Yellowstone National Park’s Visitor Boom in July 2023. If you’ve been seeking serenity amidst nature’s grandeur, the renowned destinations within the US National Park Service may not be your ideal escape. These iconic parks continue to draw colossal summer crowds, transforming them into urban-like excursions, complete with traffic snarls. Yellowstone National Park stands as a prime example.
Yellowstone National Park
According to a recent news release by the National Park Service (NPS), Yellowstone, the crown jewel of the national park system, welcomed an astounding 969,692 recreation visits in July 2023. To put this into perspective, it’s akin to the entire city of Austin, Texas, making its way to the park in just one month.
This surge reflects a staggering 63% increase from July 2022 when Yellowstone had 596,562 recreational visits. Moreover, it marks a 4% uptick from July 2019, a year in which the park witnessed 936,062 recreation visits.
Yellowstone’s 2023 Visit Count So Far
Year-to-date, spanning from January to July 2023, Yellowstone has registered a total of 2,463,202 recreation visits. This signifies a significant 33% surge compared to the same timeframe in 2022 when the park recorded 1,855,396 recreation visits. Additionally, it represents a 7% increase from 2019, a year that predates the pandemic’s travel disruptions in the United States and worldwide.
Factors Influencing 2022’s Lower Visitation Numbers
It’s worth noting that visitation to Yellowstone was notably suppressed in 2022 due to early summer flooding, as acknowledged by the NPS. As a result, 2019 often serves as a benchmark for assessing attendance figures, considering it represents the last full year before the pandemic reshaped travel patterns across the United States and globally.
Seeking Solitude: Alternative Destinations
If you’re in search of a more tranquil experience, there are alternative options available. One approach is to explore the lesser-visited national parks. Admittedly, some of these parks are quite remote, particularly in states like Alaska and American Samoa. However, others are closer to populated areas, such as Congaree National Park in South Carolina, offering a relatively undiscovered escape in comparison to their more famous counterparts.
Additionally, you might discover a quieter retreat in state parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and similar locations, which often boast the same breathtaking features as their better-known counterparts. Nonetheless, it’s advisable to verify current crowd conditions with your intended destination, as some of these areas are also experiencing increased visitation.