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Yellowstone visitation drops in July as park recovers from spring floods

 The east entrance into Yellowstone National Park.
Jacob W. Frank
The east entrance into Yellowstone National Park.

Visitation to Yellowstone National Park was down in July during what is usually the park’s busiest month of the year.

The park saw about 600,000 recreation visits last month. That's down 45% from last year, the busiest July on record, and 36% from the last pre-COVID year.

So far in 2022, the park has counted about 1.8 million recreation visits, down 30% from 2022.

After flooding in June, the park closed entirely for more than a week. The West, South and East entrances have since re-opened.

While the North and Northeast entrances are open to hikers and bicyclists, they remain closed to regular vehicle traffic. The park service anticipates having a temporary road paved for tourists to drive into the park from Gardiner by Oct. 15.

Olivia Weitz covers Bozeman and surrounding communities in Southwest Montana for Yellowstone Public Radio. She has reported for Northwest News Network and Boise State Public Radio and previously worked at a daily print newspaper. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom Story Workshop.