Looks like those fee-free park weekends may have paid off. With gas prices cooling off and good weather to boot, the home of Old Faithful has been busier than ever.
The National Park Service has reported that nearly 2.3 million people traveled through the Yellowstone in June, July, and August. That’s 124,000 more that the record of 2,173,371 set back in 1999. Park visitation in the month of August also increased by 3%, and the park has seen a general increase of 8.1% in visitation for the year-to-date.
The news comes on the heels of a massive gathering of scientists in the park for a 24 hour new species hunt, free National Parks weekends in June, July, and August and a visit by none other than President Obama and the first family last month.
Plus, with Ken Burns’s new PBS film “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” premiering on September 27, [http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/ target=”_blank”], don’t count on a downturn in visits quite yet. Watch our video interview with Burns right here: http://www.backpacker.com/ken_burns_interview/videos/97 and preview the film below.
We know, Labor Day has passed, summer has unofficially ended, and the kids are back in school but there’s a little something called “fall hiking.” Those colors should be kicking into gear any day now. Get started with over 50 Yellowstone hikes and articles from the BP archive. http://www.backpacker.com/destinations/category/242
P.S. The National Park Service just announced that the bison herd’s numbers are up this year too; all the more opportunity see these amazing creatures in action. Just make sure you don’t hit one laying in the middle of the road…
Record Number Of Visitors Enjoyed Yellowstone This Summer (National Parks Service)