That system means that vehicles with number plates ending in an odd number can enter the park on odd days of the month, while even numbers (including zero) are allowed entry on even days of the month, according to the service.
That’s meant to slow down visitor traffic, the park service said. While there were “major backups” Wednesday morning, they were cleared at every entrance within hours, park service officials said in a press release.
Fewer than 5,000 vehicles entered the southern loop on Wednesday — a huge difference from the usual 10,000 or more cars coming in, the park service said.
“While it’s too early to say if the license plate system worked, it appears to have done its job by cutting our normal traffic counts by half,” park inspector Cam Sholly said in a statement. “We are pleased to have visitors back to Yellowstone and appreciate the patience of the public and community partners as we continue to work through this difficult situation.”
Cars, RVs and trucks lined up before dawn on Wednesday at the south entrance to Yellowstone National Park, waiting to gain entry for the first time in more than a week.
George Frey/Getty Images
The park’s northern loop, accessed through the northern and northeast entrances, will remain closed, the service added.
CNN’s Claudia Dominguez and Paradise Afshar contributed to this report.