GRANITE PEAK PUBLICATIONS: Books accompanying travelers to the Park since 2002

All posts tagged national parks

Trains to Yellowstone? Oh, for the days . . .

Categories: History, Transportation
Comments Off on Trains to Yellowstone? Oh, for the days . . .

I just answered an amazing question on quora.com: “What are the dangers of taking a train to Yellowstone?”

To my mind this is a strange question, but perhaps the person asking it does not know where trains do and do not run in the U.S.

It would be great if there were still trains to one or more of the entrances to the park. However, the last passenger train, the Northern Pacific, to terminate at Gardiner, Montana (the North Entrance) arrived with a passel of Girls Scouts in 1955, and one could only get as far as Livingston on a train up to 1979. The other railroads that took passengers near the park had stopped running trains to the vicinity of Yellowstone even before that.

Your present options are taking a tour bus, flying to one of the gateway towns that has an airport and renting a car, or driving in your own car, which people do from every state in the Union.

Personally, I would think it high time that railroads reconsider the possibility of building tracks back to Gardiner, Cody, and/or West Yellowstone. The National Park Service should then set up shuttle buses to all the major points of interest—if only there were money for such a dream to come true any time soon. . . .

Share Button

The 145th anniversary of Yellowstone Park

Categories: History, Through Early Yellowstone
Comments Off on The 145th anniversary of Yellowstone Park

Yellowstone National Park was set aside as the world’s first national park 145 years ago, on March 1, 1872. An act of Congress on that date made sure that settlement and sale of the land was prevented, and set it apart “as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” We placed the text of this important document on page 50 of the Through Early Yellowstone anthology, along with stories by explorers, adventurers, and tourists. Let’s appreciate what our nineteenth-century lawmakers did for us!

1872 Yellowstone act excerpt

Share Button

Good news, bad news about visitors to Yellowstone

Categories: News, Transportation
Comments Off on Good news, bad news about visitors to Yellowstone

fox north entrance Yellowstone

This fox was spotted tracking a snowshoe hare from atop the Roosevelt Arch at the North Entrance earlier this month.

Let’s take a breather from the national news scene to look at the amazing popularity of Yellowstone Park in 2016. The National Park Service office has recently announced record visitation for last year: 4,257,177 visitors came through the gates, up nearly 4 percent over last year’s record. Their January 17th press release attributes much of this huge influx to the number of commercial tour buses—12,778 last year. It’s wonderful to know that people from all over the world are able to travel and enjoy Yellowstone’s wonders, but limits on numbers or timing of visits probably need to be set up to conserve natural resources and keep the park beautiful.

Since the NPS is obliged by law to preserve the parks “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people”—as well as to conserve their natural resources—officials are pondering ways to carry out these sometimes opposing obligations. Way back in May of 2011, I developed a plan for a shuttle system on the west side of the park. Unlike a park such as Zion, which essentially has one central road, the figure-eight system of park roads in Yellowstone does not lend itself well to shuttles, but having only the most-traveled west side accessible by shuttle and creating incentives to encourage able-bodied visitors to use them would help the congestion.

As someone who has enjoyed the park for over three-quarters of a century, I don’t want us to love it to death!

—Janet

Photo credit: Yellowstone Forever, @ynpforever Twitter feed, January 6, 2017

Share Button

Celebrate 2016 with a discounted Yellowstone book!

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on Celebrate 2016 with a discounted Yellowstone book!

This year the U.S. national parks have been celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service all year. We have been encouraged to get out and enjoy our now 413 beautiful and historic national parks and monuments, via the Find Your Park campaign. And on August 25, 2016, Americans said “Happy Birthday, NPS!”

Through Early YellowstoneAs part of the centennial celebrations, Granite Peak Publications released Through Early Yellowstone: Adventuring by Bicycle, Covered Wagon, Foot, Horseback, and Skis in June. The story about Alice Parmelee Morris called “Yellowstone Trails Blazed by New York Woman” was originally published in the New York Times in 1918, two years after she made the trip. All ten of the other main stories, as well as the numerous poems and short excerpts in the anthology also took place before cars were allowed in the park, during 1870 to 1916.

With entertaining travel accounts and many watercolor paintings and engravings, the book is a wonderful way to inspire someone you know and allow armchair travel to Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone Treasures coverNow is your chance to buy Through Early Yellowstone at 30 percent off or the very practical Yellowstone Treasures guidebook at 40 percent off. You can also get a holiday bundle with one of each book for just $40. Hurry, sale ends January 10, 2017.

Share Button

Happy Birthday, NPS

Categories: News
Comments Off on Happy Birthday, NPS

August 25th is the official 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service. Every year the national parks offer free admission on this day, but for the centennial the free days have been extended through the weekend, to August 28th. Enjoy!

Yellowstone Park is holding a big, sold-out celebration at Arch Park at the North Entrance, with shuttles from Gardiner. If you didn’t get a ticket, you can still participate virtually via Livestream.

If you do have plans to visit Yellowstone any time soon, be sure to keep track of the fires and other construction and road alerts at the official Yellowstone website. Sean Reichard has written several posts recently about the various fires being fought. Here is one of his articles this week: “More trails close as fires grow in Yellowstone National Park.”

