Almost 1 million people visited Yellowstone National Park in August, setting a new record for that month.
The park hosted 921,844 recreation visits last month, a 4.5 percent increase compared with August 2020. Park officials say the previous record for August was set in 2017 when people flocked to Yellowstone to witness that year’s epic solar eclipse. Through the end of August this year, Yellowstone saw 3,590,904 visits.
In large part, officials believe the summer surge in travel – combined now with more travelers planning outdoor trips and activities because of the rise of the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus – led to the record visitation. The National Park Service said be prepared to make plans to visit Yellowstone well ahead of time and be ready to share the space with other travelers.
The NPS warned that most camping and lodging reservations are already taken, and motel spaces could be hours away.
Also, it’s been a very dry season out West. Stay alert for wildfire news as you plan your trip, and be a mindful caretaker of your campfires.
More people means more potential wildlife encounters gone bad. The NPS says to keep a minimum of 25 yards from all wildlife and 100 yards from bears and wolves.
Yellowstone is on track for a yearly record and a 40 percent increase over 2020 when the park was affected by pandemic travel restrictions and briefly closed.