While visits for the total year are down slightly, Yellowstone National Park enjoyed an early-fall rally with a record month.

The park hosted 360,034 recreation visits in October, 2020. That is up 110% from October, 2019. This was the busiest October on record, surpassing the previous record (252,013) set in 2015 by an increase of 43%.

So far in 2020, the park has hosted 3,743,907 recreation visits, down 6% from the same period last year. But of course contributing to that decrease was the park being 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.  All five entrances have been open since June 1.

Take a look at some of the recent numbers of visitors. This list shows the year-to-date trend for recreation visits over the last several years (through October):

2020 – 3,743,907

2019 – 3,979,153

2018 – 4,078,771

2017 – 4,084,762

2016 – 4,212,782

2015 – 4,066,191

We are seeing a lot of early winter weather and this reminder, that all roads in Yellowstone, with one exception, are closed to automobile traffic from early November to late April. The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, through Mammoth Hot Springs to the Northeast Entrance and the communities of Cooke City and Silver Gate, Montana, is open year-round, weather-permitting. Conditions permitting, most park roads will open to snowmobiles and snow coaches on December 15.

If you plan to visit the park this winter, please have flexible travel plans and prepare for changing weather conditions. Temporary travel restrictions or closures can occur at any time without notice. You can call (307) 344-2117 for recorded information, or visit the Yellowstone/National Park Service webpage.

Please 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.