By Associated Press - Thursday, September 17, 2020

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) - Yellowstone National Park had its second-busiest August on record but tourism is still down substantially this year, park officials said Thursday.

The coronavirus prompted the park’s closure in March and Yellowstone’s five entrances opened for spring automobile traffic a few weeks later than usual. The two Wyoming entrances opened May 18, followed by the three Montana entrances June 1.

Park services including some restaurants and lodges gradually reopened over the summer season and much later than usual.



In August, the park had 881,543 recreation visitors, up 7.5% from the year before for the second-busiest August on record. The busiest was August 2017, when tourists flocked to Wyoming to see a solar eclipse, park officials said.

From January through August, Yellowstone had 2.5 million visitors, down 18% from the same period in 2019.

Tourism in Yellowstone tapers off in September and October. Most lodges, restaurants, stores and other services close for the year in October, followed by all park roads in early November.

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