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Yellowstone 2009 Visitation Tops 3 Million Mark

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Date: October 6, 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



October 6, 2009               09-104

Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2015






Yellowstone 2009 Visitation Tops 3 Million Mark


Continuing the trend which began in May, visitation to Yellowstone National Park set a new record in September.


The park recorded nearly 490,000 visitors in September, up almost 12 percent from a year ago, and well above the previous record September visitation of 468,060 set in 1995.


For the first time ever, visitation for the first nine months of the year to Yellowstone topped the 3 million mark.  The previous January through September visitation record was 2,977,353, also set in 1995.  


The park needs to host just over 7,500 more visitors in the months of October through December to break the annual record visitation mark of 3,151,343 set in 2007.


Yellowstone Recreation Visitors    


                        2009        2008       Change


May                     261,763     217,938    + 20.1%

June                    643,844     593,406    +  8.5%

July                    900,515     806,110    + 11.4%

August                  752,983     731,063    +  3.0%

September               489,438     437,552    + 11.9%

Total Year-To-Date    3,143,816   2,892,069    +  8.7%


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 1,275,455 visitors for the year, up 6 percent from 2008.  The Northeast Entrance has reported the highest percentage increase in visitation at 21.3 percent, with the East Entrance not far behind with a 15.5 percent increase compared to the first nine 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/.


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-

Did You Know?

Dog Hooked to Travois for Transporting Goods.

Some groups of Shoshone Indians, who adapted to a mountain existence, chose not to acquire the horse. These included the Sheep Eaters, or Tukudika, who used dogs to transport food, hides, and other provisions. The Sheep Eaters lived in many locations in Yellowstone.