MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY – Visitation numbers for October decreased in Yellowstone National Park. The overall decrease for October 2016 totaled nearly 4 percent below October 2015. However, the first 10 months of 2016 are up 3.6 percent compared to the previous year. When comparing visitation for the first 10 months of 2016 with the same period in 2014, the park experienced a 21 percent increase (729,174 more visits) in 2016.
Three of the park’s five entrances (North, South, and East Entrances) showed a decrease in recreational visits for the month of October compared to October 2015. The decrease at the East Entrance was likely a result of several temporary closures due to weather between October 3 and October 20.
For the sixth month in a row, the most striking increase in vehicle traffic was with buses. A total of 942 buses were in the park this October compared to 826 buses in October 2015 – a 14 percent increase from 2015.
While many factors could be at play, park managers point to the National Park Service’s Centennial year, marketing and tourism promotions by the states of Montana and Wyoming, and lower gas prices as influences in the record number of visits to Yellowstone so far this year. For additional park visitation data and information on how these statistics are calculated, go to irma.nps.gov/Stats/Reports/Park.
– www.nps.gov/yell –