Yellowstone Establishes 15 Bear Management Areas in 2022
Written by Andrew-Rossi on April 14, 2022
Yellowstone National Park may be opening up, but vast areas of the park are and will remain closed until May or later due to dead animals and hungry grizzlies.
Beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, April 15, select roads in Yellowstone National Park will open to the public for the summer of the park’s 150th anniversary – weather permitting. However, many park areas will remain restricted or closed to visitors because of the voracious appetites of the park’s permanent residents.
Bear management areas are an important part of the spring opening of Yellowstone National Park. Every year, biologists identify areas with high concentrations of bison and elk carcasses so park officials can enforce visitor restrictions.
To reduce encounters between bears and humans, the park doesn’t close but does restrict certain activities in bear management areas. Restrictions may include area closures, trail closures, a minimum group size of four or more people, day use only, or no off-trail travel.
The National Park Service has a full list and map of 2022’s Bear Management Areas within Yellowstone. In addition to the dates of closure, the list includes the boundaries and restrictions for each area.
Some bear management areas are so remote few visitors will access them, while others have boundaries along major roads and Yellowstone hot spots.
One area has the road between Old Faithful and Madison Junction running straight through it. Park officials will move some carcasses away from the more populated areas of Yellowstone to minimize the risk of encountering a foraging grizzly.
Popular areas adjacent to bear management include the Old Faithful Geyser Basin, West Thumb, Grant Village, and Fishing Bridge.
The following is the full list of the 2022’s 15 Bear Management Areas and their reopening dates.
A. Firehole: Closed March 10 through the Friday of Memorial Day weekend.
The area includes Firehole Freight Road and Firehole Lake Drive.
A1. Mary Mountain Trail: Closed March 10 through June 15.
Closure extends from the Nez Perce trailhead to Mary Lake. Through travel from the Canyon trailhead is not allowed. However, travel is permitted between the Canyon trailhead and Mary Lake. In addition, streamside use is allowed from the point where Nez Perce Creek crosses the main road to a point one mile upstream along Nez Perce Creek.
B. Richard’s Pond: Closed March 10 through the Friday of Memorial Day weekend.
From the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through September 30, Duck Creek, from the park boundary upstream to the Campanula Creek/Richard’s Creek fork, is open to streamside travel. The area upstream from Campanula Creek/Richard’s Creek fork is closed from March 10 through September 30.
C. Gneiss Creek: Closed March 10 through June 30.
From July 1 through November 10, travel is allowed only on designated trails: off-trail travel is prohibited.
D. Gallatin: From May 1 through November 10
Travel is allowed only on designated trails: off-trail travel is prohibited.
A minimum group size of four or more is recommended for hiking and camping.
E. Blacktail: Closed March 10 through June 30.
F. Washburn: Closed August 1 through November 10. From March 10 through July 31, the area is open by special permit only: contact the Tower Ranger Station for more information.
G. Antelope: Closed March 10 through November 10.
The Dunraven Road and related turnouts are open. In addition, from May 25 through November 10, foot travel is allowed on the old Road Trail from Tower Campground to the Buffalo Picnic Area.
H. Mirror Plateau
From May 15 through November 10, the area is open to day use only except for overnight camping between July 1 and August 14 (for a total of 14 nights per summer at the 301 and 5P7 campsites).
I. Pelican Valley: Closed April 1 through July 3.
From July 4 through November 10, the area is open to day use only between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.
J1. Clear Creek
From April 1 through August 10, travel is only allowed on the east shore from Nine-mile Trailhead to Park Point. All other trails are closed, and off-trail travel is prohibited. However, campsite 5H1 is open (no travel from the site). On August 11, all the campsites are open, and off-trail travel is permitted.
J2: From April 1 through July 14, travel is only allowed on the east shore trail from Park Point to Beaverdam Creek. All other trails are closed, and off-trail travel is prohibited. Open campsites are 5E2, 5E3, 5E4, and 5E6 (no travel away from campsite). All other campsites are closed. On July 15, all campsites open, and off-trail travel is permitted.
K. Lake Spawn
No off-trail travel is allowed from May 15 through July 14, and the trail between Cabin Creek and Outlet Creek is closed. Open campsites are 7L5, 7L6, 7L8, 7L7, 7M3, 7M4, 7M5, 6A3, 6A4, and 6B1 (no travel away from campsite). Only July 15, all campsites open, and off-trail travel is permitted.
L. Two Ocean
From March 10 through July 14 and August 22 through November 10, travel is allowed only on designated trails (off-trail travel is prohibited). From July 15 through August 21, a permit is required for persons wishing to travel away from designated trails. Contact the South Entrance Ranger Station for more information.
M. Riddle/Solution: Closed April 30 through July 14.
N. Grant Village
The Grant Campground will not open before June 20. Actual opening dates may vary annually. If bears are still frequenting the spawning streams after opening, the campground loops adjacent to the streams will remain closed until bear activity ceases. Campground opening and closure dates are determined annually and can also be located in the park newspaper.