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Yellowstone Sets Record-Breaking Visitation Numbers

BYU-Idaho Radio · Yellowstone Sets Record-Breaking Visitation Numbers
The visitation statistics from Yellowstone National Park for 2020 are in. The park experienced a drop in visitation from 2019, mostly due to the park being closed from March to May 2020 because of COVID-19. 

Two of the park’s entrances opened up on May 18, while the final three opened on June 1. Since then, the park has been following safety guidelines to keep park visitors safe from the pandemic. 

Despite the existence of the coronavirus, the park ended up seeing record-breaking attendance last year. 

“For September, the park [hosted] 840,000 visits, which is a 21 percent increase from September of last year, and that was the busiest September on record,” said Linda Veress, Yellowstone National Park spokesperson. 

It wasn’t just September either. October also saw a new record in monthly attendance, with more than 360,000 people visiting during the month. That’s over double what it was in 2019. 

The high numbers of visitors means the park is on high alert making sure everyone stays healthy, and they’ve followed all necessary protocols. 

“Our main goal is to keep our employees and visitors safe. We have taken precautionary measures with masks and social distancing, and also implementing some other measures such as putting up plexiglass barriers in our buildings,” Veress said. 

The park is always keeping up with new CDC guidelines to make sure visitors never have to worry about the pandemic. 

After a busy end to the year, Yellowstone is continuing in full force through the winter season. 

“We have one road open that goes from Gardiner, Montana down to Cooke City, and people can go skiing and view the wildlife,” said Veress. “The interior of the park is also accessible through guided snowmobile tours and snow coaches.” 

Yellowstone is still doing well, and the park provides a great opportunity for safe activities to do while still riding out the quarantine.