CASPER, Wyo. — Yellowstone National Park announced in a news release Wednesday afternoon that visitations to the park were significantly down from previous years, likely related to the historic floods earlier this year that closed portions of the park.
The park noted that it has hosted 2,446,982 recreation visits thus far in 2022 — a decrease of 32% from the same point in 2021 — and hosted 582,211 recreation visits in August alone, a 37% decrease from 2021’s recorded monthly total of 921,844, the highest count for August on record at the park.
Traffic at the park has been hugely affected by the closures since June 13 of its north and northeast entrances — both of which are in Montana — due to damage from floods that the National Park Service called a “500-year flood event” that attracted international attention. The park’s east, south (both in Wyoming) and west (in Idaho) entrances were briefly closed along with the Montana entrances on the same date before having a limited reopening nine days later and an eventual full reopening July 2.
Yellowstone’s total visits thus far in 2022 are the lowest in a single year to the park since 2020, when the park was fully closed for nearly two months from March to May at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the National Park Service, sections of damaged road near, in and around the north and northeast entrances of Yellowstone are expected to be passable for regular traffic by Oct. 15.