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Yellowstone visitation dips in July; still short of last year's record pace overall

Aug 10, 2017 - From wire reports

Park officials are expecting a busy August because of the solar eclipse, which will be 100 percent in areas close to Yellowstone.

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (AP) -- More than half way through the calendar year, Yellowstone National Park has seen about 5 percent fewer visitors so far this year.

The National Park Service on Wednesday said just over 962,400 people visited the park in July, down 3.4 percent from July 2016's 995,910 visits. Still, last month was the third busiest July in Yellowstone's history.

So far this year, more than 2.31 million people have visited Yellowstone.

That is down 4.6 percent from the same seven months in 2016, when a record 2.4 million visits were recorded.

Yellowstone officials are expecting a busy August because of the solar eclipse. People in Yellowstone will see only a partial solar eclipse on Aug. 21, but the total solar eclipse will pass directly over neighboring Grand Teton National Park.

Grand Teton is adjacent to Yellowstone, and many travelers are expected to pro- or post-date their eclipse viewing in and around Jackson and Grand Teton with a trip to Yellowstone.

While it won't be total, the eclipse will be nearly 100 percent in most of Yellowstone, with good viewing opportunities there as well.

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