YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK – It was big weekend for Yellowstone National Park with the unofficial start of peak season for visitors from around the world.
Many people who visit in the summer are seeing both Yellowstone and a national park for the first time.
“Enjoy the park, but do so safely,” advised Yellowstone National Park spokeswoman Linda Veress.
That means protecting not just yourself, but the park wonders like thermal features and animals. Park rangers consistently remind visitors of the safety procedures.
“Leave the fireworks at home to enjoy for another day,” said Veress. “It’s difficult to get lodging and camping at the last minute, so do the research and make plans in advance.”
Another tip is to stay on the boardwalks. One wrong step could end in injury or even death.
“Parking areas can be crowded and roadways can be crowded as well with traffic. There can be animal jams, there might be lines at the gate,” Veress told MTN News.
Once you do get into the park, don’t neglect the campfire. Yellowstone officials noted fires are only allowed in designated fire rings and must be cold to the touch before you leave.
Then there’s the Yellowstone Pledge, which includes some important advice.
“Give animals space. Just a reminder to stay 100 yards away from bears and wolves and 25 yards away from all other animals,” Veress said.
Visitors should also “be bear aware”, travel in a group, and don’t forget one important accessory.
“Bear spray. We always recommend folks to carry bear spray when they’re out and about in the park, especially when they’re on the trails, Veress said.
However, the number one killer in Yellowstone over the years has been water.
More people drown than fall victim to any other fatal catastrophe. One reason is because of high winds that whip down from the mountains and form big waves on the lakes.
The water is also very cold and in streams and rivers, the current can be a lot stronger than you think.
-Reported by John Sherer/MTN News