Yellowstone visitation down 34% over Memorial Day - maybe price of gas? Any predictions for the summer?

Rockskipper

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MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY – Memorial weekend showed a 34 percent decrease in vehicle entries to Yellowstone National Park compared to last year, according to a National Park Service report. Saturday, May 28, 2022 drew the largest crowds of the weekend, a total of 7,805 vehicles. The busiest day that same weekend in 2021 saw more than 12,000.

 
I'm not surprised.
I can also only go hike only every 10-12 days because I cannot afford the expensive gasoline here and to most trailheads, you have to drive at least an hour or more.
SO this year will be the year with basically no hikes at all due to the gas prices :(

I canceled several camping trips this summer because I cannot justify the long drive to get there. I'm pretty sure many others feel the same
 
Weather was also "bad" for Memorial Day weekend. Pretty much no sunlight and constant rain/snow - most roads were closed part/most of the day on Memorial Day itself.

Don't doubt that gas prices affected things though.

That said, we had a great time w/ the reduced crowds. :)
 
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Time will tell......Most places I go are as busy if not busier than they were the last few years.
 
I'd love to see data from other parks. we were in the Capitol Reef area which seemed pretty busy, but we avoided the park itself due to heat and also humans
 
we got 1.85 inches just today. More than 2 inches in the forecast for Saturday. Crazy weather up here in the PNW as well
I live on the alleged dry side of the PNW and it has been the rainiest spring in at least a decade if not two decades. My employer has no indoor venue big enough for graduation so we are OUTSIDE rain or shine. The way things have been I'm guessing more rain than shine.
P.S. Graduation robes don't shed rain.
 
Another factor: part of the covid-related surge in outdoor visitation was bound to be temporary. As the country (very gradually) returns to some semblance of normalcy and more people choose to go to the movies instead of hiking, I suspect numbers will dip a bit, or at least plateau.
 
I was there last Friday, and I had actually gone there near the same date last year. Weather was nice. We were actually able to find ample parking everywhere we wanted, unlike last year, which was the worst experience I've ever had there. Zero traffic jams at the Gardiner entrance, and no jams around Midway as well which was a nice surprise. I'm expecting the rest of the season to have lower numbers than last year too.

Construction near West Thumb had traffic super backed up coming down the hill from the divide though. Fortunately, I was going the opposite direction.

Another factor: part of the covid-related surge in outdoor visitation was bound to be temporary. As the country (very gradually) returns to some semblance of normalcy and more people choose to go to the movies instead of hiking, I suspect numbers will dip a bit, or at least plateau.
I thought the same.
 
Now think gas prices is just part of the reason. But during the Memorial Weekend there was some nasty weather which included snow higher up. This could of been another reason for some folks do not want to camp in late May snowstorms. In Jackson for years they have had the 'Old West Days' celebration in Jackson during the Memorial Weekend. It was nicknamed by some as 'Old Wet Days'.
 
All people's free stimulus money is running out..... They have to work again
 
Another factor: part of the covid-related surge in outdoor visitation was bound to be temporary. As the country (very gradually) returns to some semblance of normalcy and more people choose to go to the movies instead of hiking, I suspect numbers will dip a bit, or at least plateau.
As I was reading through the replies here I was thinking something along these lines, which is that with so many more people getting out to places like that in the last couple years, maybe they had their fill - They can now say they got to see this, this, and that, and alongside the crowded experience, don't have much desire to repeat the experience - so maybe as you say, they've opted to go back to more "social" activities in the cities or going to movies and what not. No doubt gas and weather combined as factors too though. Will be interesting to see how summer shakes out for other places that exploded with visitation over the last few years.
 
I have noticed an uptick in the number of camping trailers for sale around here. I am a bit surprised that there aren’t a lot of RVs for sale but maybe that’s coming with the current price of fuel. But maybe if you can afford one of those $100k monsters you can afford the price of the gas or diesel.

It will be interesting to see how the summer pans out in the High Peaks of the Adirondacks (Lake Placid area in particular) now the the border is open. Quite a large number of Canadians come south to this area for hiking and backpacking. It might balance out if the large number of city dwellers who flooded the Adirondacks over the past two years choose to stay away.
 
I think some of those people can't really afford them. It's a status symbol to be had at all costs in some areas. I have a friend who bought one with her husband. A Dodge. The engine went out at 80k miles and had to be replaced to the tune of 10k. They had bought the insurance they sell you at the dealer's on it, so didn't have to pay for it. They had a 5 year loan and could barely afford it. Her husband died and now she's having trouble putting gas in it to the point she can't afford to visit her kids who are 150 miles away. In addition, she's having back surgery and won't be able to get in and out of it (she's short). She should sell it but won't for reasons unknown to me, but I suspect it's part of her self-image at this point. (She bought into the you're cool with a truck nonsense.)
 
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This year's average price increases for May 2022 since May 2021 (U.S.)
  • Airline fares: +37.8%
  • Lodging in hotels and motels: +22.2% (from Wolfstreet dot com)
I was looking into resort rentals in Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Montana and many are up a good 30% from last year.
 
I sometimes wonder if people driving around in F350s and ram 2500s are regretting their purchases? or maybe if you have 40-50k to drop on a truck an extra couple bucks a gallon isn't that big a deal

People driving around in any of them more than a year old are whistling dixie. I bought my 1500 out of the lease because a new replacement was going to cost $30k more and I’d have had to wait months.

$60 more a tank is not a big deal or I wouldn't own a truck in the first place. If it’s a hardship for anyone, the purchase was one unforeseen from being a financial problem no matter what.
 
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