Yellowstone Reached Over 4 Million Visitors in 2021 for the First Time
According to a press release by the Yellowstone National Park, for the first time the park has hosted over 4 million visitors, with 4,472,982 recreation visits so far this year, up 32% from the same period last year, and up 17% from 2019.
The release also states that this was the busiest Sept. on record, with 882,078 recreation visits in Sept. 2021, which is a 5% increase from September 2020, 837,114 visits, and a 27% increase from Sept. 2019, 693,118 visits.
The total number of visitors over the past five years have been: 4,463,599 in 2021, 3,393,642 in 2020, 3,807,815 in 2019, 3,860,695 in 2018, 3,872,775 in 2017, and 3,970,778 in 2016.
The numbers in 2020 were depressed somewhat as the park was closed from March 24 to May 18 due to COVID-19, with two entrances being opened from May 18 to 31, and the remaining three opened on June 1.
Superintendent Cam Sholly said:
"Never in Yellowstone's history have we seen such substantial visitation increases in such a short amount of time. We will continue working with our teams and partners to develop and implement appropriate short- and long-term actions for managing increasing visitation across the park. My thanks to our teams here for working through a record visitation year, especially with the continued workforce challenges presented by COVID-19."
Grand Teton National Park has also seen similar increases in visitation, with it having 3,392,983 recreational visitors by Aug. of 2021 starting from Oct. 2020.
That is greater than the total number of visitors last year, 3,289,638, and just below the total for 2019 and 2018, when it was 3,405,614 and 3,491,151 recreational visitors respectively.
Linda Veress, a specialist with the public affairs office of strategic communications with Yellowstone National Park, said they are unsure why people have come to the park this year, other than that it is a trend they have noticed for the past few years.