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Record Numbers Visited Yellowstone In 2009

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Date: January 5, 2010
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
January 5, 2010     10-001
Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2015


Record Numbers Visited Yellowstone In 2009

Yellowstone National Park hosted a record number of visitors in 2009. Nearly 3.3 million people visited the world’s first national park last year, up 7.5% from 2008 and up 4.6% from the previous record of 3.15 million visitors set in 2007.

All park entrances recorded annual visitation increases compared to 2008 levels. Double-digit percentage increases were recorded through the Northeast and East Entrances. The West Entrance continues to be the park’s busiest, which recorded over 1.3 million recreational visitors in 2009.

Yellowstone National Park
Annual Recreational Visitors
Rank Year  Visitation
1     2009  3,295,187 
2     2007  3,151,343
3     1992  3,144,405
4     1999  3,131,381
5     1995  3,125,285
6     1998  3,120,830
7     2008  3,066,570
8     1994  3,046,145
9     2003  3,019,375
10   1996  3,012,171

Visitation to Yellowstone National Park for the month of December was up 10.8% compared to 2008. Of the 18,107 visitors to Yellowstone in December, 9,483 came by automobile, RV, or bus; 4,740 were passengers on snowcoaches; and 4,512 entered the park on guided snowmobile tours. Access to the interior of the park is restricted to oversnow travel from December 15 through March 15. The North Entrance and the road from Gardiner, Montana, through Mammoth Hot Springs on to Cooke City, outside the park’s Northeast Entrance, is open to wheeled vehicle travel all year.  

Snowmobile and Snowcoach Visitation

                                        Dec 2009   Dec 2008   Dec 2007
Snowmobiles – Daily Average  183          233           365
Snowmobiles – Peak Day     284 (12/29) 426 (12/29) 557 (12/28)
Snowcoaches – Daily Average  32          39            45
Snowcoaches – Peak Day     56 (12/27) 53 (12/27) 60 (12/26)

An average of 183 snowmobiles and 32 snowcoaches a day entered the park from the December 15 start of winter season to the end of the month. Both numbers are down compared to the same period in 2008 and 2007. The peak day for snowmobiles was December 29 when 284 snowmobiles were in the park. The peak day for snowcoaches was December 27, when there were 56 snowcoaches operating in Yellowstone. Up to 318 snowmobiles and 78 snowcoaches are allowed per day this season.

Additional visitation information is available online at http://www.nature.nps.gov/stats/.

- 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.