Yellowstone Park visitation exceeds 4.2 million in 2016
January 18, 2017
Yellowstone National Park reports that visitation exceeded previous records with a total of 4,257,177 million visitors in 2016. This is a 3.89 percent increase from 4,097,710 visits in 2015 and a 21.17 percent increase over visits in 2014. One of the most notable changes in visitation trends in recent years is the number of commercial tour buses entering Yellowstone’s gates. The number of buses entering in 2016 was 12,778 which was a 21.3 percent increase over 2015 entries and a 46.5 percent increase over the number of buses in 2014. Park management is currently considering options for commercial tour bus management.
"During the busiest times of the year, visitation levels in the park have led to long lines, traffic congestion, diminishing visitor experiences, and impacts on park resources," said Superintendent Dan Wenk. "It’s our job to recognize the trend, how it’s affecting this magnificent park, understand our visitors, and what we may need to do to protect Yellowstone for future generations. All options are on the table." In August 2016, the park conducted social science studies to better understand visitors including their demographics, experiences, opinions, and preferences. The data will help park managers make decisions that reflect the experiences and needs of visitors both in the present and in the future. The results of the study are expected in spring of 2017.
Detailed park visitation information and additional information on how these statistics are calculated is available online at https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/Reports/Park.