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Yellowstone Park bison in winter

A bison’s face is completly encrusted with snow as he stands to watch visitors ski by last winter as the herd moves toward the Old Faithful Geyser.

Almost 3.4 million people visited Yellowstone National Park in 2011, the second highest attendance total on record for the nation's first national park.

Park administrators said Friday that 2011 marked Yellowstone's fifth year in a row with more than 3 million visitors.

Almost one in four of those visits, or more than 900,000 people, came during July, the park's busiest month.

Still, attendance was down about 7 percent last year compared to 2010, when a record 3.6 million people visited. December visitation was down 5 percent, to 16,509 visitors, as a lack of snow hampered snow coach tours and snowmobiling opportunities.

The park includes portions of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

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