Yellowstone National Park South Entrance, Yellowstone visitation

August Visitation To Yellowstone Down Slightly From This Time Last Year

Contrary to expectations, Yellowstone visitation in August 2016 was down slightly from August 2015.

According to a Yellowstone press release, 841,036 people visited Yellowstone National Park this August, a decrease of approximately 1.5% from last August, when 854,409 people visited. See the full breakdown blow.

Month Recreational Visits 2016 Recreational Visits 2015
January 30,621 28,091 +9%
February 36,327 34,343 +5.7%
March 22,924 22,989 -1%
April 59,253 46,600 +27%
May 444,817 383,064 +15.2%
June 838,316 780,768 +7.37%
July 995,413 980,702 +1.5%
July 841,036 854,409 -1.5%
Total Year-To-Date
3,269,024 3,133,966 +4.3%

Multiple factors are likely at play here. First and foremost, a fire in Grand Teton National Park effectively closed Yellowstone’s South Entrance for nearly a week before reopening August 30.

Further, fires have been a constant presence in the Park since early August, kicking up smoke and other unpleasant conditions. Indeed, while precipitation has curbed recent fire growth, August’s blazes may have kept some visitors away.

In spite of fewer August visitors, visitation to Yellowstone in 2016 is still up 4.3% from 2015, which recorded the highest level of visitation in Yellowstone’s history. Yellowstone’s West and North Entrances saw an increase in vehicle traffic this August compared to August 2015.

Other factors Yellowstone officials cite include the National Park Service Centennial, promotion by Montana and Wyoming’s tourism agencies, and low gas prices.

About Sean Reichard

Sean Reichard is the editor of Yellowstone Insider and author of Yellowstone Insider For Families 2017.

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