July is busiest month in Yellowstone’s history

More people are visiting Yellowstone National Park than ever before.

The park announced Wednesday that it set a new monthly record for visits during July, when more than 957,000 people came through its gates. That’s nearly 60,000 more than last July, when the park’s previous monthly record was set.

July usually is Yellowstone’s busiest month, followed by August, June, September and May. Yellowstone is on track to meet or exceed last year’s record year. Nearly 3.3 million people visited Yellowstone — the world’s first national park — in 2009. Visits for 2010 are up 5.8 percent over last year so far. Just over 2 million people visited in the first seven months of the year, the first time that’s happened in the park’s history, spokesman Al Nash said.

Nash said visitors, especially families, continue to be attracted to Yellowstone during the recession, likely because their stay can easily be adapted to how much they’re able to spend. For $25, a carload of visitors can roam Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park for a week and can chose to camp or stay in a lodge in the park or motel beyond its gates.

During July, both campgrounds and lodges reported being full by mid-morning. In previous years, Nash said campsites could still be found in the afternoon.

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