Since peaking in 2016, visitation to Yellowstone National Park has seen a steady, gradual decline that seems to be continuing into 2019.
Statistics provided by the National Park Service show the park so far in 2019 has seen almost 53,000 fewer visitors compared to 2018's stats through September. In 2018 as of September, visitation was down from 2017 by about 12,000.
Visitation for the entire year of 2016 was the highest Yellowstone has ever recorded — more than 4.2 million. In the two years since, the park has seen slight but steady declines. Despite the drop, Yellowstone still remains an incredibly popular place to visit with most of those tourists coming from May through September.
In the month of September, Yellowstone hosted 693,118 visits, a 4.3% decrease from September 2018.
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So far in 2019, the park has hosted 3,807,814 visits, down 1.4% from the same period last year.
The drop in visitation is also visible in the park's statistics that track overnight stays by campers and those using park lodges. Lodging saw a 26% drop from 2018, partly because some facilities weren't available — like the Mammoth Hotel, which was undergoing the finishing touches of remodeling work. Because of that, Mammoth Hotel visits were down almost 56% from 2018.
Camper numbers were also down — 16% for RVs and 20% for tent campers — at Park Service sites and almost 37% for tent and RV campers at concession operated sites. Fishing Bridge Campground, the largest RV campsite in the park, was closed this summer for work, which undoubtedly affected the concession numbers.