Yellowstone National Park Uses a Wild Amount of Toilet Paper in a Year

by John Jamison

Yellowstone National Park runs through those huge industrial rolls of toilet paper like they’re nothing. The country’s first national park sees upwards of 4 million visitors per year. It maintains more than 400 toilets, and that means a whole lot of TP. Miles of it, in fact.

This year, especially, the custodial staff of Yellowstone National Park has had their work cut out for them. The park saw record numbers of visitors over the summer.

According to the numbers shared by YNP, 921,844 people visited Yellowstone in August alone. That outdoes the previous best August on record, which came in at 915,000 in 2017. National parks have become popular destinations during the pandemic because of their outdoor appeal.

Fortunately, Yellowstone wasn’t overly concerned about toilet paper shortages at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, unlike many across the country. On the contrary, they were prepared. The official Yellowstone National Park Twitter account shared a post highlighting just how much TP has been used so far this year.

“This year, park employees stocked restrooms with 5,266 miles of toilet tissue, roughly the distance from Key West, FL to Prudhoe Bay, AK! A huge thanks to our custodial staff for servicing the 422 toilets throughout the park during this busy year!”

Yellowstone National Park Spotlights Custodial Worker Lisa Bush

YNP took the opportunity to celebrate one of its hardworking custodial employees.

There was no shortage of praise for Lisa and all of her hard work in the replies. One Twitter user even suggested something to make Lisa’s life a little easier—installing bidets. Maybe the National Park Service can find the money for that in the budget, but don’t hold your breath.

Unprecedented Increase in Visitation Numbers Beyond the Summer

If you thought August was a big year, wait until you see the numbers for September. Typically, the summer months have a distinct advantage in visitation as entire families make the trek while the kids are out of school.

However, this past September saw those August numbers continue rather than drop off. According to the National Park Service, 872,695 people visited Yellowstone in September. That’s a 26% increase from the same month in 2019.

“Never in Yellowstone’s history have we seen such substantial visitation increases in such a short amount of time. We will continue working with our teams and partners to develop and implement appropriate short- and long-term actions for managing increasing visitation across the park,” Superintendent Cam Sholly told the NPS.