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Winter Visitor Figures a Mixed Bag

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Date: April 5, 2010
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2015

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
   
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2010  10-022    
Al Nash (307) 344-2015

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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK NEWS RELEASE
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Yellowstone Winter Visitor Figures A Mixed Bag

Overall winter visitation to Yellowstone National Park rebounded a bit compared to the previous winter, but still remained below winter 2007-2008 levels.

Limited snowpack at the beginning and end of the most recent winter season limited the number of days snowmobiles and some types of snowcoaches could enter the park. The light snow year may also help account for the increase in people who came by car through the park’s North Entrance from December through March.

The total number of winter visitors is up over eight percent compared to the previous year, but is six percent lower than during 2007-2008. The total number of visitors traveling by oversnow vehicles remained flat compared to last year’s levels, with a small decrease in the number of snowmobile visitors offset by a slight increase in the number of visitors riding in snowcoaches. However, the total number of oversnow visitors remained well off the levels seen during the winter of 2007-2008.  

December through March

Visitation

Winter 2009-2010

Winter 2008-2009

Winter 2007-2008

Total Recreational Visitors

93,838

86,784

99,975

Auto, Bus and RV (North Entrance)

54,437

47,259

50,175

By Snowmobile and Snowcoach

42,616

42,380

53,764

Snowmobile Visitors

22,228

23,417

31,420

Snowcoach Visitors

20,388

18,963

22,344



Yellowstone is currently operating under a temporary winter use plan, allowing for up to 318 commercially guided, best available technology (BAT) snowmobiles and 78 commercial snowcoaches a day in the park. The daily average and peak snowmobile and snowcoach activity figures include both visitors who come through the park entrances, and those who start their day from Old Faithful.
 

Snowmobile and Snowcoach Activity

Winter 2009-2010

Winter 2008-2009

Winter 2007-2008

Snowmobiles - Daily Average

187

205

294

Snowmobiles - Peak Day

293

426

557

Snowcoaches - Daily Average

32

29

35

Snowcoaches - Peak Day

59

54

60

 
The park will operate under the temporary plan again for the winter 2010-2011 season. Public scoping has just concluded on a new Winter Use Plan and Environmental Impact Statement. A draft is expected to be released a year from now, with a final plan in place for the 2011-2012 winter season. More information on the winter use plan is available at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/winteruse.htm.

- www.nps.gov/yell -

Did You Know?

Bison in Yellowstone.

There are more people hurt by bison than by bears each year in Yellowstone. Park regulations state that visitors must stay at least 25 yards away from bison or elk and 100 yards away from bears.