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Yellowstone Park has second-busiest May on record

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Yellowstone National Park posts second-busiest May on record



If current trends hold, Yellowstone National Park is set up for another big visitation year as the National Park Service continues into its 101st year.

Yellowstone hosted 419,627 visits in May 2017, making it the second-busiest May on record, down 5.6 percent from May 2016, which saw 444,630 visits. 

While many factors could be at play, park managers point to road closures due to snow in May and the end of the National Park Service Centennial year as influences in visitation. So far in 2017, the park has hosted 550,413 visits, down 7.3 percent from the same period in 2016, which was the highest on record for that time period. 

Yellowstone has seen significant and consistent increases in visitation since 2013. Year-to-date visitation in 2017 is 28.7 percent higher than five years ago. 


The continued high level of visitation at Yellowstone underscores how important it is for visitors to plan trips to the park. The National Park Service advises visitors to anticipate delays at popular attractions, plan ahead and check road conditions on the park’s website at

Detailed park visitation information and additional information on how these statistics are calculated is available online at

Joseph T. O'Connor is the previous Editor-in-Chief for EBS newspaper and Mountain Outlaw magazine.

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