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Yellowstone, Grand Teton Experience Record Visitations

cars waiting at Yellowstone National Park gates
Jacob W. Frank

As the nation opened up this summer, people hit the road, with many visiting national parks. The surge of travelers is reflected in the visitation numbers at Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park.

Both set record numbers of visitations for April, May and June. Yellowstone welcomed close to a million (938,845) visitorsin June alone, while Grand Teton had over 750,000 visitors.

Morgan Warthin, Yellowstone National Park's public affairs specialist, said the park welcomes the visitors but people need to be prepared for crowds and traffic. She said that given the size of crowds, there will be impacts on the park's infrastructure.

"There are impacts to services such as bathrooms, and bathroom facilities, and also increased trash. Just due to the number of people that are coming into the park," said Warthin.

She added the park is already working on ways to reduce wait times by asking visitors to purchase passes and book campsites online. They are also thinking about future ways to protect the health of the park.

"I would just say that everything is on the table. And we are looking and watching and certainly wanting to develop the right decisions for visitation to Yellowstone into the future," she said.

Grand Teton National Park announced earlier this month that they are initiating studies on how to improve transportation and visitor movement around the park. Officials say it will help managers deal with the influx of visitors in the future.

Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. She has won a regional Murrow award for her reporting on mental health and firearm owners. During her time leading the Wyoming Public Media newsroom, reporters have won multiple PMJA, Murrow and Top of the Rockies Excellence in Journalism Awards. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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