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
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-
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.
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.
Wildlife of Yellowstone"
- 94 Minutes
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
· Where, When and How to Spot the Wildlife of Yellowstone
Info or Order Online
Camping in 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.
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.
Reservations for Backcountry Campsites
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.
and Reservations Made Less Than 48 Hours in Advance
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.
to Get Your Permit
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:
Ranger Station/Visitor Center
Village Visitor Center
Ranger Station/Visitor Center
Faithful Ranger Station
Entrance Ranger Station
Entrance Ranger Station
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
defacing or destroying any plant, animal, or mineral is prohibited.
Leave historical and archeological items in place.
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:
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.
hike after dark.
bears often defend this source of food.
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.
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
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