Yellowstone: June Floods Keep Visitation Low in August 2022

Yellowstone: June Floods Keep Visitation Low in August 2022

Written by on September 14, 2022

The June flooding in Yellowstone National Park continued taking its toll in August, as the number of visitors flowing through the three open entrances decreased substantially.

The busiest season in Yellowstone National Park was substantially slower this year. As the summer of the park’s 150th anniversary opened with devastating floods, 2022’s visitation is the lowest in several years – and decades of summers.

Contractors and park construction crews are working tirelessly to repair the roads at the North and Northeast Entrances. As a result, vehicle access from both gates is expected to be restored by this October.

However, these roads are only temporary solutions. Permanent solutions for vehicle access will take between three and five years to complete.

Regardless, it’s too late to boost this summer’s visitation. July and August are always the busiest months of the year in the park. But, unlike in 2021, this summer will break no records.

Courtesy National Park Service & Jacob W Frank

In August 2022, Yellowstone National Park hosted 582,211 recreation visits.

August 2022’s numbers are a 37% decrease from August 2021 (921,844 recreational visits), the most-visited August in the park’s history. It’s also a 29% decrease from August 2019 (820,006), the last year pre-COVID.

The ten-year average for August in Yellowstone is 839,787 recreation visits.

Unfortunately, these numbers aren’t surprising. July visitation was barely higher (596,562 recreation visits), and that’s the lowest visitation for that month in at least 30 years.

So far, in 2022, the park has hosted 2,446,982 recreation visits – down 32% from 2021 at the same time.

The list below shows the year-to-date trend for recreation visits over the last several years (through August):

  • 2022 – 2,446,982 (The park was closed from Jun. 13 through Jun. 21. Three entrances opened on Jun. 22)
  • 2021 – 3,590,609
  • 2020 – 2,556,528 (The park was closed from Mar. 24 through May 17. Two entrances opened on May 18, and the remaining three opened on Jun. 1)
  • 2019 – 3,114,697
  • 2018 – 3,136,241
  • 2017 – 3,232,707

Soon, Yellowstone will end its summer season as colder weather and snow make the park’s roads treacherous. Last year’s summer season ended unexpectedly early on Nov. 1, 2021.

More data on park visitation, including how we calculate these numbers, is available on the National Park Service’s Stats website.

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