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Ranger Adventure Hiking Series Begins!

Morning hikes will be offered daily from mid-June through mid-August, in the Old Faithful area. Join a park ranger for an in-depth, half-day hike into Yellowstone's backcountry! Visit remote thermal areas, explore wildlife habitats, or experience Yellowstone's wilderness.

The Ranger Adventure Hiking Series will be offered as a fee activity. These high-quality experiences are limited to 15 people per hike. Hikes are rated from easy to difficult; and some hikes are not recommended for people with heart, breathing, or serious medical conditions. Program locations change daily.

The park has identified fee programs as those activities that go beyond the scope of the basic interpretive program, focus on programs which serve a small segment of park visitors, or tend to be relatively expensive to offer. These programs are beyond the park's ability to fund without recovering some of the costs. Fees charged go back into the program's budget and help offset staff and supply costs.

Yellowstone originally offered hikes as part of the interpretive program until the early 1990s. They were discontinued when the federal budget could no longer keep pace with operational needs. Yellowstone has received many comments since then from visitors about the lasting memories of these hikes.

Ranger-led talks, walks, and campfire programs remain available to the public at no fee. Information on these programs and other park activities is available in the park newspaper Yellowstone Today, at visitor centers throughout the park, and on the park's website: www.nps.gov/yell/planvisit/todo/ranger/index.htm -NPS-


Yellowstone National Park, encompassing 2.2 million acres, is one of America's premier wilderness areas. Most of the park is backcountry and managed as wilderness. Over 1,100 miles (1770 km) of trails are available for hiking. However, there are dangers inherent in wilderness: unpredictable wildlife, changing weather conditions, remote thermal areas, cold water lakes, turbulent streams, and rugged mountains with loose, "rotten" rock. Visiting wilderness means experiencing the land on its terms. If you choose to explore and enjoy the natural wonders of Yellowstone, there is no guarantee of your safety. Be prepared for any situation. Carefully read all backcountry guidelines and regulations.

There are numerous trails suitable for day hiking. Begin your hike by stopping at a ranger station or visitor center for information. Trail conditions may change suddenly and unexpectedly. Bear activity, rain or snow storms, high water, and fires may temporarily close trails. At a minimum, carry water, a raincoat or poncho, a warm hat, insect repellent, sunscreen, and a first aid kit. It is recommended that you hike with another person. No permit is required for day hiking.

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"The Wildlife of Yellowstone"
- 94 Minutes -

The Wildlife of Yellowstone DVD presents to you the most popular and prominent wildlife inhabiting Yellowstone National Park. This dvd, taped in digital format, has the highest quality scenes of grizzlies, black bears, moose, wolves, otters, owls, fox and much more including their young. Inside this dvd you will find

· 94 Minutes on the Wildlife of Yellowstone.
· Three Chapters : Large Mammals, Small Mammals and Birds
· Narrated by Yellowstone Tour Owner and Specialist - Ken Sinay
· Where, When and How to Spot the Wildlife of Yellowstone

More Info or Order Online


Backpacking & Backcountry
Camping in Yellowstone

Yellowstone has a designated backcountry campsite system, and a Backcountry Use Permit is required for all overnight stays. Each designated campsite has a maximum limit for the number of people and stock allowed per night. The maximum stay per campsite varies from 1 to 3 nights per trip. Campfires are permitted only in established fire pits. Wood fires are not allowed in some backcountry campsites. A food storage pole is provided at most designated campsites so that food and attractants may be secured from bears. Neither hunting nor firearms are allowed in Yellowstone's backcountry.

Permits may be obtained only in person and no more than 48 hours in advance of your trip. Permits are available from most ranger stations and visitor centers. In order to obtain the best information on trail conditions, permits should be obtained from the ranger station or visitor center nearest to the area where your trip is to begin. The Backcountry Use Permit is valid only for the itinerary and dates specified. Backcountry travelers must have their permits in possession while in the backcountry.

Advance Reservations for Backcountry Campsites

Although permits must be obtained in person no more than 48 hours in advance, backcountry campsites may be reserved in advance. Requests for reservations must be submitted by mail or in person. They cannot be made over the phone or by fax. Reservations are booked on a first come, first served basis. A confirmation notice, not a permit, is given or mailed to the camper. This confirmation notice must then be converted to the actual permit not more than 48 hours in advance of the first camping date. Details are provided on the confirmation notice. The reservation fee is $15 regardless of the number of nights out or the number of people involved. The fee is not refundable. To receive the forms to make an advance reservation, write: National Park Service, Attention: Backcountry Office, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190. Or you may call (307) 344-2160 or (307) 344-2163 to request forms.

Permits and Reservations Made Less Than 48 Hours in Advance

Because only a portion of the approximately 300 backcountry campsites are available for advance reservations, you may choose to wait until you arrive in the park to reserve your site(s) and obtain your permit. The $15 fee applies only to reservations made more than 48 hours in advance of the start of your trip.

