YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PAK – With less than three months left in 2015, visitation to Yellowstone National Park this year has surpassed the previous record for total annual visitation set in 2010. As of Oct. 8, the park has seen more than 3.8 million visits in 2015, which exceeds the total visits recorded in the previous busiest year 2010, when the park tallied just over 3.6 million visits.

Yellowstone hosted a total of 680,213 recreational visits in September alone, an increase of 18.97 percent over September 2014 numbers. Total park visitation for the first nine months of 2015 reached 3, 814,178, a 15.97 percent increase over 2014 levels.

Each of the park’s five entrances showed an increase in vehicles for the month of September as well, compared to 2014 levels. The west entrance recorded the largest increase in September visits, at 16,384 more than September of last year.

“This is certainly a noteworthy event,” said Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk. “We are delighted to see that more and more visitors are making their way to Yellowstone to experience the park. However, it creates additional challenges for our staff [that] work hard to protect this amazing place while providing top-notch services for visitors.”

Park managers say the visitation increase is due in part to the NPS “Find Your Park” public awareness campaign, marketing and tourism promotions by the states of Montana and Wyoming, and lower gas prices as possible influences in the record number of visits to Yellowstone this year.