September 2018 Yellowstone visitation was up 13 percent over 2017, as warm weather and some compelling changes in the Park’s geyser fields potentially kept visitor levels high for the season.
Overall, Yellowstone has hosted 3,860,694 visits, down 0.3 percent from the same period last year. Much of the dip had to do with a decline in August numbers year over year, as extremely hot weather took its toll on the gate numbers. According to NPS officials, with the increase in September, year-to-date visitation in 2018 is roughly 19 percent higher than it was in 2013.
Year-to-date Recreation Visits (through September)
2018 – 3,860,694
2017 – 3,872,776
2016 – 3,970,778
2015 – 3,814,178
2014 – 3,288,806
2013 – 3,111,924
Warm weather–and minimal snow–does help the numbers, of course. And with plenty of changes at the Yellowstone geyser fields (Steamboat Geyser rising from dormancy and erupting now 23 times this year, new Geyser Hill activity), some local folks who may have not come out one last time for the season ending up in the Park in September.
Photo by Jacob W. Frank, courtesy National Park Service.