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Yellowstone National Park sets new annual visitation record

January 7, 2011 |  4:20 pm

Visitors watch as Old Faithful geyser erupts at Yellowstone National Park.

For the second year in a row, and for the third time in the last four years, Yellowstone National Park has set a new annual visitation record.

During the calendar year, more than 3.64 million people visited the national park. Recreation visits in 2010 were 10.5% higher than recorded in 2009 -- which itself was a record year -- when almost 3.3 million people visited. 

The park also set monthly visitation records in June, July, August, September and October. 

All park entrances recorded annual visitation increases compared to 2009 levels, with the West Entrance continuing to be the park’s busiest, hosting nearly 1.5 million recreational visitors in 2010.

Park managers say they believe the record visitation was due in part to the public’s recognition that visits to national parks represent a good value for their travel dollar. Aggressive promotion by state tourism offices, stable gasoline prices and 2009’s public television series on the national parks are also believed to have contributed.

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

Yellowstone National Park annual recreational visitors:












-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Visitors watch as the Old Faithful geyser erupts at Yellowstone National Park. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Chart credit: Yellowstone/NPS