Sep 11, 2015

Record number of people - more than 3.1 million - have gone into Yellowstone this year

People have been flocking to Yellowstone National Park in record numbers this year.

Yellowstone has already had more than 3.1 million visits in 2015 — up more than 15 percent from year ago and the most ever for the first eight months of the year, park officials say.

“We have been surprised by the size of the increase this year,” Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk said in a Thursday statement. “We will be looking at what this means for the future and what we can do to improve visitor experiences while still protecting park resources.”

A record number of people, like this boater on Yellowstone Lake, are enjoying the park this year. Cody News Co. photo by CJ Baker
The park service recorded some 854,400 people entering Yellowstone in August alone. For comparison, that’s like every single Wyoming resident traveling to the park — and about half of them coming back for a second visit — in one month.

While many factors influence how many people travel to the park each year, Yellowstone managers cited the National Park Service’s “Find Your Park” public awareness campaign, lower gas prices and tourism promotions by the states of Montana and Wyoming as possible reasons for the record popularity.

Yellowstone statistics show visitors’ favorite way to get into the park — far and away — is through the west entrance, where managers have recorded some 1,327,600 visits through August.

As for Yellowstone’s east gate, which is west of Cody, around 410,500 people have entered from that direction. That’s up by around 44,500 people (more than 11 percent) from the same point in 2014.

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