I didn't make it to Yellowstone this year, but I feel like I was there often as social media sites were bombarded with pictures and videos of the geysers and wildlife encounters with tourists and tourons. I last visited Yellowstone in the summer of 2019 and it was one of my most memorable vacations. I won't be heading there this year though as the three main road entrances will be closing this weekend for winter.

Yellowstone Road Closures For Winter

Each year, usually in November, three of the main roads that lead into Yellowstone National Park are closed to traffic so they can be prepped for winter vehicle use. The East, South, and West entrances plus all roads will be closed after November 7th. The North road will remain open if you travel through Mammoth Hot Springs.

Roads open for snowmobiles and snowcoach travel starting on December 15th. The Yellowstone National Park Facebook page has more details plus what to expect in Yellowstone during the winter.

2021, The Year Of Tourons In Yellowstone

We've posted a lot of videos this year about human encounters with wild animals in Yellowstone. Maybe it's because we got cooped up in 2020 and needed to be crazy without vacations in 2021 to make up for it. Most of the videos involved tourists making bad decisions. Including the genius who taunted an elk and then wiped out in the parking lot trying to run away, or the grizzly who had to be bean-bag shot because tourists wouldn't leave it alone.

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Yellowstone Park Snowmobiling

RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

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