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Record Yellowstone tourism but timed entry plan not imminent

August 18, 2021 GMT

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — Yellowstone National Park won’t implement a timed-entry system at least in the next year but it’s possible eventually, the park’s superintendent said.

Yellowstone is among the busiest national parks during the summer. Other busy parks, including Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, have implemented timed entry, which requires visitors to reserve a time when they may enter.

The goal is to reduce auto traffic, which at Yellowstone’s busier entrances can stretch up to a mile (1.6 kilometers) during summer, the Cody Enterprise reports.

Timed entry in Yellowstone would most likely be limited to the South entrance north of Grand Teton National Park and West entrance near West Yellowstone, Montana, Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly said Friday.

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The gate west of Cody, and the Montana gates outside Gardiner and Cooke City, are less busy.

A decision on timed entry would be made far in advance, after consultation with the public and likely coordination with Grand Teton, Sholly said.

“I don’t think it needs to be implemented next year or the immediate future,” Sholly said.

Yellowstone has been setting tourism records this year after being shut down at the start of the 2020 summer season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A record of nearly 1 million people visited in June.