America’s OZ stand-out is getting upgrades — and that could be good news for the park’s traffic

The memorial and recreation complex in Gravelly Flats, located at the park’s southern end, includes three rock walls and a series of caves dating to the Pomo Native American era. It also serves as…

America’s OZ stand-out is getting upgrades — and that could be good news for the park’s traffic

The memorial and recreation complex in Gravelly Flats, located at the park’s southern end, includes three rock walls and a series of caves dating to the Pomo Native American era. It also serves as the north entrance to the park’s Old Faithful geyser crater. These features attracted thousands of visitors to the area last summer.

Two consecutive weather-related grizzly bear attacks within the last year apparently have made wildlife managers nervous enough to consider keeping Old Faithful closed. Yellowstone opened Old Faithful to visitors in the spring of 1924.

The majority of the visitors to northern portions of the park were bused or chartered into the Grand Prismatic Spring in the north near Norris Geyser Basin to view Old Faithful. Mount Rainier National Park officials said today that all access to the area has been closed.

“We’ll continue to assess conditions in coming weeks,” Joe Malloh, operations manager for the park’s Most Exotic Wilderness, said in a news release, “and may suspend public access to the park’s lava fields and attractions as necessary.”

Here’s a photo of the official Death Valley National Park bird find of the year, depending on what you use as a base. (Grazeie/Flickr)

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