Montana Public Radio

Yellowstone National Park

Montana DNRC helicopter used to fight wildfires.
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana’s firefighting aircraft are returning to duty Friday after a helicopter crash grounded the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation fleet as major wildfires broke out this week.

A grizzly bear mother and cub in Yellowstone Park.

A bear attacked and injured a hiker Friday morning in Yellowstone National Park. The incident comes just over two weeks after a park visitor sparked an investigation after approaching a grizzly and her cubs.

Yellowstone visitors line up at the park's north entrance outside of Gardiner, Montana, June 26, 2020.
Jacob Frank / National Park Service

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Visitation at Yellowstone National Park last month has increased by 40% compared to 2019, an increase of about 19,000 people and a record for the month, park officials said.

Superintendent Cam Sholly predicted the park would be busier early this year based on the inability of tourists to travel internationally as demand for outdoor recreation increased last year, The Billings Gazette reported Friday.

Yellowstone National Park announced Wednesday that the south entrance near Jackson, Wyoming is set to open Friday May 14 -- weather permitting. The eastern entrance to the park opened on May 7.

Park officials say that road conditions can quickly change in the spring and fall, making road closures a possibility. The road from Tower-Roosevelt to Canyon Village will remain closed for the 2021 season.

Yellowstone National Park sign.
Flickr user lance_mountain (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Yellowstone National Park announced Wednesday that the park's eastern entrancewill open Friday, May 7 — weather permitting.

Yellowstone Park Will Test Automated Shuttles

Apr 29, 2021
Automated shuttles arrive in Yellowstone, April 19, 2021.
Jacob Frank / National Park Service

Yellowstone National Park will begin a three-month-long pilot project testing automated shuttles in the park. The self-driving shuttle program will begin May 24th and will service the Canyon Village campground, visitor services, and adjoining visitor lodging area. 

Charles “Carl” Mock was killed after being mauled by a 400-plus pound grizzly April 15, 2021 just south of the Baker’s Hole campground, about three miles north of West Yellowstone, MT.
Google Maps

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Grizzly bears are part of life in the gateway communities bordering Yellowstone National Park, and backcountry snowmobile guide Charles "Carl" Mock knew well the risks that come with working, hiking and fishing among the fear-inspiring carnivores, his friends said.

Bison in Yellowstone National Park.
Josh Burnham

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte said Tuesday he is ending a bison management plan that would have allowed the wide-ranging animals to be restored in more areas of the state.

Spring bicycling for Yellowstone National Park began Wednesday.

From the Madison Junction West Entrance to Mammoth Hot Springs, cyclists have over 49 miles of road to bike through.

The Public Affairs office at YNP says that cyclists must be aware of road and weather conditions. Bicyclists are advised to be cautious of wildlife on the road, such as elk, bison, and wolves.

Bicyclists are required to ride during daylight hours and stay in a single file line. Cell phone coverage is weak in the area, so cyclists must rely on self-rescue and bike repair.

Capitol Talk: Beasts, Budgets And Voting Rights

Mar 26, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte makes headlines after trapping a Yellowstone wolf — while bills targeting wolves head toward passage. Republican lawmakers want to eliminate same-day voter registration. And the so-called "beast bill" — directing how billions in federal COVID relief money will be spent — crawls forward.

Listen now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Holly Michels and Rob Saldin.