US national parks have always been very popular destinations, but since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, their visitation numbers have exploded. And it’s very obvious in Yellowstone National Park, where more than 920,000 tourist came this August, setting a new record.
National parks have been go-to destination for US travelers as many health experts have explained that outdoor activities presented little risk of infection.
Last month, Yellowstone set a new record with 921,844 recreation visits, making August 2021 the most visited August ever, the park says in a press release.
The previous busiest August was in 2017, the year of the solar eclipse. That month, the national park received 916,166 visitors.
In July, Yellowstone reached broke another record: The park exceed one million visitors in a single month for first time in its history.
June, July, and August are usually the park’s busiest months, but due to the increase in visitors, the parks have been more even more crowded.
Yellowstone National Park warns visitors to expect heavy traffic, crowded areas, and booked-up lodgings, and to plan ahead.
The park also urges visitors to follow park guidelines, no matter the crowds, and to not stray away from designated trails or boardwalks. In August, a Connecticut woman was sentenced to seven days in jail for walking on thermal grounds at Yellowstone National Park.
In 2020, Yellowstone National Park was the second-most visited national park, behind Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
For a crow-free national park experience, check out the 10 least-visited national parks in the US, and why you should go.