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Yellowstone sees 3 million summer visitors

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A crowd watches a grizzly from a safe distance in Yellowstone National Park. NPS PHOTO

By Jessianne Castle EBS ENVIRONMENTAL & OUTDOORS EDITOR

LIVINGSTON – As autumn takes a quiet hold on the Greater Yellowstone and Big Sky embraces the shoulder season, so too do operations slow in our nation’s first national park. So far in 2019, Yellowstone has seen just over 3.1 million visitors. While this is down a half percent from last year, it’s up from 2.7 million visits in 2014.

Throughout September and October, the National Park Service and concessionaires begin drawing the shutters, closing down campgrounds and facilities in preparation for the winter season.

Lewis Lake Campground remains open through the end of October, but by the first week of November nearly all services shut down and park roads close to wheeled vehicles except the road from Gardiner to Cooke City.

Between December and March, when Yellowstone succumbs to snowy splendor, the park is open to limited oversnow travel by permitted snowmobiles and snowcoaches, as well as cross-country skis and snowshoes.

Visit nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/hours.htm for a complete list of season dates and facility closures.

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