Yellowstone Credits Eclipse For Record-Setting August
MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS — Yellowstone National Park notched another attendance record in August with the solar eclipse accounting for the increase, according to a news release from the park Tuesday.
The park hosted 916,166 visitors last month, up 8.9 percent from 841,036 visitors in August 2016. Last year’s numbers were down from 854,408 visitors in August 2015, the second busiest August on record.
The August 2016 numbers were down probably because the South Entrance Station was closed for six days due to the Berry Fire.
The park saw more visits during the days surrounding the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.
An especially large number of visits occurred the next day. Traffic congestion caused the park to briefly limit access to the Old Faithful and West Thumb Geyser Basin parking areas because rangers were sent to manage traffic at Madison Junction.
So far in 2017, the park has hosted 3,232,708 visits, down 1.1 percent from the same period in the record-setting 2016.
Year-to-date visitation in 2017 is 17.4 percent higher than in 2012 when the park hosted 2,710,519 visits.
Park officials say the continued high level of visitation at Yellowstone underscores the importance of visitors to plan their trip. Visitors should anticipate delays at popular attractions and check road conditions on the park’s website.