You have permission to edit this article.
Yellowstone tourism drops slightly in 2019
editor's pick topical

Yellowstone tourism drops slightly in 2019

Yellowstone tourism

Bison lumber along the road between Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Junction in Yellowstone National Park during the spring of 2019. About 12.6 million nonresidents visited Montana in 2019 and spent around $3.6 billion combined, according to the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana.

In 2019 Yellowstone National Park continued its steady, although slight, decline in tourism.

Since peaking at 4.25 million visitors in 2016, Yellowstone visitation has dropped each year. The 2019 decline to just over 4 million visitors was only 2.3% less than 2018, but was a 5.6% drop from 2016.

2016 was marked by the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, celebrations of which may have bumped up tourism that year thanks to coverage of the commemoration and special events. That was followed in 2017 by heavy visitation to the park after tourists flooded the region for the solar eclipse.

Monthly visitation to the park in December 2019 was more than 25,500, a number that hasn't been exceeded since 2001. Milder weather in the region may have played a role in that increase while colder weather in the fall may have reduced tourist interest.

"We had more than 10 days of weather related road closures in October and some in late September due to storms," said Linda Veress, park spokeswoman.

In a month by month look, January, March and April of 2019 saw higher tourism in the park than the past three years, although visitation in those months is relatively small compared to the busy summer months.

More data on park visitation, including how the agency calculates the numbers, is available on the NPS Stats website at


Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News