• Steam rises off of the colorful Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces. Photo courtesy Jacob W. Frank


    National Park ID,MT,WY

Yellowstone Visitation Through October Tops Previous Annual Record

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Date: November 4, 2009
Contact: Al Nash or Stacy Vallie, (307) 344-2015

National Park Service

U.S. Department of the Interior


Yellowstone National Park

P.O. Box 168

Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190



November 4, 2009          09-111

Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2015






Yellowstone Visitation Through October Tops Previous Annual Record


The number of visitors to Yellowstone National Park the first ten months of 2009 exceeded the park’s previous annual visitation record set in 2007.


The park recorded 3,267,683 visitors from January through October this year.  That was well above the 3,037,557 recorded for the same ten month period in 2008, and 116,340 more than the 3,151,343 visitors recorded for all twelve months of 2007.


Park officials believe the record visitation can be attributed at least in part to the great value visits to national parks represent, and to lower fuel prices this summer as compared to summer 2008.


October visitation was off compared to a year ago and to record levels, and was the first down month since April.  October visitor numbers were down nearly 15-percent compared to 2008.  Shoulder season visitation can be significantly impacted by weather conditions. After an unseasonably warm and dry September, much of October was cold, wet, and snowy.


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Yellowstone Recreation Visitors


                   2009       2008    Change

October           123,867    145,488  - 14.9%

January-October 3,267,683  3,037,557  + 7.6%

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All park entrances have recorded an increase in visitors for the year-to-date when compared to 2008. 


The West Entrance remains the park’s busiest, with 1,329.231 visitors for the year, up 5 percent from 2008. The Northeast Entrance has reported the highest percentage increase in visitation at 20 percent, with the East Entrance not far behind with a 13.6 percent increase compared to the first ten months of 2008.


July is typically the park’s peak visitation month, followed by August, June, September, and May.  Additional visitation information is available online at http://www.nature.nps.gov/stats/.


While the interior roads in the park have closed for the season, the road from Gardiner, Montana through Mammoth Hot Springs on to Cooke City is open to wheeled vehicle travel all year. This provides access to a wide range of recreational opportunities including wildlife viewing, fall hiking, and cross country skiing, and snowshoeing in the winter.  Park staff members are making preparations to reopen most of the interior roads for snowmobile and snowcoach travel beginning December 15, 2009.


All communities near and on the way to Yellowstone are open all year, with local businesses offering a wide range of recreation opportunities. A wealth of information and assistance planning a visit to Yellowstone can be found on the park’s web site at http://www.nps.gov/yell. 


Reservations and information on in-park campgrounds and lodging is available by contacting Xanterra Parks & Resorts at 866-GEYSERLAND or online at http://www.travelyellowstone.com. Information on lodging, camping, services, and activities near the park in the Montana communities of Gardiner, West Yellowstone, and Cooke City, is available by contacting their respective Chambers of Commerce or from Travel Montana at 800-847-4868 or http://visitmt.com/. Those interested in visiting the Wyoming communities of Cody and Jackson should contact the Chambers of Commerce, or Wyoming Travel and Tourism at 800-225-5996 or http://www.wyomingtourism.org.


- www.nps.gov/yell-

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