Yellowstone Experiences Highest May Visitation, Research To Study Effect In Progress

Jun 12, 2018

Last month, Yellowstone National Park experienced the busiest May on record with close to 450,000 visits to the park. With visitation trends only going up, the park is trying to understand what decisions will have to be made in the future.

Neil Herbert, a spokesperson for the park, said some changes will have to happen concerning access and use but it’s too early to make any decisions. 

“We’ve commissioned a bunch of studies where we got researchers coming in and they’ll look at the way people are moving in the park,” said Herbert. “So right now, we’re just in the data gathering phase of really trying to have some numbers of how people move in the park, where they go, [and] what time of the day.”  

He said there are going to be some tough decisions and compromises made in the future and that everything is on the table.

But for now, Herbert said visitors need to plan in advance so they don’t have a trip that doesn’t meet their expectations. This includes limited parking and stand-still traffic due to wildlife crossings. But he said the magic of the park is still there. 

“There are so many things to see and do in the park. People who are really into watching wildlife...you never know what you’re going to see and where you’re going to see it. The park is full of surprises and I don't think that’s changed,” said Herbert.