GRANITE PEAK PUBLICATIONS: Accompanying travelers to the national park since 2002

All posts tagged construction

Why not plan a fall trip to the park?

Categories: Flora and Fauna, Trip planning, Wildlife
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aspens in autumn

Aspens turn golden in the fall.

Does it make sense to visit Yellowstone in the autumn months? Of course! Fall is short but wonderful in Yellowstone National Park. The month of September and part of October make up Yellowstone’s autumn; because of the high altitude, after about mid October there are likely to be more snowy days than warm ones.

Autumn is when the bull elk are bugling their unearthly sounds to assert their dominance over the area (and over the cows), bears are coming to the lower altitudes to forage for the foods they need to gorge on before hibernation, and the aspen trees are turning golden. Best of all, the visitors have thinned out remarkably.

Planned road construction

But this year you really need to take two road closures into account when you plan your trip. It helps to look at the maps I link to at the bottom of this post to see how much of a detour you may need to take.

Road closure no. 1

The road linking Old Faithful with West Thumb and Grant Village will be closed for the season starting 6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, so the bridge at Isa Lake can be removed and replaced.

This road closure will require visitors traveling between the South Entrance and Old Faithful or West Yellowstone to detour through Fishing Bridge Junction and Canyon, increasing the travel time by approximately two hours.

Despite the closure, visitors will still be able to drive south from Old Faithful as far as the trailhead to Lone Star Geyser and north from West Thumb Junction to access the DeLacy Creek trailhead.

Road closure no. 2

In addition, the road from Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris will be closed due to construction from 11 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, until 7 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30.

During this closure, travel between Mammoth Hot Springs and Norris will require a detour through Tower Junction and Canyon, a drive of approximately 90 minutes. Visitors traveling between Mammoth Hot Springs and West Yellowstone should plan on the trip taking approximately two and a half hours.

See “Construction Work to Result in Yellowstone Road Closures after Labor Day” on the National Park Service website for more.
—Editor Beth

CREDIT: The photo is by Leslie Kilduff.

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Yellowstone in social media and more

Categories: News, Trip planning
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From the Spring 2014 issue of Yellowstone Spring (published by the National Park Service and formerly called Yellowstone Today), you can learn a lot that’s useful for an upcoming trip to the park.

Yellowstone has stayed at the forefront in social media. Here are some addresses currently offered that you might like to follow:

twitter.com/YellowstoneNPS
twitter.com/GeyserNPS
www.facebook.com/YellowstoneNPS
www.youtube.com/YellowstoneNPS
www.flickr.com/photos/YellowstoneNPS
For predictions of Old Faithful Geyser’s eruptions whenever the park is open, follow @GeyserNPS on Twitter.
[And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter as well: @GPPublications –Ed.]

There are webcams you can watch at Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, and the Mount Washburn Fire Lookout.

The paper also has the following useful information that may affect your travel plans within the park. You can expect these construction delays:

1. From Gibbon River to Grizzly Lake: nightly closures from 11 pm to 7 am all summer; this section of road will be a fully closed from September 14 at 11:00 pm through September 30 at 7:00 am.

2. To replace the Isa Lake bridge, the road between West Thumb and Old Faithful will close for the season on September 2, 2014.

You can also download a PDF of the entire Yellowstone Spring 2014.

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Road construction for 2010 summer travelers

Categories: Trip planning
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Knowing about the current construction projects might help in planning your Yellowstone visit. There are four of them currently listed for the park. Be aware that the first one I will name includes totally closing the road between 10 pm and 8 am, so you will have to find an alternate route—but night driving defeats most people’s purpose of seeing the sights, anyway.
1. Madison to Norris junctions: The new bridge is open to traffic as of July 12th, but there will still be construction and delays on the road along the Gibbon River.
2. The South Entrance to Lewis Falls is being resurfaced. This project will probably be completed by August.
3. Sylvan Pass has a one-mile stretch which will see construction work. No dates announced for this one.
4. The Canyon to Fishing Bridge junctions segment through Hayden Valley, where so many bison usually congregate in the summer, will have construction delays (in addition to the bison jams) starting on July 26th.

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Time to get back to Yellowstone

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Just as the park is about to open for what is optimistically called the summer season, nature has dumped what looks like about a foot of snow on the Old Faithful area. Winter was relatively dry this year [2009-2010]. Snow plows have been busy for several weeks clearing the roads of what little snow they had. Nevertheless, I’m sure many of the roads and some facilities will open on April 16th as planned (after re-plowing).

For people lucky enough to be visiting a national park this month, note that all 392 national parks will waive their entrance fees from April 17 to 25, 2010. In Yellowstone, though, you’ll need to be aware that the Gibbon Canyon road (between Madison and Norris Junctions) will be under construction—all summer—and will cause 30-minute delays during the days and be closed totally from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m,, except during the Memorial Day and 4th of July weekends. See further details about the roads on the
National Park Service road closures page, or call 307-344-2117.

I’ve been unable to blog for a month due to the stresses of moving to a new address, but now that the park is about to open, I expect to have plenty to say about my favorite place.

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Road construction may affect your autumn trip

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Autumn is a beautiful time to visit Yellowstone, but you need to plan your route especially carefully this year [2009]. You’ll find construction and even closed roads in a number of areas both in and approaching the park.

Here are some places to avoid or plan around:
1. Dubois, WY through Togwotee Pass on U.S. Highways 26 and 287 has two areas being worked on, creating traffic delays (as much as three hours during late night and early morning hours), vehicle width restrictions, and special cautions to motorcyclists. Details are at The Togwotee Trail to Yellowstone.
2. Lizard Creek Campground to Flagg Ranch, the stretch of road called the Rockefeller Memorial Parkway between Grand Teton and Yellowstone parks, will experience road construction with 30 minute delays day and night through November 2009.
3. The Beartooth Highway (US 212 east from Yellowstone’s Northeast Entrance) has two construction projects causing 30-minute delays and some night closures.
4. In the park itself, the road between Artists’ Paintpots through Gibbon Canyon to the Tuff Cliff Picnic Area near Madison Junction is completely closed from now through the November 2 fall closing date of most park interior roads. This project involves removing an existing bridge over the Gibbon River and building a new one; the construction will also affect traffic in the summer season of 2010.

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