Yellowstone National Park South Entrance, Yellowstone visitation

August 2017 Sees Almost A Million Visitors to Yellowstone National Park

August 2017 was the busiest August on record for Yellowstone National Park, with nearly a million visitors recorded.

According to a Yellowstone press release, 916,166 visitors came to Yellowstone, up markedly from August 2016, when 841,036 visitors came through.

The previous record for August visitation came in 2015, when 854,408 visitors were recorded.

To date, over 3.2 million visitors have come to Yellowstone National Park. In spite of this August’s heady visitor count, visitation is still down slightly from 2016, when the National Park Service was celebrating their centennial. More information is below.

Year Year-To-Date Recreational Visits through August
2012 2,710,519
2013 2,553,998
2014 2,717,039
2015 3,133,965
2016 3,269,024
2017 3,232,708

As with 2016, August 2017’s visitor count was affected by seasonal events. In particular, more people came to Yellowstone this August in anticipation of the August 21 solar eclipse. Although not in the path of totality (Grand Teton National Park, to the south, was in said path), Yellowstone did get a comparable experience, with the moon blotting out nearly 99 percent of the sun that day.

2016 saw the August numbers dip due to the closure of Yellowstone’s South Entrance, when the Berry Fire in Grand Teton came too close to the road.

2016 saw the most people on record visit Yellowstone National Park, with over 4 million visitors. It is not known whether 2017 will hit the 4 million mark, but it’s likely. Indeed, park officials have come to expect high visitor numbers to be the norm going ahead.

To that end, earlier this summer, Yellowstone released a pair of surveys about transportation and visitor use, which officials hope will help rangers and other parties mitigate the impacts of overvisitation on the park and guide future decisions about vehicle use and facility upgrades.

About Sean Reichard

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

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