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Yellowstone National Park reaches record-breaking number of visitors this year

Jim Peaco
National Park Service
Visitors photographing Old Faithful Geyser on Aug. 25, 2015.

Last month was Yellowstone National Park’s busiest September on record.

The park reported more than 882,000 recreational visits, a 5% percent increase over September 2020.

As of last month, the park has recorded almost 4.5 million visits so far this year, a 32% increase from last year.

Year-to-date numbers since 2016:

2021 – 4,463,599
2020 – 3,393,642
2019 – 3,807,815
2018 – 3,860,695
2017 – 3,872,775
2016 – 3,970,778

Visitors to Yellowstone National Park have increased steadily over the past five years. Park officials are working to develop short- and long-term plans for managing the growing number of visitors.

The park has spent more than $100 million over the past two years to improve infrastructure and reduce traffic. The park developed a visitor use strategy in 2019 that focuses on increased visitation and the impacts of natural resources, infrastructure and staffing, neighboring communities as well as the overall visitor's experience at the park.

A shuttle system was developed this year to help move visitors to Canyon Village, and the park may add shuttles in other areas if needed.

The park will continue to work on these improvements in 2022 and 2023. Funding for these projects were made possible through the Great American Outdoors Act.