If Yellowstone is still on your summer bucket list, be ready for some crowds.
The National Park has seen a new record number of visitors in June. The National Park Service says 847,864 tourists in the month were in Yellowstone last month.
These new numbers are a 61% increase compared to June 2022. However, a historic flood shut down the entire park last year. It was the first complete closure of Yellowstone in 34 years and lasted a whole week.
To better understand the crowds, Yellowstone officials say it’s best to compare this year’s numbers to 2019, which shows an 8% increase in 2023. 2019 was the last pre-COVID year where there were no closures.
Yellowstone is one of the big-name parks that continues to see an increase in visitors compared to some other parks that have seen a decrease in guests this year. NPS officials believe the drop may be partly due to increased international travel.
The current visitation numbers show 2023 will be a very busy year for Yellowstone. In fact, from January through June, this is the second most visitors ever for the park. 2021 set the overall record for visitors in the park.
Park officials want to remind guests to expect crowds and to plan ahead before a visit. Be sure to check where reservations are needed before you arrive and to have alternative plans if a specific trailhead or parking lot is full. They also ask that people be patient as some parks are seeing gridlocked traffic.
The National Park Service says 2022 was the third-highest visitor count they’ve ever had in the entire NPS system.