It depends on how you define "normal"

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Chat Page Version 1.60 ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 09:32:32 08/20/15

In Reply to: Labor Day Weekend posted by Karen


Historically, Labor Day Weekend is not appreciably busier than the days immediately preceding it or following it, because you don't have a major metropolitan population center in close proximity. You don't see the freeway clogging that characterizes the major arterials in and out of cities like Chicago, L.A., New York, etc. that Friday night and Monday night.

Visitation numbers typically start to decline by mid-August. The best measurements, beyond the tally at the entrance stations, come from monitoring campground fill times, which start occurring later in the day by mid-August. I attribute this phenomenon to families with school age children or those who are employed in education having to get home for the start of the school year.

This summer's visitation numbers have been markedly higher than normal, almost 20% higher, so this Labor Day Weekend may be busier than historic Labor Day Weekends.

Various park facilities start closing in early to mid-September on a staggered rate, and continues through mid-October. That can tend to concentrate or "funnel" the crowds to increasingly less campgrounds, lodging, and restaurants within the park. The seasonal closings tend to trail the schedule within the park by a few weeks, but by early October, quite a few lodging establishments and even a few retail establishments are buttoning up in the gateway communities.

Another phenomenon that starts expressing itself in mid-August and slowly accelerates over the next several months has to do with the gradual disappearance of certain animal and bird species, some to hibernation, some to migration. The ground squirrels are typically gone before Labor Day. Thankfully, there is still bear and wolf activity well into fall, but it can tend to start concentrating in progressively smaller geographic areas as bears become den-centric, steadily orienting closer to their den sites. The elk and moose ruts become one of the biggest shows in town between mid-September and early October.

That's probably more info than you were looking for, but I threw it in here for the benefit of anyone else heading to the park in September or October.


Follow Ups:

Post a Followup

Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:
Please enter the following value as your Submit Key:     
Submit Key:
Note: The Submit Key is Case Sensitive. Do not Copy and Paste!

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Chat Page Version 1.60 ] [ FAQ ]