Wyoming Entrances to Yellowstone Busy After Reopening
Despite having three of its gates closed because of the coronavirus, Yellowstone National Park saw healthy traffic in the first three days of operations after opening back up. And they are expecting even more traffic through those gates during the Memorial Day Weekend.
Monday thru Wednesday, visitation was 90% of normal through the East Entrance (near Cody, WY) and approximately 60% of normal through the South Entrance (near Jackson, WY). Vehicle counts per day are broken down below.
May 18 2019 2020 Difference
East Gate 478 504 105% of 2019
South Gate 910 542 60% of 2019
Total 1,388 1,046 75% of 2019
May 19 2019 2020 Difference
East Gate 585 502 86% of 2019
South Gate 825 584 71% of 2019
Total 1,410 1,086 77% of 2019
May 20 2019 2020 Difference
East Gate 546 307 56% of 2019
South Gate 876 395 45% of 2019
Total 1,422 702 49% of 2019
Last year, with all five entrances open on these same dates, there were 5,022 cars in the park on May 18, 4,880 cars in the park on May 19, and 4,723 cars on May 20. It is estimated over the past three days, there is less than 20% of the normal traffic volume in the park compared to when all five entrances are open at this time of year.
Park Superintendent Cam Sholly said,
Overall, the first three days of operations have gone smoothly, especially with the very reduced amount of visitation in the park. I expect these numbers to go up significantly in the next few weeks.
The park is working closely with Governor Steve Bullock to set an opening date for the Montana entrances (west, north, and northeast). The governor announced earlier this week that he's lifting out-of-state travel restrictions on June 1st, so it's anticipated that those Yellowstone gates will open on that date or very soon thereafter.