Yellowstone National Park Visitation Numbers for August Show Park Is Still Struggling After Flood

by Tia Bailey

Yellowstone National Park has made some changes since flooding. The August visitation numbers show that the park is struggling.

The park was hit with a huge flood earlier this summer in June. The flood led to “historic water levels,” and many entrances to the park were closed. About three weeks later, the south and north loops of the park reopened to the public.

However, the August statistics show less visitation than previous years. In August, there were 582,211 recreation visits. In August of 2021, there were 921,844 recreational visits, so the year decreased by 37%.

The website shares the last few years‘ numbers compared.

“So far in 2022, the park has hosted 2,446,982 recreation visits, down 32% from 2021 at the same time.

The list below shows the year-to-date trend for recreation visits over the last several years (through August): 

2022 – 2,446,982 (The park was closed June 13 through June 21. Three entrances opened June 22)
2021 – 3,590,609  
2020 – 2,556,528 (The park was closed March 24 through May 17. Two entrances opened May 18 and the remaining three opened on June 1)
2019 – 3,114,697
2018 – 3,136,241
2017 – 3,232,707.”

The park is still recovering from the flood in June. They ask that visitors stay informed about what is opened and what is closed in the park as they visit.

Back in June, many shared disturbing videos of the flood. Associated Press tweeted a video of the flood with the caption: “Video near Yellowstone National Park shows a house falling into the raging Yellowstone River on Monday. Heavy rain and melting snow have caused flooding, damage and triggered evacuations in and around the park.”

Yellowstone National Park Roads Are ‘Melting’

According to reports, the roads at the national park are “melting.” This is due to the same geothermal conditions that make eruptions at Old Faithful.

Yellowstone is huge, and many rumors have surfaced online the last few years about melting roads. Many believe that the ground temperature increasing is a sign of an incoming volcanic eruption. However, officials state that the cause is geothermal activity.

U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Yellowstone Volcano Observatory shared a post about the situation. They explained that the ground gets hot in some regions of the park, and asphalt being laid down on it can be an issue.

“The result of this heating is that the asphalt softens and can flow, like silly putty,” they said. “This can create ‘ripples’ in the road surface, and potholes are more likely to form. When vehicles drive over the warmed asphalt, the road can suffer significant damage.”

The asphalt has been melting away due to the heat.

“The spate of misrepresented information even prompted the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory to put out a news statement discussing the recent observations, how they were being misinterpreted, what was being flat-out made up, and that there was no sign of any imminent volcanic activity,” the USGS wrote. “And as usual, volcanologists were right and misinformation sources were wrong—that’s why it’s called misinformation!”