Yellowstone National Park has released visitor data for August of 2020, and despite the ongoing coronavirus cause COVID-19 pandemic, August’s numbers showed an increase over the same time last year.
According to a statement sent to media Thursday, the National Park Service says that Yellowstone hosted 881,543 recreation visits in August 2020. Officials say that this represents a 7.5% increase from August 2019, making it the second busiest August on record.
The busiest August on record was in 2017, the year of the solar eclipse.
So far in 2020, the park has hosted 2,546,373 recreation visits, down 18% from the same period last year.
The park was closed due to health and safety reasons related to COVID-19 beginning March 24, 2020. Two Wyoming entrances opened on May 18 and three Montana entrances opened on June 1, 2020. All five entrances have been open since June 1.
The list below shows the year-to-date trend for recreation visits over the last several years (through August), as provided by the NPS:
- 2020 – 2,546,373
- 2019 – 3,114,697
- 2018 – 3,136,241
- 2017 – 3,232,707
- 2016 – 3,269,024
- 2015 – 3,133,965
The National Park Service is asking that visitors to Yellowstone recreate responsibly and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“If you are sick, do not visit the park. Self-quarantine to avoid exposing others. Services are limited in the park,” the NPS said Thursday. “Stay informed about changes to park operations.”
More data on park visitation, including how the numbers are calculated, is available on the NPS Stats website.