Visitation numbers for September increased slightly in Yellowstone National Park compared to last year. The overall increase for September 2016 totaled 3.17 percent over September 2015. The first eight months of 2016 are up 4.1 percent compared to the previous year, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office.
Two of the park’s five entrances (South Entrance and Northeast Entrance) showed a slight decrease in vehicles for the month of September compared to September 2015. The South Entrance showed a decrease because it was closed for three days last month due to fire activity south of the park.
The most striking increase in vehicle traffic was with buses. A total of 2,361 buses were in the park this September compared to 1,934 buses in September 2015 – a 22 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.