More than 3.8 million people have visited Yellowstone National Park so far this year. With nearly three months left to go, that puts the park well ahead of the previous record of 3.5 visitors in 2010. Year-to-date, Yellowstone is up almost 16 percent over last year, seeing increases in visitation for every month so far.
In September alone, Yellowstone saw 680,213 visitors, good for almost 19 percent over the same month last year. July, during the heart of the summer travel season, saw more than 980,702 visitors come through the park — over 120,000 more than last July.
According to the National Park Service, most of the increase in traffic came through the park's west entrance. That was good news for Big Sky, which celebrated a record summer partly on the back of the increase in traffic coming through the resort south of Bozeman, Montana, and heading to Yellowstone.
Lower gas prices likely accounts for some of the increase in people deciding to visit Yellowstone, but the National Park Service also credited the agency's new "Find Your Park" marketing campaign, which was launched in the lead up to the National Park Service Centennial.