A month ago we were lauding Yellowstone National Park for setting a new attendance record for the month of June, when 694,000 people dropped by America’s oldest national park. It seems that Yellowstone’s allure didn’t diminish any in July either, as the park has set yet another record for visitors, this time shattering all previous records for any month.
According to the Park Service, more than 957,000 people visited Yellowstone last month, which is 60,000 more than in July of 2009. That number also marks the most visitors in any single month since the park first opened back in 1872. So far, 2010 has been a good year in general, as it is also the first time in the park’s history that it has recorded over 2 million visitors in the first seven months of any year.
This increased number of visitors has made for a very busy summer on the roads in Yellowstone, and the campsites and surrounding resorts have been sold out nearly every night too. This has, at times, caused delays in getting in and out of the area and has made booking a place to stay a bit of a challenge. Park officials recommend that you book your stay well in advance of your visit if you intend to camp anywhere near the place.
Visitors have had one thing to cheer about though, as they have been treated to some rare animal sightings throughout the summer. Park spokesperson Al Nash says “This has been an extraordinarily good year for wildlife viewing,”
It seems that economic conditions continue to fuel these increased attendance numbers in Yellowstone and other national parks. A lot of travelers are looking to keep their budgets at a modest level this year, and national parks offer a relatively good bargain for many. There has also been an increasing number of Americans that have been going outside more regularly in recent years, as hiking and camping have both become more popular activities as well.
[Photo credit: National Park Service]