Yellowstone crowds flow across a boardwalk at the Midway Geyser Basin

Crowd of visitors follow the boardwalk near Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. 

Yellowstone's year of breaking records hit a new milestone in September, when huge fall crowds pushed the national park's total annual year to date visitation past 4 million for the first time in history.

Yellowstone experienced its busiest September on record, hosting 872,695 recreation visits, the National Park Service reported Wednesday. That represents a 4% increase from September 2020, when 837,114 visits were logged, and a 26% increase from September 2019, which had 693,118 visits.

Add those September numbers to previous jaw-dropping numbers so far in 2021, and the park has hosted a total of 4,463,599 recreation visits. That's an increase of 32% from the same period last year, and up 17% from 2019, park service officials stated. 

"Never in Yellowstone's history have we seen such substantial visitation increases in such a short amount of time," said Superintendent Cam Sholly in a press release. "We will continue working with our teams and partners to develop and implement appropriate short- and long-term actions for managing increasing visitation across the park. My thanks to our teams here for working through a record visitation year, especially with the continued workforce challenges presented by COVID-19."

The list below shows the year-to-date trend for recreation visits over the last several years (through September):

2021 – 4,463,599

2020 – 3,393,642*

2019 – 3,807,815

2018 – 3,860,695

2017 – 3,872,775

2016 – 3,970,778

*The park was closed March 24-May 18, 2020, due to COVID-19. Two entrances were open May 18-31 and the remaining three opened on June 1.

We've got more coverage on this year's record-breaking visitation numbers for Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone and Jackson Hole in general

Also see analysis about the impact of that growth in: 

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please note: Online comments may also run in our print publications.
Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Please turn off your CAPS LOCK.
No personal attacks. Discuss issues & opinions rather than denigrating someone with an opposing view.
No political attacks. Refrain from using negative slang when identifying political parties.
Be truthful. Don’t knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be proactive. Use the “Report” link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We’d love to hear eyewitness accounts or history behind an article.
Use your real name: Anonymous commenting is not allowed.
.
The News&Guide welcomes comments from our paid subscribers. Tell us what you think. Thanks for engaging in the conversation!

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.