Rebounding from a lingering winter that included snow and ice well into
May, and rockslides and avalanches that forced a few temporary road
closures, Yellowstone National Park still managed to host more than three
million visitors for its third consecutive summer season.
For the second year in a row, more than half a million visitors spent their
vacations in the park during the month of September alone, just shy of
three percent below 2010’s record-breaking fall month.
May typically marks the beginning of the summer season. When weather
cooperates, it is the first month when most major park roads open to
wheeled visitor traffic, and when visitor services begin to reopen for the
year. July is traditionally the park’s peak visitation month, followed by
August, June, September and May, though visitation numbers can fluctuate
between months for a number of different and unpredictable reasons.
With much colder temperatures and the ever-present chance for rapidly
changing weather conditions, the less-traveled winter and spring seasons
represent a small but still very important portion of the park’s annual
visitation. In 2010, the park recorded more than 223,000 visitors during
the months of October, November and December.
The West Entrance remains the park’s busiest, with nearly 210,000 visitors
in September, and nearly 1.3 million for the summer, followed by the South,
North, East and Northeast Entrances.
Yellowstone experienced back-to-back record visitation years in 2009 and
2010, with nearly 3.3 million visitors and over 3.6 million visitors,