YNP new release
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — Visitation to the world’s oldest national park is up more than 24 percent compared to the same time period (January through May) in 2014. Some of that increase could be attributed to a new after-hours counter at the West Entrance and a mild winter and early spring also played a role in drawing people to the park.
Visitation to the world’s first national park usually begins to pick up in May as weather improves and interior roads and visitor facilities open to the public. Some completed road construction project may also have contributed to the increase as fewer restrictions and delays were a welcome addition to visitor’s ease of access.
Other road improvement projects continue on a 5.4 mile stretch of road between the Norris Campground and Mammoth Hot Springs (April 17 to October 1), as well as the bridge over the Gardner River. There is still construction activity around Gardiner as crews enhance access to the park’s North Entrance.
Excavation work continues along the North entrance road through Gardiner. Businesses are open and traffic is being diverted for new alignments. Visitors are still able to stop at Roosevelt Arch using the flagger escort.
According to Wikipedia, “he Roosevelt Arch is a rusticated triumphal arch at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Montana.
Constructed under the supervision of the U.S. Army at Fort Yellowstone, its cornerstone was laid down by President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt in 1903. The top of the arch is inscribed with a quote from the Organic Act of 1872, the legislation which created Yellowstone, which reads “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People.”
Visitors can also expect traffic delays up to 30 minutes on the road from Old Faithful to West Thumb from now through September 10.
General road construction information
Road construction is perennial in Yellowstone National Park. In general, park roads have either been recently repaired or reconstructed, or are scheduled for such. Approximately 80 percent of main park roads (about 185 miles) are in a structurally deficient state, with poor quality road bases failing under the weight, speed and the current traffic volume they were not designed to handle.
For more information on Yellowstone’s roads go to http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/parkroads.htm
You can also get current road information by calling 307-344-2117.
Visitor by the numbers
Yellowstone saw 383,670 recreational visits in May and a total of 515,693 for the first five months of 2015. That compares to 310,039 recreational visits for May 2014 and 415,185 recreational visits for January through May 2014.
|Recreational Visits2015||Recreational Visits2014||Change|
|January||28,091||26,778||+ 4.90 %|
|February||34,343||28,233||+ 21.64 %|
|March||22,989||18,778||+ 22.43 %|
|April||46,600||31,356||+ 48.61 %|
|May||383,670||310,039||+ 23.75 %|
|Total Year-To-Date||515,693||415,185||+ 24.21 %|
The nine visitor centers, museums and contact stations in the park showed 624,710 visits from March 16-June 13 this year, which is a 22.6 percent increase from 2014 totals.
Visitation statistics are calculated by taking the actual number of wheeled vehicles entering the park gates, and using a person-per-vehicle multiplier to calculate the number of monthly recreational visitors.
July is typically the park’s peak visitation month, followed in order by August, June, September and May.