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Yellowstone reports record number of summer visitors

September 10, 2010 | 10:33 am

The Roosevelt Arch sits at the North entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

It has been a record-breaking summer for Yellowstone National Park, with visitation figures released for June, July, and August shattering previous records.

Visitation for the three summer months combined topped 2.5 million, with Yellowstone hosting a record 854,837 tourists in August -- the first time August visitation has surpassed the 800,000 mark -- and is up more than 81,000 from the previous August record of 773,307 visitors set in 1995.

So far this year, the park has had almost 2.87 million come through its gates, putting it on track to break the 2009 yearly record when Yellowstone hosted nearly 3.3 million people.

Numbers were up at all five park entrances, with the West entrance remaining the busiest with more than 345,000 park guests using that route in August. The North entrance had the greatest percentage increase in visitors, up 20% from the same month in 2009.

July is typically the park’s peak visitation month -- and this year was no different, with 957,785 visitors -- usually followed by August, June, September, and May.

Detailed park visitation information is available online at http://www.nature.nps.gov/stats/.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: The Roosevelt Arch sits at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times