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Busy Boardwalk at Norris Geyser Basin.

Yellowstone Visitation in August Down Year to Year

Yellowstone visitation in August 2018 was down some 11 percent when compared to August 2017, as hot and dry weather may have impacted the overall recreational numbers.

In total, Yellowstone hosted 813,970 visits in August 2018. Compare that to August 2017, which was the busiest August on record with 916,166 visits.

So far in 2018, the park has hosted 3,136,250 visits, down 3 percent from the same period last year. The list below shows the trend over the last several years. Even with the decline in August, year-to-date visitation in 2018 is roughly 23 percent higher than it was in 2013.

Year-to-date Recreation Visits (through August)

2018 – 3,136,250
2017 – 3,232,708
2016 – 3,269,024
2015 – 3,133,965
2014 – 2,717,039
2013 – 2,554,000

Yellowstone visitation is a big issue for National Park Service officials, and while an 11 percent drop may be good news for those who feel visitors are making a huge impact on the Park, the fact remains that the issue warrants more discussion and deliberation.

Yellowstone officials have been warning about the problems posed by the increasing visitor numbers and the stress imposed on infrastructure and wildlife. In 2016, nearly 4.3 million people visited Yellowstone National Park, the busiest year on record. The following year, nearly 4.2 million people visited, marking the second-busiest year on record. May 2018 was the busiest May on record, and June 2018 was the second-busiest June on record.

Image of a busy boardwalk at Norris Geyser Basin courtesy National Park Service.

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