Yellowstone Sets New Record for Visitation in 2015

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(Photo Ron Richter ©)

In 2015, there were more than 4 million visits to Yellowstone National Park, up almost 17 percent from 2014, making it the highest visitation year on record. According to a park new release, the number of visits is always greater than the actual number of individuals who came to the park because people may enter and leave the park repeatedly during a stay in the area.

Park Superintendent Dan Wenk said the National Park Service’s “Find Your Park” public awareness campaign, marketing and tourism promotions by Montana and Wyoming, and lower gas prices were the key contributors to the record number of visits. He added that the increase in visitation brought an increase in demands on park staff, facilities and resources. Wenk said long lines to enter the park, traffic jams, and the resultant frustration of visitors and staff undoubtedly affected the visitor experience.

He said that an increase in funding for national parks provided by Congress will help meet some of the needs related to increased visitation. As Yellowstone expects more record breaking numbers this year, Wenk said they’ll be asking park visitors to pack their patience for the upcoming summer season.