Published on : Thursday, September 16, 2021
With health experts steering travellers toward outdoor destinations and activities during the pandemic, US national parks have been a natural magnet.
More proof of that came on Tuesday.
Yellowstone National Park set a record for visits in August, the National Park Service said in a news release.
The park hosted 921,844 recreation visits last month which is equivalent to almost the entire population of Austin, Texas, visiting there.
It was a 4.5% increase compared with August 2020.
Park officials say the previous record for August was set in 2017
At that time people flocked to Yellowstone to witness that year’s epic solar eclipse.
Through the end of August this year, Yellowstone saw 3,590,904 visits.
That’s on track for a yearly record and a 40% increase over 2020 when the park was affected by pandemic travel restrictions and briefly closed.
This news comes as no surprise to folks who have been part of the huge waves trying to gain entrance to popular national parks all summer.
Along with others across the country, Arches National Park in Utah saw such huge influxes earlier this summer that it had to temporarily close its gates on numerous days.
In fact, Arches still warns potential visitors that parking lots at trailheads may fill before 9 a.m., causing the park to temporarily restrict access until congestion lessens.
Its website said restricted access can last from three to five hours.