Yellowstone one of 3 popular national parks closing gates

Coronavirus

FILE – In this May 21, 2011 file photo, tourists photograph Old Faithful erupting on schedule late in the afternoon in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. On Tuesday, March 24, 2020 the National Park Service announced that Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks would be closed until further notice, and no visitor access will be permitted to either park..(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

CHEYENNE, Wyoming (AP) — Three of America’s most well-known national parks _ Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Smoky Mountains _ closed their gates Tuesday as people shut in because of the coronavirus lost more options for recreation. 

They join a growing list of parks closing despite an announcement last week by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt that they would remain open with free entrance fees. Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and Yosemite National Park in California have also closed.

Other parks have closed shuttles, campgrounds, visitor centers and some trails to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

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