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Yellowstone opens for the first weekend of season

WEST YELLOWSTONE, Montana (KIFI)- For the first time this spring the gates to Yellowstone National Park have opened. The park's opening also lined up with National Park Week, and to celebrate, like many parks across the nation, entry into the park on Saturday, April 20th was free.

Many were excited to explore the world's first national park, and many were doing so for the very first time.

"We've been wanting to come here for a very long time. but yeah, we're very excited. Look at the beautiful weather," Julie Moy a first-time park visitor said.

"My son and I just, thought it would be super fun and come out to Montana. He actually turned 17 last week, so that's kind of a birthday trip. And we thought of cool places that we could go to that we had never been to before. And Montana was it. So. And Yellowstone is right up top on the bucket list," Seth Banda another first-time Park visitor said.

Julie Moy's husband, David shared, how they were looking forward to seeing everything the park had to offer.

"The nature, the animals, the glaciers and all that nature stuff. Things that we hear about," David Moy said.

Seth shared that wildlife was high on his list of things to see as well.

"Wildlife, without a doubt. I mean, we want to just be out here and see what Yellowstone has to offer, right?" Seth said.

Seth was traveling with his friend Abram Antonuccia and was hoping to showcase a lot of the wildlife.

"We have some friends with us from Arizona. They've never seen moose before, so that'd be pretty cool. But, grizzly bears would be sweet, too,  haven't seen those in a while, and I don't think I've ever seen a wolf in the park, honestly," Abram said.

As it is opening weekend, for Yellowstone, I stopped by businesses that were open, celebrating the park's opening.

Many shared that they were as prepared as they could be before the spring-summer season gets into full swing, and were excited to have the busy season on their doorsteps.

Though they wouldn't go on camera with me, they did share that seeing people come to the park was a happy day for them.

One business I talked to was the Yellowstone Tour Guides. I spoke with, shared just how much this season meant to them.

"Winter here's a little bit slower for us, we mainly do tours and the northern range. Out of big Sky, Bozeman, and Livingston. Wildlife tours in general, and now we're kind of getting back on track with things and, doing sightseeing tours and hopefully soon some backpacking tours as the weather gets a little bit better," Scott Barlow with Yellowstone Tour Guides said.

Barlow shared that no matter how many times he's been in the park there's always something there to surprise him.

"Just anything that can happen. You never know what's going to happen. I mean, it could be the wildlife. You could see some spectacular animals. You could be walking around the geyser basins and you could see something that hasn't erupted for years. And the beautiful colors of the bacteria match the balls. There's such a variety in Yellowstone for everyone," Barlow said.

Yellowstone National Park Services has also given some tips for people who would want to visit the park.

Those tips are Number 1, plan ahead. That means checking current road conditions and being prepared for any sudden road closures as weather can change quickly.

Number 2, While the park is open right now, not all roads are open most will open later this spring.

and the Final Tip, Be aware of the wildlife. The park says we shouldn't come closer than 100 yards for bears and wolves, and 25 yards from most wildlife.

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8.


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