Where to Get Your Permit

During the summer season (June - August), permits are available 7 days a week between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Bechler Ranger Station
  • Canyon Ranger Station/Visitor Center
  • Grant Village Visitor Center
  • Lake Ranger Station
  • Mammoth Ranger Station/Visitor Center
  • Old Faithful Ranger Station
  • South Entrance Ranger Station
  • Tower Ranger Station
  • West Entrance Ranger Station

In addition, permits may sometimes be obtained from rangers on duty at the East Entrance and Bridge Bay Ranger Station. However, these rangers have other duties and may not be available to provide assistance at all times.

During the spring, fall, and winter seasons, ranger stations and visitor centers do not have set hours. To obtain a Backcountry Use Permit during these seasons, check the office hours posted at the nearest ranger station or visitor center.

Several commercial businesses are permitted to offer guided overnight (Backpacking) trips into Yellowstone's backcountry. These businesses would obtain the Backcountry Use Permits for trips that they provide.

Safety in Bear Country

Hiking and camping restrictions are occasionally in effect as a result of bear activity. Never camp in an area that has obvious evidence of bear activity such as digging, tracks, or scat. Odors attract bears, so avoid carrying or cooking odorous foods. Keep a clean camp; do not cook or store food in your tent. All food, garbage, or other odorous items used for preparing or cooking food must be secured from bears. Most backcountry campsites have food poles from which all food, cooking gear, and scented articles must be suspended when not being used. Treat all odorous products such as soap, deodorant, or other toiletries in the same manner as food. Do not leave packs containing food unattended, even for a few minutes. Allowing a bear to obtain human food even once often results in the bear becoming aggressive about obtaining such food in the future. Aggressive bears present a threat to human safety and eventually must be destroyed or removed from the park. Please obey the law and do not allow bears or other wildlife to obtain human food.

Sleep a minimum of 100 yards (91 meters) from where you hang, cook, and eat your food. Keep your sleeping gear clean and free of food odor. Don't sleep in the same clothes worn while cooking and eating; hang clothing worn while cooking and eating in plastic bags.

Considering bears' highly developed sense of smell, it may seem logical that they could be attracted to odors associated with menstruation. Studies on this subject are few and inconclusive. If a woman chooses to hike or camp in bear country during menstruation, a basic precaution should be to wear internal tampons, not external pads. Used tampons should be double-bagged in a zip-lock type bag and stored the same as garbage.

If you are involved in a conflict with a bear, regardless of how minor, report it to a park ranger as soon as possible. Another's safety may depend on it. Exceptional combinations of food, shelter, and space draw grizzlies to some parts of Yellowstone more than others. In these Bear Management Areas, human access is restricted to reduce impacts on the bears and their habitat. Ask at ranger stations or visitor centers for more information.

Handling Refuse

All refuse must be carried out of the backcountry. Human waste must be buried 6 to 8 inches ( 15 - 20 centimeters) below the ground and a minimum of 100 feet (30 meters) from a watercourse. Waste water should be disposed of at least 100 feet (30 meters) from a watercourse or campsite. Do not pollute lakes, ponds, rivers, or streams by washing yourself, clothing, or dishes in them.

General Safety Concerns

Should you drink the water? Intestinal infections from drinking untreated water are increasingly common. Waters may be polluted by animal and/or human wastes. When possible, carry a supply of water from a domestic source. If you drink water from lakes and streams, bring it to a boil to reduce the chance of infection.

Don't take chances in backcountry thermal areas. Scalding water underlies thin, breakable crusts; pools are near or above boiling temperatures. Each year, visitors traveling off trail have been seriously burned, and people have died from the scalding water. No swimming or bathing is allowed in thermal pools.

Removing, defacing or destroying any plant, animal, or mineral is prohibited. Leave historical and archeological items in place.


Bear Encounters

Yellowstone is home to both grizzly and black bears. Although the risk of an encounter with a bear is low, there are no guarantees of your safety. Minimize your risks by following the guidelines below:

Make bears aware of your presence on trails by making loud noises such as shouting or singing. This lessens the chance of sudden encounters, which are the cause of most bear-caused human injuries in the park. Hike in groups and use caution where vision is obstructed.

Do not hike after dark.

Avoid carcasses; bears often defend this source of food.

If you encounter a bear, do not run. Bears can run over 30 miles per hour, or 44 feet per second, faster than Olympic sprinters. Running may elicit an attack from otherwise non-aggressive bears. If the bear is unaware of you, detour away from the bear. If the bear is aware of you and nearby, but has not acted aggressively, slowly back away.

Tree climbing to avoid bears is popular advice but not very practical in many circumstances. All black bears, all grizzly cubs, and some adult grizzlies can climb trees. Running to a tree may provoke an otherwise uncertain bear to chase you.

Some bears will bluff their way out of a threatening situation by charging, then veering off or stopping abruptly at the last second. Bear experts generally recommend standing still until the bear stops and then slowly backing away. If you are attacked, play dead. Drop to the ground, lift your legs up to your chest, and clasp your hands over the back of your neck. This technique has been especially successful with female bears that have cubs.

 


For more information on Yellowstone National Park and
the surrounding communities visit these helpful sites:

YellowstoneNationalPark.com
- YellowstoneLodging.com
YellowstoneFlyFishing.com


Copyright @1999-2013 Yellowstone Media

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