Yellowstone had Over 300,000 Fewer Visitors this August Versus 2021
According to a press release by Yellowstone National Park, it had 582,211 recreation visits in August 2022, a 37% decrease from the 921,844 recreational visits in August 2021, the most-visited August on record.
This year's August was a 29% decrease from August 2019 when the park had 820,006 visitors.
Part of the reason for the decrease in visits this year was due to the large flooding the park had in June, closing the park from June 13 to 21 and then opening three entrances on June 22.
On July 2, entry restrictions on the East, South, and West entrances were removed.
The North entrance in Gardiner, Montana, and the Northeast entrance in Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana still remain closed to visitor vehicles, with construction causing delays around the South Entrance at the Lewis River Bridge and between Old Faithful and West Thumb.
Since the flooding began, the Small Business Administration has been approving disaster relief loans for both homes and businesses, distributing a total of $9.8 million dollars by Aug. 29.
Of that relief, $6,204,800 has gone to businesses or to Economic Injury Disaster Loan, while $3,633,400 has been given to homes.
While the deadline for physical disaster loans was Aug. 29, the deadline for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, which are for businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and non-profits, isn't until March 30, 2023
In 2020, the park was closed from March 24 through May 17 due to COVID-19, with two entrances opened on May 18 and the remaining three opened on June 1.
So far this year, the park has had 2,446,982 visits, compared to 3,590,609 in 2021, 2,556,528 in 2020, 3,114,697 in 2019, 3,136,241 in 2018, and 3,232,707 in 2017.
Going back even further, total visitors numbers up to this August are the lowest they've been since at least 2009, which had 2,654,380 visitors at the end of August.