Yellowstone Sees Decline in Holiday Visitation
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2015
Contact: Stacy Vallie, 307-344-2015
National Park Service
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone Sees Decline In Holiday Visitation
Despite a drop in holiday visitors, annual visitation to Yellowstone National Park topped the 3-million mark in 2008.
A total of 16,352 people visited Yellowstone in December 2008, down almost 20 percent from December 2007. The interior of the park opened for travel by snowmobile and snowcoach on December 15. 4,525 people entered the park by snowmobile through New Year’s Eve; while 4,375 came into the park on snowcoaches.
An average of 233 snowmobiles and 39 snowcoaches operated in the park each day, compared to a daily average of 365 snowmobiles and 45 snowcoaches a day the previous December. The peak visitation day for snowmobiles was December 29 when 426 snowmobiles were in the park. The peak day for snowcoaches was December 27, when there were 53 snowcoaches operating in Yellowstone. Up to 720 snowmobiles and 78 snowcoaches are allowed per day this season.
Overall visitation to Yellowstone National Park for 2008 was 3,066,579; down just 2.7 percent from the record 3,151,343 people who visited the park in 2007, and was the sixth highest visitation year on record.
The only entrance to record an increase in visitation last year was the East Entrance, up 3.6 percent compared to 2007. The West Entrance remains the park’s busiest, with 1,273,046 visitors passing through the gates in 2008, down 1.4 percent from 2007.
Did You Know?
The 1988 fires affected 793,880 acres or 36 percent of the park. Five fires burned into the park that year from adjacent public lands. The largest, the North Fork Fire, started from a discarded cigarette. It burned more than 410,000 acres.