By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Yellowstone National Park has concluded its busiest September on record.
Officials announced this in a news release on Thursday, noting the park hosted 837,499 recreation visits in September, a 21% increase from September 2019.
So far this year, the park has hosted 3.3 million visits, down 11% compared to the same period last year.
However, the park was closed from March 24 until May 18, when two Wyoming entrances opened. The three Montana entrances opened June 1.
The list below shows the year-to-date trend for recreation visits over the last several years (through September):
- 2020 : 3,383,872
- 2019: 3,807,815
- 2018: 3,860,695
- 2017: 3,872,775
- 2016: 3,970,778
- 2015: 3,814,178
In September, park officials announced that the park had seen its second-busiest August in its recorded history. Month-to-month records have only been kept 1979, however.
Unfortunately, with an increase in tourists comes an increase in visitors who may not behave in the most prudent way — like the two guys charged with harassing bison last month.
Then there was the moron who miraculously survived when she was out hugging bison like she was at a petting zoo in a McDonald’s parking lot.
Darwin helps keep these numbers down but clearly not enough.