Almost as many people visited Yellowstone in the month of July as in the previous six months combined.

There were 812,212 recreational visitors to Yellowstone in July and a total of 1,828,862 from the beginning of 2013.

The total number of recreational visitors to Yellowstone in July was down 5.25 percent but vehicle traffic was up 4.32 percent, compared to the same period in 2012. Beginning this year, the park is using a new average number of people per vehicle, known as a multiplier, based on surveys conducted in 2012. Yellowstone began using the new, lower multipliers as of January 2013. This explains why the park can have more traffic but less visitors.

Monthly visitation statistics are calculated by taking the actual number of wheeled vehicles entering the park gates and using a person-per-vehicle multiplier to calculate the number of recreational visitors. For example, during the summer months the park previously used an average multiplier of 2.91 persons-per-vehicle. Based on the survey, we currently use a lower average multiplier of 2.58 persons-per-vehicle.

A comparison of park traffic reflects an increase in the number of autos and RVs entering the park for recreational purposes in July. The total number of automobiles and RV’s entering Yellowstone for recreational purposes during the first part of 2013 was up 4.32 percent compared to the same period in 2012.

Compared to July 2012, the North, South, East and West Entrances saw an increase in vehicle numbers.

July is typically the park’s peak visitation month, followed in order by August, June, September and May.

In order to promote clarity regarding park visitation statistics which are being calculated differently than in past years, Yellowstone will report both the number of recreational visits and the number of autos and RVs entering the park for recreational purposes during this calendar year.