Tips For a Fun Fourth of July in Yellowstone National Park - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Tips For a Fun Fourth of July in Yellowstone National Park

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Summer is here and Yellowstone is welcoming visitors for the upcoming Independence Day holiday.

All roads, campgrounds, lodging, visitor amenities and activities are open for the season. Road construction between Tower Fall and Tower-Roosevelt will be halted from 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 3 until 11:00 p.m. Sunday, July 7, for the holiday weekend.

While annual fireworks displays are held in many of the park's gateway communities, no fireworks are allowed inside the park or on surrounding National Forest System lands.  

The park will be busy, so allow extra time traveling from place to place because you could encounter some traffic congestion and delays due to a high volume of vehicles, narrow lane widths and a posted 45-mph maximum speed limit. Visitors should keep their eyes open for animals present on roadways and be prepared to stop for unexpected wildlife sightseeing "jams."    

Speaking of rules of the road, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal and is strictly enforced in Yellowstone. All vehicle occupants are required to wear seatbelts while traveling on park roadways. 

Whether along the road or along a hiking trail, to protect wildlife, yourself and other visitors, you need to view animals from a distance of at least 25 yards, and stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves.  

All visitors traveling in the park away from developed areas should stay in groups of three or more, make noise on the trail, keep an eye out for bears and carry bear spray. Bear spray has proven to be a good last line of defense, if kept handy and used according to directions when a bear is approaching within 30 to 60 feet.   

You can protect yourself and Yellowstone's valuable natural resources by staying on boardwalks in thermal areas. Pets, smoking and eating in thermal areas are also prohibited.

The recently publicized outbreak of gastrointestinal illness which impacted a small percentage of park employees and visitors is on the decline. Still, visitors encouraged to wash their hands frequently with soap and water during their visit to limit their chance of contracting norovirus.    

For valuable trip planning information, visit http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/index.htm.

For current road conditions, call (307) 344-2117. For current camping information, weather conditions and forecasts, call (307) 344-2113. For information on permits and reservations, visit http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/feesandreservations.htm.

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