Yellowstone: Nearly 1 Million Visitors in Busiest June Ever

Yellowstone: Nearly 1 Million Visitors in Busiest June Ever

Written by on July 15, 2021

Yellowstone National Park experienced its busiest June on record with nearly a million visitors – placing 2021 on track to beat yearly attendance records.

Yellowstone officials released the visitation numbers for June 2021 – and they’re staggering. Once again, post-pandemic tourism fuels the desire to get into the national parks, and the numbers show it.

Yellowstone vehicle traffic

Courtesy Visit Gardiner Montana

In total, the park hosted 938,845 recreation visits in June 2021 – the park’s most-visited June on record.

June 2021’s attendance is a 64% increase from June 2020 (573,205 recreational visits) and a 20% increase from June 2019 (781,853 recreation visits.)

This continues a strong streak of record-breaking visitation. In addition to record attendance in May and June 2021, both September and October 2020 set new records. August 2020 was the second-busiest on record, surpassed only by 2017 when the park was under a total solar eclipse.

The winter season of 2020-2021 was also record-setting. Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly reports over 67,000 people entered the park thru the North and West Entrances in April. The previous high was 59,000 people in April 2016.

But there’s more – total visitation numbers for 2021 are well ahead of previous years and will likely be the busiest year in the history of Yellowstone National Park.

So far, nearly 1.6 million people have visited Yellowstone in 2021. Here are the year-to-date numbers for the past six years in Yellowstone National Park.

  • 2021 – 1,587,998
  • 2020 – 719,054*
  • 2019 – 1,358,629
  • 2018 – 1,381,708
  • 2017 – 1,354,137
  • 2016 – 1,432,071

*Yellowstone was closed March 24-May 18, 2020, due to COVID-19. Only the Wyoming entrances were open May 18-31, and the remaining three opened on June 1. For these reasons, the park does not consider 2020’s attendance as a fair comparison with other years.

Despite the challenges of 2020, 3.8 million people visited Yellowstone last year. This is only marginally lower than previous years, meaning attendance should easily surpass 4 million in 2021.

And now, Yellowstone is in the midst of its historically busiest months – July and August.

While July is typically the most crowded month, the 4th of July weekend – July 2 to 5 – was not record-setting for the park. Vehicle entries in Yellowstone were 8% higher than the same weekend in 2019, but no record breakers on any day.

If history is a reliable guide, July and August will likely set their own records in 2021.

More data on park visitation is available on the NPS Stats website.

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