Yellowstone sees jump in visitation, urges visitors to plan ahead

Jul 12, 2012

Yellowstone National Park Officials are urging visitors to be patient and plan ahead this summer.

The park saw almost 675,000 visitors in June. That’s about 30,000 more visitors than the same month last year.

Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash says the park always draws a healthy flow of tourists, but outside factors can boost visitation.

“We had good weather, gas prices aren’t as high as they have been, and maybe people are feeling a little better about their ability to spend a little money on vacation.”

July is always the busiest month of the year.

Nash says wild animal sightings can cause traffic jams, and famous spots – like Old Faithful – tend to be most crowded around lunchtime.

“If you think about the most popular tourist areas and choose to visit them outside the middle of the day, you’re going to have a much better experience.”

Nash recommends getting an early start to avoid crowds. He adds that there are plenty of quiet places in the park for visitors willing to venture off the beaten path.

Yellowstone reminds hikers to carry bear spray.