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    Yellowstone

    National Park ID,MT,WY

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Modest Increase in Yellowstone Oversnow Holiday Visitation

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Date: January 6, 2011
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
January 6, 2011 11-002
Al Nash (307) 344-2015

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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK NEWS RELEASE
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Modest Increase In Yellowstone Oversnow Holiday Visitation

Oversnow visitation to Yellowstone National Park was up slightly in December 2010 compared to December 2009. The number of people who entered the park on guided snowmobile and snowcoach trips was 9,409, up 1.2 percent from the 9,298 oversnow visitors in December 2009.

The number of snowcoach passengers entering the park was 5,059, up 5.7 percent from 4,786 in December 2009. The number of people entering the park on guided snowmobile tours dropped 3.6 percent from 4,512 in December 2009 to 4,350 this year.

An average of 181 snowmobiles and 41 snowcoaches a day operated in the park from the December 15 start of the winter season to the end of the month. The daily snowmobile average is down 9 from the same period a year ago, with the daily snowcoach average up 5 from December 2009. The peak day for snowmobiles was December 27 when 280 snowmobiles were in the park. The peak day for snowcoaches was December 28, when there were 68 snowcoaches operating in Yellowstone.

 

Dec. 2010

Dec. 2009

Dec. 2008

Dec. 2007

Snowmobiles - Daily Average

181

190

233

365

Snowmobiles - Peak Day

280 (12/27)

293 (12/29)

426 (12/29)

557 (12/28)

Snowcoaches - Daily Average

41

36

39

45

Snowcoaches - Peak Day

68 (12/28)

58 (12/27)

53 (12/27)

60 (12/26)



These peak and daily average figures are based on daily park entries as well as snowmobile and snowcoach travel originating from Old Faithful. Only the daily park entry figures are recorded online at http://www.nature.nps.gov/stats/.

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, Montana, outside the park’s Northeast Entrance, is open to wheeled vehicle travel all year. 

Overall, December 2010 visitation to Yellowstone National Park was down slightly when compared to the previous year. Overall recreational visits were 17,388, down 4 percent from the 18,107 recorded in December 2009. This reflects a decrease in the number of people who entered the park by automobile, RV, or bus, down 9.35 percent from 9,484 to 8,678.

Limited, managed motorized oversnow travel over groomed, snow-packed park roads is permitted again this season under the same temporary plan as last year, which allows up to 318 commercially guided, Best Available Technology (BAT) snowmobiles, and up to 78 commercially guided snowcoaches a day into the park.

Work is progressing on a new long-term plan to guide future management of winter use in Yellowstone. The National Park Service is preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which will analyze the effects of a wide range of winter use alternatives on the park and its resources. This study is expected to be released in late winter or early spring for a 60-day review and comment period. The National Park Service intends to finish the plan and issue any new winter use regulations before the start of the 2011-2012 winter season.

- www.nps.gov/yell -

Did You Know?

Summer Crowd at Old Faithful.

At peak summer levels, 3,500 employees work for Yellowstone National Park concessioners and about 800 work for the National Park Service.