Editor's Voice - Summer 2022

Written by Leigh Ripley

Yellowstone National Park Celebrates 150th Anniversary

This year, Yellowstone is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its establishment as the first national park. While this is an exciting and monumental occasion, it is sure to swell visitor traffic even more than the usual summer tourist season does.

Locals know that the best time to visit YNP is in the spring and fall when the crowds have dissipated some and the animals are much busier and more visible. So, it’s with residency on our side that we are blessed with that option.

For those of you traveling through with plans to visit YNP this summer, Montana thanks you for visiting and exploring one of our most noteworthy state treasures. Three entrances to YNP are located in Montana: West Yellowstone, Gardiner and Cooke City. With the 150th anniversary this summer, please practice your best patience in the park. The traffic will be bad, and slow. But slow is good! If you are zipping through the park, you’ll have no idea what you missed. A bald eagle resting on the top of an Aspen. An Osprey fishing from the Yellowstone. A mother black bear and her cubs foraging in downed timber (they can blend in). The howl of a wolf. YNP visits should never be rushed, but savored. Plan to take a picnic lunch or a short hike. Leave yourself plenty of time to just sit back and take it all in. The sights, the sounds, the smells.

I usually include one of my favorite one-day or multiple-day YNP tours for this annual issue of ours. I’m not going to do that this year. Instead, our Montana Parent community is sharing a few favorite images from park visits with our families over the years. Note: None of these moments could have been captured if we hadn't slowed down to take the picture.

Yellowstone was inhabited by indigenous cultures long before it became our first national park. In that spirit, YNP continues to embrace and inspire art, music, literature, science and a conservation movement that has led to the creation other national parks worldwide. Bring a journal, drawing paper, your camera, your instruments, your questions and really VISIT the park. You never know, that bear jam that stops you in traffic for two hours may lead to the next great novel —or children’s book.

Fee-Free YNP Entrance Days 2022 (If you are really craving crowds, these are the days to go.)

» August 4: Anniversary of Great American Outdoors Act

» September 24: National Public Lands Day

» November 11: Veterans Day

Read the Summer Family Fun issue here


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