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Yellowstone October visits above pre-COVID count despite slump due to historic flooding

CASPER, Wyo. — Yellowstone National Park hosted 232,117 recreation visits in October, Yellowstone Public Affairs said in a press release Tuesday.

With two of the park’s entrances closed for much of October in the wake of historic June flooding that led to widespread damage in northern Yellowstone, visits were down 27% compared with October 2021. Despite the slump compared with 2021, visits were up 36% compared with October 2019, the last year before the COVID-19 pandemic, the release said.

Yellowstone saw all entrances close on June 13 due to flooding. The East, South and West entrances reopened on June 22 on a limited basis and fully reopened by July 2. The Northeast Entrance didn’t reopen to regular vehicle traffic until Oct. 15 and the North Entrance reopened on Oct. 30, according to Yellowstone Public Affairs.

Year-to-day visitations through the end of October over the past six years were as follows, according to Yellowstone Public Affairs:

  • 2022: 3,246,686 (Historic flooding impacted what was open in the park.)
  • 2021: 4,789,649
  • 2020: 3,753,531 (Yellowstone was closed March 24 through May 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Two entrances opened May 18 and three re-opened on June 1.)
  • 2019: 3,979,154
  • 2018: 4,078,771
  • 2017: 4,084,762

“More data on park visitation, including how we calculate these numbers, is available at irma.nps.gov/Stats/,” the release said.