Yellowstone National Park Winter Storm Travelers Stranded

More than 150 travelers were stranded overnight on the grounds of Yellowstone National Park due to a harsh winter storm that blanketed the region this past weekend.

Early Saturday afternoon the storm made road conditions so bad that plows were called off and the road between Moran Junction in Grand Teton and Flagg Ranch in the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway, near the entrance of Yellowstone, was closed.

This left travelers without an exit from the park, and it became clear they would have to stay overnight. However, park rangers and firemen had access to those who were stranded, and were able to supply travelers with housing and food, as well as make sure they were all safe for their unexpected overnight stay.

Teton spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said in a statement, "Marooned travelers were provided emergency shelter, food, and makeshift accommodations at Signal mountain Lodge, Flagg Ranch, and the Moran Elementary School."

On Sunday morning the roads were deemed safe enough for crews to begin clearing them. Roads were soon opened allowing weary travelers to return home.

The harsh winter storms on Saturday were also bad news for snowboarder Sam Hoerr, who got separated from his group when they ventured into the Granite Canyon in Grand Teton National Park's backcountry. A rescue crew was dispatched as Hoerr did not have overnight gear with him, nor did he have anything that could help him in case of an avalanche. As Skaggs explained, "Given the high avalanche danger and late hour of the day, a rescue effort was launched."

Luckily rescue crews were able to communicate with Hoerr by cell phone and they found him before 8 p.m.

Skaggs said that after locating the lost snowboarder, rescuers "escorted [Hoerr] out of Granite Canyon" and Hoerr and his friends "all returned safely to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort around 10 p.m."