Yellowstone National Park has been more tumultuous this year than normal. The geysers and hot pots are still spewing hot water and sulfurous smells throughout the park and the animals are still as unapproachable as always. The difference this year is that after a massive amount of flooding which caused damage to important roads earlier in June, the park can no longer accommodate the regular number of tourists. To ease the burden on the park staff, facilities, and other tourists Yellowstone National Park is implementing a new policy to only accept visitors based on their license plates.

Credit NPS and Canva
Credit NPS and Canva

The new National Park policy is called the Alternating License Plate System (ALPS). The purpose of the policy is to cut down on traffic inside the park. The National park service website explains that the policy to determine what vehicles can enter on which days will be based on 2 factors:

Public vehicle entry into Yellowstone National Park will be allowed based on two factors: whether the last numerical digit on a license plate is odd or even and whether the calendar day is odd or even.

  • License plates with an odd-numbered last digit can enter on odd days of the month.
  • License plates with an even-numbered last digit (including zero) can enter on even days of the month.
  • Personalized plates with a mix of letters and numbers that end with a letter (i.e. YELL4EVR) will still use the last numerical digit on the plate to determine entrance days.
  • Personalized plates without numbers (i.e. YLWSTNE) will be allowed to enter on odd days of the month.

Motorcycle groups traveling together (two or more) where all license plates in the group don’t correspond to the date may enter on even dates only.

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You can get more details and what exceptions are allowed on the NPS website.

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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

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