BOISE, Idaho — Yellowstone National Park had more visitors this summer than it has ever had before breaking records for monthly visits in June, July and August.
3,590,904 people visited America's first national park that was created in 1872 in the three most popular months for Yellowstone, the previous record was back in 2017 when 3,232,707 people came from all over the world to experience Yellowstone.
"July was the first month in Yellowstone’s history where the park received more than a million visitors," said Morgan Warthin of Yellowstone National Park. "That was pretty significant."
Yellowstone provides visitors with a number of unique reasons for visiting from the thermal areas of this supervolcano, the geology of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, the remoteness and it is one of the best places in the world to look for wildlife.
We spend one day in the park and were able to see herds of bison in Hayden Valley, a herd of elk near Madison Junction, some great grey owls flying in a meadow and we also found a dead elk carcass that bears and wolves were feeding on even though unfortunately we missed breakfast and a chance to see these predators.
I've been to Yellowstone probably a dozen times and for me, it is just as entertaining to watch the people view the wildlife and sometimes people seem to forget that these are wild animals.
"The best way to be safe is to keep your distance," said Warthin. "We ask all visitors to Yellowstone to steer clear of all wildlife give them space in particular for bears and wolves you must stay 100 yards away all other animals stay 25 yards away."
More than 20 people have also died in the thermal areas throughout Yellowstone's history, this summer a Connecticut woman was sentenced to seven days in jail for walking out into a thermal area and in September a woman from Rhode Island suffered significant burns near Old Faithful.
"Our thermal basins are extremely hot and the crust is very thin so it is very easy to fall through," said Warthin. "We implore visitors to stay on the boardwalks it is for your protection and the protection of this incredible place people came to experience."
Also in September, Utah's Mark O'Neill died on a backpacking trip near Shoshone Lake, authorities are still searching for his half-brother Kim Crumbo but they have now deemed that a recovery effort instead of a rescue situation.
While Yellowstone can be dangerous it can also be a vacation of a lifetime and another thing people should know is they need to plan ahead because this remote park doesn't have many amenities.
Campgrounds fill up pretty much every single night so lodging needs to be secured before arriving at Yellowstone, hotels will be expensive in tourist towns like West Yellowstone and Jackson.
“Please plan ahead for a visit to the park, expect large crowds and finally recreate responsibly when you are here in the park," said Warthin.