Share Button

Great bike-riding opportunity this month!

Categories: News, Trip planning
Comments Off on Great bike-riding opportunity this month!

Some of the plowed roads in Yellowstone are open for just a short time every year to bike riders. This great opportunity to enjoy the road from West Yellowstone to Mammoth car-free lasts until April 15th, when the other park roads gradually open to motorized vehicles. You can enjoy the quiet, the animals, and all the beauties of the northwest part of the park on two skinny wheels. Click here for all the details. Note that the road from Madison to Old Faithful is closed at this time for bear management.

The same privilege is offered by Glacier National Park in northern Montana, another paradise. But Going-to-the-Sun Highway requires really ambitious bike riders with good brakes!

Share Button

Review of National Parks Adventure 3D

Categories: News
Comments Off on Review of National Parks Adventure 3D

National Parks Adventure still with Muir and Roosevelt

Reenactment of John Muir and President Teddy Roosevelt’s camping trip in Yosemite Valley to discuss the future of a National Park system.

Today I had the chance to preview National Parks Adventure 3D, a new IMAX movie that opens nationwide this month. Places to see it include the science museums of Philadelphia, Portland, and Seattle, the aquariums of Chattanooga and Omaha, and the natural science museum in Houston. The giant-screen format is perfect for immersing oneself in awe-inspiring footage of various of the larger national parks, including Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Crater Lake, and Bryce Canyon. I can promise a gorgeous view of Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone.

The songs to go with the wonderful colors and aerial views range from “Hallelujah” from the Shrek soundtrack to James Bay’s 2014 folk rock hit “Hold Back the River,” with, of course, “This Land is Your Land” as well. We also hear bird song, coyote howls, bear grunts, and running water.

According to ABC News, the filming lasted nine months and cost 12.5 million dollars. The narrator is Robert Redford. You can learn more at the film’s website.

But the movie is not only a compendium of beautiful sounds and images. There is a plot and plenty to admire as three adventure travelers climb and paddle in various parks. And the movie informs us about John Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt, reenacting their historic three-day camping trip in the Yosemite Valley wilderness. It’s a fitting way to celebrate President’s Day weekend and this year’s centennial of establishing the National Park Service. I recommend you go and bring friends and family!

—Beth, Editor and Publisher

Photo credit: Courtesy of MacGillivray Freeman Films. Photographer: Barbara MacGillivray ©VisitTheUSA.com

Share Button

Over four million visitors enjoyed Yellowstone in 2015!

Categories: News
Comments Off on Over four million visitors enjoyed Yellowstone in 2015!

The National Park Service has announced that Yellowstone Park has just had another record year. Nearly 600,000 more people passed through the park’s five entrances in 2015 than in 2014, a total of 4,097,210.

As always, the West Entrance was the most popular, and more people visited in July than in any other month, with August and June just behind in numbers.

The NPS attributes this year’s popularity to lower gas prices, stepped-up marketing by Montana and Wyoming tourist bureaus, and the NPS’s own “Find Your Park” program. In addition, beginning last year, to encourage visitation, all families that have a fourth grade student may enter any national park without paying an entrance fee.

Share Button

Update on Through Early Yellowstone

Categories: News, Through Early Yellowstone
Comments Off on Update on Through Early Yellowstone

Through Early Yellowstone cover

Janet Chapple’s early Yellowstone anthology, forthcoming June 2016

Janet’s next book will be published in time to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service. She has carefully selected and annotated travel stories from the first five decades of the park. The crown jewel of the book is the set of 1884 watercolors by Thomas H. Thomas, shown here for the first time outside Wales. We feature his image of Grand Prismatic Spring on the cover. Click on this picture for a larger image, and you can see two men and their horses standing close to the hot spring before any boardwalk was built.

There have been many steps along the way, beginning with Janet’s several years of research at historical societies, public and university libraries, and the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center Library. In 2014 Granite Peak Publications acquired the book and decided to issue it as a trade paperback. We sought feedback from friends and publishing experts, including sending out a survey that helped us switch from the tentative Magnificent Playground to the current title. The stories are told by active explorers and adventurers, so we wanted to express that in the subtitle, “Adventuring by Bicycle, Covered Wagon, Foot, Horseback, and Skis.” Our designer, Vicky Shea of Ponderosa Pine Design, is working on the second stage of page creation, altering image sizes and putting in the corrections that our proofreader found.

Already Amazon.com is offering pre-orders of the book. To find out more and browse the table of contents, go to the book’s web page, ThroughEarlyYellowstone.com.

Do you have questions for us about this new book? Be sure to comment below or use our contact form.

Warm wishes for the winter season,
Editor Beth Chapple

Share Button

Record Yellowstone visitation achieved

Categories: News
Comments Off on Record Yellowstone visitation achieved

In case you haven’t heard, a record number of people visited Yellowstone this October—in fact, 29% more than the previous October record. Also, total visitation so far this year has already topped all records, exceeding the four million mark.

This may be due to unseasonably warm weather, lower gas prices, or simply a relatively upbeat economy. Whatever the reason, Granite Peak Publications likes to think we might have played a small part in informing lots of potential visitors of the unique wonders in store for them when they visit!

granite-peak-publications-logo-labeled

Share Button