Yellowstone is a serene place and despite the traffic from 4 million visitors each year, there is minimal opportunity to connect to the Internet. The National Park Service controls all commercial activity in the park and for a fee you can connect your computer or phone to Wi-Fi at only five locations: Mammoth Springs, Old Faithful Snow Lodge, Lake Lodge, Grant Village and Canyon Lodge. ATT cell service is nonexistent, but Verizon customers have a chance to get some service in limited areas. I had ATT and Charlie had Verizon.
It is strange that the Park Service does not offer more public Wi-Fi access as their printed materials urge visitors to connect to Yellowstone’s park website at www.nps.gov/yelland to follow them on Twitter @ YellowstoneNPS or Old Faithful W@ GeyserNPS. Best of all is the free NPS Yellowstone Geysers app. With virtually no Wi-Fi in Yellowstone and weak cell service Yellowstone’s digital footprint is useless.
The week without Internet was tough for me. I could not keep up with the news including the Republican Presidential debate and the indictment of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane on numerous corruption charges.
We learned of the tragic death of a Yellowstone doctor who worked right in the medical clinic at Lake Yellowstone where we were staying and was killed by a bear on the Elephant Back Mountain trail less than three miles from our location on Friday, from the ranger on our lake cruise who reinforced the directive that hiking alone or with even one or two other people was dangerous. The park sells “bear spray” at many locations and the doctor was hiking alone without the spray and was found one half mile off the trail. That same trail was my second choice for our Sunday hike.
Yellowstone is wild and even though the bison seem slow and tame when you see them along the roadway they can gore a human in an instant and run 35 miles per hour.
Yellowstone Ending We ended up our Lake Yellowstone
outing with a wonderful family dinner at the Lake Yellowstone Dining Room and a stop at the Lake Company Store and the Lake Lodge, where I finally got the internet connection I needed to send this story for this week’s edition.
Yellowstone is the first national park ever created in the world in 1872 and it continues to delight millions of visitors from all regions of the world each year. Accessible by car, camper, or tour bus, Yellowstone’s beauty is long remembered and cherished. It had been 25 years since our last visit. We can’t wait that long to experience it again. And I am writing to Yellowstone Park Superintendent Daniel N. Wenk to update the Yellowstone experience with Wi-Fi.