By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Continuing a trend seen throughout the fall, Yellowstone National Park smashed another visitation record, reporting its busiest October in recorded history.
The park hosted 360,034 recreation visits in October, up 110% from October 2019. October’s visitation numbers also exceeded the previous record of 252,013 set in 2015 by 43%
The park hosted 837,499 recreation visits in September, a 21% increase from September 2019.
August was the second-busiest on record for the area — with visitor numbers coming in at 881,543, second only to 2017, the year of the total solar eclipse.
The park has hosted 3,743,907 visits so far this year, down 6% from the same period last year. However, the park was closed due to health and safety reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic beginning March 24 until mid-May, when its two Wyoming entrances opened.
All five of the entrances were opened on June 1, and the park has been completely open since then.
Here are the park’s year-to-date visitation numbers through October for the last several years:
- 2020 – 3,743,907
- 2019 – 3,979,153
- 2018 – 4,078,771
- 2017 – 4,084,762
- 2016 – 4,212,782
- 2015 – 4,066,191
All roads in Yellowstone, with one exception, are closed to automobile traffic from early November to late April.
The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, through Mammoth Hot Springs to the northeast entrance and the communities of Cooke City and Silver Gate, Montana, is open year-round, weather-permitting.