It was no trick that more than 175,000 visitors to Yellowstone National
Park last month were treated to unseasonably beautiful fall weather,
yielding the park’s second highest October visitation numbers on record and
securing the park’s second highest annual record.
With two more months remaining in the year, Yellowstone has already hosted
3,365,614 visitors, besting 2009’s annual numbers. The park’s record year
in 2010 saw more than 3.6 million visitors, followed by nearly 3.3 million
visitors in 2009.
The upswing last month may be attributed to several days of sun and mild
temperatures that averaged in the 50s, including a high on the first day of
October of 72 degrees.
The West Entrance at West Yellowstone, Montana, remained the park’s
busiest, with 77,526 visitors in October, nearly double the next highest
numbers of 35,821, which were recorded at the North Entrance, near
Gardiner, Montana. The South Entrance near Jackson, Wyoming, followed with
32,569; the East Entrance at Cody, Wyoming, with 18,185; and the Northeast
Entrance at Cooke City, Montana, at 11,981.
For the third straight summer, Yellowstone topped more than 3 million
visitors between the months of May and September, the latter month seeing
more than half a million visitors for the second time in a row.
The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, through
Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Junction, the Lamar Valley, and on to Cooke City
is open to wheeled vehicle travel all year, but all other entrances and
park roads closed to automobile travel November 7.
At Mammoth Hot Springs, the Yellowstone General Store, Post Office, medical
clinic, campground, and the Albright Visitor Center remain open all year.
Pay-at-the-pump fuel is available 24 hours a day all year at the Mammoth
Hot Springs and Tower Junction service stations.
For more detailed visitation statistics, visit nature.nps.gov/stats.