A very crowded Yosemite National Park (2006). Photo by Dolan Halbrook.
When money gets tight people tend to do things less expensive like camping, hiking and visiting parks and recreation areas close to home. That belief holds true as Yosemite boasted it’s second highest visitation rate since the park began.
Yosemite National Park officials recorded a whopping 3,866,970 visitors in 2009. This marks the highest level of visitation in the park since 1996 when a recorded 4,190,557 visitors entered the park.
Since 1996, the park has been in a recession of it’s own as families have opted for the more expensive theme park and resort vacations and visitation declined. The trend continued through 2006, with the park receiving some 3,366,500 visitors but began reversing in 2007 as trips to the United States became a better value for those outside the United States as the dollar weakened overseas. Today Yosemite remains a great value for a family vacation averaging less than half the cost of vacationing at a theme park.
Visitation to Yosemite National Park first hit the one million mark in 1954. The park saw two million visitors for the first time in 1967. In 1987, the park hit the three million mark with 3,266,418 visitors.
For more statistics on Yosemite visit the NPS statistics page.