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Twenty-five years after wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park, the apex predator holds people's fascination, attracting visitors from all over the world. Now, the next chapter of wolf reintroduction is taking place in Colorado. (Oct. 30) AP Domestic

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Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park reported their highest number of visitors for October.

Visits to Yellowstone National Park in October increased 110% from the same month a year before and making it the busiest October on record, park officials said earlier this month, the Great Falls Tribune, a USA TODAY Network publication, reports.

The park hosted 360,034 recreation visits in October, surpassing the previous record of 252,013 set in 2015 by 43%, officials said. So far in 2020, the park has hosted 3,743,907 recreation visits, down 6% from the same period last year. 

The park was closed due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19 beginning March 24. Two Wyoming entrances opened on May 18 and three Montana entrances opened on June 1, park officials said.

All roads in Yellowstone, with one exception, are closed to vehicle traffic from early November to late April. The road from the park’s north entrance at Gardiner through Mammoth Hot Springs to the northeast entrance and Cooke City and Silver Gate is open year-round, weather-permitting.

Conditions permitting, most park roads will open to oversnow travel (snowmobiles and snowcoaches) on December 15, 2020. Visit Explore in Winter for details. 

People who plan to visit the park this winter should have flexible travel plans and prepare for changing weather conditions. Temporary travel restrictions or closures can occur at any time without notice.

Grand Teton, Yellowstone's neighbor to the south, reported more than 351,000 visitors in October, a figure up 88% year-over-year. The park's previous October record number of tourists was in 2018, when the park saw more than 207,000 visitors.

At Grand Teton, roughly 3,170,000 people have visited the national park compared to about 3,310,000 people at the same time in 2019 — a 4.2% drop.

Glacier National Park in the north also recorded a substantial spike in guests in October despite closing its east entrances. The national park reported more than 125,000 visitors, a stark increase from the 78,000 tourists the park reported in 2018. The park has averaged about 85,000 visitors over the past three years.

Contributing: Associated Press

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