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Yellowstone Visits Down 34% Over Memorial Day Weekend

Vehicles at the South Entrance Station NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Vehicles at the South Entrance Station NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Photo: Vehicles at the South Entrance Station | Jacob W. Frank

Yellowstone National Park saw a big drop in vehicles entering its gates over Memorial Day weekend — down 34% over 2021. Between Friday, May 27 and Sunday, May 30, 7,773 entrances were counted. Last year there were 12,040 over the same period.

Why the big drop? Many would look to fuel prices as the obvious culprit, keeping fewer people traveling long distances to remote areas like Yellowstone. But there’s more to the story. A late-season major snowstorm made travel challenging.  Beartooth Highway, which is usually the last of the seasonally-closed roads to open near Yellowstone was held closed over avalanche concerns with over 6 feet of snow on the road to be cleared in some areas.

Memorial Day weekend may not be the best gauge of the coming busy season for Yellowstone. 34,443 vehicles visited Yellowstone in April, an increase of 17% over the same month in 2021. That makes this past April the busiest on record at Yellowstone’s gates by far.

With pump prices up over 60 cents between the end of April and the end of May, it will be interesting to see what effect fuel had on May visits to Yellowstone when those complete numbers are released.

Summer is Yellowstone’s busiest season. Millions of people visit the park in June, July, and August.

Visitation statistics (*vehicle entries) per day for May 27-30, 2022, compared to May 28-31, 2021, are listed below.

Park entrance
Vehicle entries 
Percent
change from
2021 to 2022
 Friday, May 27, 2022Friday, May 28, 2021
East750902-17%
North1,5151,796-16%
Northeast452475-5%
South1,3121,731-24%
West3,3574,565-26%
Total7,3869,469-22%
    
 Saturday, May 28, 2022Saturday, May 29, 2021 
East7691,131-32%
North1,5102,170-30%
Northeast424702-40%
South1,2781,958-35%
West3,8245,424-29%
Total7,80511,385-31%
    
 Sunday, May 29, 2022Sunday, May 30, 2021 
East4791,249-62%
North1,7842,240-20%
Northeast483870-44%
South1,1732,046-43%
West3,8545,635-32%
Total7,77312,040-35%
Source: National Park Service

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