Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park was America’s first national park and is still one of the nation’s most popular. This year, Yellowstone has continued to set visitation records. Summer daily visits averaged between 25,000 and 30,000 people. September’s 550,504 visitors topped that month’s totals from 2009 by over 60,000. Year to date totals are up by 273,000 visitors from last year.

Tourism boards in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho upped their marketing of Yellowstone in recent years. Additionally, the nationwide recession may have caused vacationers to stay closer to home.

Seasonal road closures in and around Yellowstone Park

From early November through late April, all roads south through the park are closed to wheeled vehicles, including the road to Old Faithful Geyser.

During the winter season only two roads are plowed:

Between the North Entrance and Cooke City, MT

From Mammoth Hot Springs to the parking area at the Upper Terraces

Fall storms can cause road closures. Call the current road report hotline at (307) 344-2117 for information on park roads.

Closures, construction, and changes:

The road between Canyon and Tower is closed for the season. All others (excluding the North Entrance to Cooke City) are scheduled to close November 8 at 8 a.m.

Norris to Madison (Gibbon Canyon)—Expect 30-minute delays during daylight hours. Possible 30-minute delays during nighttime hours

East Entrance Road (Sylvan Pass)—Possible 15 minute delay during daylight hours.

Northeast Entrance Road (Lamar Bridge)—Bridge construction

Beartooth Highway (US 212)—Possible 20-minute delays at Beartooth Lake bridge.

Pavement Preservation Projects – Mammoth Hot Springs Area

Canyon Village Area:  South Rim Drive to Artist Point – Completed