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Jackson Hole, WY News

From near and far, visitors return to Yellowstone National Park

Park will stick with license plate-based admission system for now.

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From near and far, visitors return to Yellowstone National Park

At 71, Mike Newman had lived in Europe and China but never visited America’s first national park.

His wife, however, had been to Yellowstone National Park before and her husband’s oversight had become a source of “ridicule,” the retired Virginia professor said with a laugh. He was waiting at the park’s southern gate just before it reopened June 22. The park had been closed for a week and a half due to historic flooding that wiped out roads in the northern part of the park and led to the evacuation of 10,000 visitors.

Yellowstone Reopening

Yellowstone National Park visitors keep their distance as they take selfies and videos of a lone bison June 22 near Old Faithful. 

Yellowstone Reopening

Julie Miller, 64, waits for the South Entrance to open around 6:30 a.m. June 22. She intended to be the first person in line. When gates swung open, Miller was the fourth to enter.

Yellowstone Reopening

A child runs in front of a bison June 22 near Old Faithful. Rangers corralled crowds to keep them away from the horned ungulate. Bison have a reputation for goring visitors who get too close.

Yellowstone Reopening

Crowds watch as Old Faithful erupts the morning of June 22. Visitation was roughly 80% of normal, using the same day in 2019 as a baseline, according to Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly.

Yellowstone Reopening

Tourists pack the viewing station just south of Grand Prismatic on June 22.

Yellowstone Reopening

Kevin and CristiAnn Day, 60 and 25, of Layton, Utah, were the first in line to enter the park when it reopened June 22. They’d intended to come up a week prior, but ended up camping near Star Valley.

Yellowstone Reopening

George Frey, 63, was stationed near the South Entrance of Yellowstone on his last assignment as a freelancer for Getty Images. “What’s a better assignment than today?” Frey said.

Yellowstone Reopening

Pearl Bishop, 55, shows off her camera just after Old Faithful erupted. She and her family were visiting from California and detoured to Jackson after flooding closed the park.

Yellowstone Reopening

Bison slow traffic in the Hayden Valley on June 22, the first day Yellowstone Park opened to visitors after floods led officials to evacuate patrons in June.

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7063 or

Environmental Reporter

Billy Arnold has been covering the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the people who manage it since January 2022. He previously spent two years covering Teton County government, and a year editing Scene. Tips welcomed.

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