Yellowstone or bust! Iconic National Park to open as scheduled, thanks to local community efforts

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel news

America’s first National Park, Yellowstone, will open as scheduled in early May after local communities in the state of Wyoming spearheaded efforts to overcome a US$1.8 million federal funding cut.

As Yellowstone National Park struggled with the reduced budget, park authorities felt compelled to delay ploughing roads this spring, which in turn would have delayed the opening of the East Gate from Cody and the South Gate from Jackson by two weeks  –  disappointing thousands of domestic and international visitors and costing the local economy more than $2 million in lost revenue.

Businesses and the local Chambers of Commerce in Yellowstone’s gateway communities of Cody and Jackson Hole began fundraising initiatives, while Wyoming State Governor Matt Mead pledged equipment and personnel to assist with plowing efforts.  As a result, Wyoming’s entrances to Yellowstone National Park will open as originally scheduled. The East Gate from Cody will open on 3 May  2013 and the South Gate from Jackson will open on 10 May 2013.
Established in 1872, Yellowstone is located in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, and is home to a large variety of wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, bison and elk. Preserved within the Yellowstone National Park is a collection of the world’s most extraordinary geysers and hot springs, including the much-loved Old Faithful. Last year the park received 3.4 million visitors.

For visitors looking to discover the incredible diversity of the real America this year, Yellowstone is just one of many stunning national parks and monuments to be enjoyed in the Rocky Mountain International states of Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana and Idaho:

Badlands National Park in South Dakota is renowned for its chiselled spires, deep canyons and jagged buttes, created by millions of years of wind, water and erosion.  The parks 244,000 acres protect an expanse of mixed-grass prairie which is home to bison, prairie dogs, bighorn sheep and black-footed ferrets.

In Idaho, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve certainly lives up to its name.  Established in 1924 to preserve the unique features of an enormous lava field, this 750,000-acre site features volcanic rifts, cinder cones and lava tube caves; it’s also home to a surprising number of plants and animals which have adapted themselves to this harsh volcanic desert environment.

Designated America’s 10th national park in 1910, Montana’s Glacier National Park is a rugged section of the northern Rockies renowned for its pristine forests, alpine meadows and spectacular lakes.  With more than 700 miles of trails, Glacier National Park is a genuine paradise for hikers.

Perennially popular with climbers, hikers and photographers, Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park is an ethereal mountain landscape where jagged peaks tower more than a mile above the Jackson Hole valley.  The Grand Teton rises to 13,770 feet above sea level; 12 other peaks within the park reach 12,000 feet or more.

Gazing out over South Dakota’s Black Hills are the majestic 60-foot faces of four US Presidents.  This can only be Mount Rushmore National Memorial; recognized worldwide, this national treasure stands as a symbol of US democracy and is a must-see for anyone wanting to truly experience the real America.

The Rocky Mountain International region is huge and stretches over 400,000 square miles and three different times zones, yet is home to less than 3 million people. Montana alone is roughly the size of Germany and in many areas, there is more wildlife than people.

Access to the region is easy via the region’s Gateway Cities of Chicago, IL, Denver, CO and Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington, MN, cities that have excellent connections from both the East and West Coasts of the U.S. and feature dynamic attractions, excellent lodging facilities and extensive shopping, dining and recreation opportunities.

To find out more about the Rocky Mountain International states, visit



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