South Entrance Opening 2013

Yellowstone National Park Visitation Hits 2.5M in August

Yellowstone National Park visitation is over 2.5 million for 2013, with the vast majority of those visits — over 2.1 million — coming in June, July and August.

There were 725,136 recreational visitors to Yellowstone in August, and a total of 2,161,777 in Yellowstone National Park visitation during June, July, and August.  Year-to-date, the park has recorded 2,554,000 recreational visits in 2013. The total number of recreational visitors to Yellowstone through August was down 5.77 percent (more on that in a sec) but vehicle traffic was up 4.37 percent compared to the same period in 2012.
                  Recreational Visits           Rec. Autos & RVs
             2013       2012   Change     2013    2012    Change
January    24,699      4,766   -0.27%    4,135    4,833  -14.44%
February   31,053     27,752  +11.90%    5,654    4,908   +5.20%
March      18,613     20,248   -8.07%    5,215    5,040   +3.47%
April      24,606     29,056  -15.32%    9,777   10,397   -5.96%
May       293,250    268,251   +9.32%  103,537   93,236  +11.05%
June      624,429    671,825   -7.05%  221,956  212,916   +4.25%
July      812,212    888,335   -8.57%  291,500  283,898   +2.68%
August    725,136    780,286   -7.07%  259,709  248,547   +4.49%
Total   2,554,000  2,710,518   -5.77%  901,483  863,775   +4.37%

Year-to-year Yellowstone National Park visitation comparisons are misleading, however. Beginning this year, the park is using a new average number of people per vehicle, known as a multiplier, based on surveys conducted in 2012.  Yellowstone began using the new, lower multipliers as of January 2013.  This explains why the park can have more traffic but fewer visitors.

Monthly Yellowstone National Park visitation statistics are calculated by taking the actual number of wheeled vehicles entering the park gates and using a person-per-vehicle multiplier to calculate the number of recreational visitors. For example, during the summer months we previously used an average multiplier of 2.91 persons-per-vehicle.  Based on the survey, Part Service officials currently use a lower average multiplier of 2.58 persons-per-vehicle.

A comparison of park traffic reflects an increase in the number of autos and RVs entering the park for recreational purposes in August.  The total number of automobiles and RV’s entering Yellowstone for recreational purposes during the month was up 4.49 percent compared to August 2012.

Compared to August 2012, the North, South, East, and West Entrances all saw an increase in vehicle numbers, with vehicle travel through the park’s Northeast Entrance down 261 vehicles compared to the previous year.

July is typically the park’s peak visitation month, followed in order by August, June, September, and May.

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