season hikes.

The guide is available on Amazon.



Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com

Ramble On (2nd edition book on the rich history of hiking)
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Monday, February 26, 2024

Hidden gems, off-season trips highlights of 325.5 million national park visits in 2023

While overall visitation continues to grow across America's national parks, visitors are increasingly discovering opportunities in less well-known parks and during park off-seasons.

Today, the National Park Service announced that 400 national parks reported a total of 325.5 million recreation visits in 2023, an increase of 13 million or 4% over 2022. In addition to the continued growth in overall numbers, NPS data shows that visitation is increasing in the more traditional off-seasons at many parks, with more visits in the spring and fall than seen in years past. And 20 parks—many of them less well-known—broke visitation records in 2023.

Visitation figures and trends guide how the National Park Service manages parks to ensure the best experience possible for park visitors. The Visitation Statistics Dashboard on NPS.gov provides recreational visit statistics for every park in the US for 2023 and also for previous years, dating back to 1979 for some parks. Of the 429 parks in the National Park System, 400 parks counted visitors in 2023. For the first time, there are now parks reporting their visitation numbers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four US territories. Five national parks began reporting in 2023, and this is the first year a park from Delaware is included.

The 20 parks that broke visitation records in 2023 are: 

* Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
* Congaree National Park
* Dry Tortugas National Park
* Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
* Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
* Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument
* John Muir National Historic Site
* Joshua Tree National Park
* Kaloko HonokĊhau National Historic Park
* Keweenaw National Historic Park
* Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
* Lincoln Memorial
* Longfellow House Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site
* Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park
* Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Memorial
* Minidoka National Historic Site
* Mojave National Preserve
* New River Gorge National Park & Preserve
* Nez Perce National Historic Park
* Ninety Six National Historic Site 



Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com

Ramble On (2nd edition book on the rich history of hiking)
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Who was Agnes Vaille?

If you've ever had the chance to hike to the Keyhole on Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, you likely noticed the beehive-shaped stone shelter just below the famous rock formation. The original shelter was constructed in 1927, just two years after the tragic death of Agnes Vaille.

On January 12, 1925, Agnes Vaille became the first woman to ascend Longs Peak during the winter. At 4:00 a.m. that morning, she and her climbing partner, Walter Kiener, reached the summit where they recorded an incredibly frigid temperature of −14°F. During their descent, in a fierce blizzard, Ms. Vaille slipped and fell roughly 150 feet. Completely spent with fatigue, Vaille insisted she needed a short nap, but froze to death before Kiener could bring back help. As a memorial to Ms. Vaille, and as a shelter for climbers and hikers in need during a storm, the park constructed the original Agnes Vaille Shelter. Eight years later, in 1935, her family re-built the shelter that we see today.

Prior to her death Agnes was an avid climber, and a prominent member of the Colorado Mountain Club. According to records I found, she had climbed at least 21 of Colorado's 54 fourteeners in her bid to become the 4th member of the CMCs 14,000-Footers Club. In 1923 she also made the first recorded solo winter ascent of 13,294-foot James Peak. Like other members of the CMC during World War I, Vaille served the country by volunteering for the Red Cross Canteen Service in both France and Germany.

Below is a photo of Agnes (left) and Mary Cronin (right) on Mount Meeker in 1923:




Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com

Ramble On (2nd edition book on the rich history of hiking)
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Friday, February 16, 2024

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Reopens Public Comment Period for Grizzly Bear and Gray Wolf Conservation Management Plans

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is reopening the public comment period for the 2024 Grizzly Bear Management Plan and Montana Gray Wolf Conservation and Management Plan to ensure Montana counties, Tribes, and state and federal agencies have a chance for input. The new deadline is March 9.

The extension will ensure that Montana statute requiring FWP to notify county commissioners of opportunities to comment on management plans for grizzly bears, wolves and other large carnivores has been met. It will also allow for additional time for tribal partners and other state and federal agencies to provide input.

“Wolves and grizzly bears are iconic and controversial species,” said FWP Director Dustin Temple. “We want to ensure that everyone who has a stake in how these two species are managed can have a chance to comment on our draft plans before they are final."

The new grizzly bear plan will inform management statewide, focusing on the 30 counties where grizzly bear presence has been documented in recent years or may be documented in the near future. Since grizzly bears are still listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, the plan is designed to inform state management while this species remains federally listed. The plan also addresses FWP’s future vision for management when any grizzly bear populations in Montana are delisted and full management authority for them is returned to the state.

The wolf plan shifts a key counting metric from the number of breeding pairs to the number of wolves representing at least 15 breeding pairs. The plan establishes that 450 wolves would ensure 15 breeding pairs. Population estimates will continue to be determined by the peer-reviewed Integrated Patch Occupancy Modeling method, or iPOM. The plan also describes the current depredation prevention and response program.

Both draft plans were out for public comment in 2023. People who previously submitted comments on the draft plans do not need to submit them again.

To comment on the Grizzly Bear Management Plan, click here. To comment on the Gray Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, click here. If you have already commented on the plans, your comments are captured and there is no need to comment further at this time. 



Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com

Ramble On (2nd edition book on the rich history of hiking)
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Yellowstone recruiting for 2024 Youth Conservation Corps program

How would you like to work, learn, play, and grow in Yellowstone’s wonderland this summer? Yellowstone National Park is currently recruiting for the 2024 Youth Conservation Corps (YCC), a residential work-based education program for students between the ages of 15 and 18. Visit the YCC program webpage to apply. Completed application materials must be submitted by March 1, 2024.

Two 1-month-long YCC sessions will be offered from June 9-July 10 and July 14-Aug. 13. Forty youth will be randomly selected from across the country to participate in the program. Applicants must be citizens of the United States and 15 years of age by June 9, but not over 18 years of age by Aug. 13. Yellowstone recruits youth from all social, economic, ethnic and racial backgrounds for the program.

No previous wilderness experience is necessary, but enjoying camping is a plus since it will be required four nights a week during work assignments. Applicants should possess a positive attitude, a willingness and ability to work and learn in a physically active outdoor program and get along well with others. Participants will be required to live in the park, and a minimal fee will be charged for room and board. Wages will be $10.50 per hour.

YCC is designed to develop an appreciation for the nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage through unique educational, recreational, and work experiences. Corps members work together with National Park Service staff to complete conservation projects such as trail rehabilitation, campground restoration, and a wide variety of resource management, visitor support services and maintenance projects.

Participants develop their job and leadership skills while exploring personal values, gaining self-esteem, expanding their awareness of work ethics, and learning firsthand about environmental and conservation issues. Corps members also participate in evening and weekend recreational activities and discover the many options for careers in the National Park Service and other land management agencies.

Questions may be directed to YELL_YCC_Office@nps.gov.

The Yellowstone YCC Program is funded by park entrance fees and generous donations to Yellowstone Forever, the park’s official nonprofit partner.



Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com

Ramble On (2nd edition book on the rich history of hiking)
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park