Yellowstone: July 2022 Visitation the Lowest in 30 Years

Yellowstone: July 2022 Visitation Numbers the Lowest in Over 30 Years

Written by on August 16, 2022

The impact of this summer’s historic floods can still be seen in Yellowstone National Park, as July visitation – usually the busiest month of the year – drops to levels not seen in decades.

Yellowstone National Park hosted 596,562 recreation visits in July 2022. This is a 45% decrease from July 2021 (1,080,767 recreational visits), the most-visited July on record, and a 36% decrease from July 2019 (936,062), the last pre-Covid year.

Courtesy National Park Service & Jacob M. Frank

According to the National Park Service’s visitation statistics, Yellowstone’s July visitation hasn’t been this low in over three decades – and possibly many more.

Records for Yellowstone’s monthly visitation only go back to 1991 on the National Park Service’s statistics website. July 1991 had 808,729 recreation visits.

On June 13, all entrances to Yellowstone National Park closed due to historic flooding. Park visitors were evacuated over the next 24 hours. On June 22, the park’s East, South, and West entrances reopened on a limited entry basis.

On July 2, entry restrictions were removed on the East, South, and West entrances. However, the North (Gardiner, Montana) and Northeast (Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana) entrances remain closed to visitor vehicles.

So far, in 2022, Yellowstone has hosted 1,864,771 recreation visits, down 30% from 2021 but on par with the last “normal” years in the park.

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

  • 2022 – 1,864,771 (The park was closed from June 13 through June 21. The East, South, and West entrances opened on June 22)
  • 2021 – 2,668,765
  • 2020 – 1,674,699 (The park was closed May 1 through May 18. Two entrances were open May 18 through May 31)
  • 2019 – 2,294,691
  • 2018 – 2,322,271
  • 2017 – 2,316,541

More data on park visitation, including how we calculate these numbers, is available on the N.P.S. Stats website.

As the park recovers from the June floods, visitors traveling to the park in the coming weeks must stay informed about what’s open and closed.

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