There was a lot of buzz surrounding the total solar eclipse that took place on Monday, but Yellowstone National Park saw a surprisingly small amount of visitors. Spokesman Jonathan Shafer explains.

“After checking in with visitors centers across the park, there were fewer visitors than there typically are this time of year and fewer than there had been earlier in the week,” said Shafer. “We really didn’t know what to expect. We planned for large crowds, but we weren’t sure whether we should expect a lot of people to come or not. We didn’t end up having very large crowds on August 21.”

According to Shafer, the park didn’t experience unusually heavy traffic until the day after the eclipse.

“On August 22, 2017, Yellowstone experienced very heavy traffic congestion,” Shafer said. “There were a lot of cars traveling, especially between the west entrances in Madison Junction and travelling down to Old Faithful. In order to manage that traffic a little bit better, we did send additional staff out to direct traffic.”

Yellowstone Park has seen increasing attendance in recent years and lots of traffic congestion at peak times, but two recent studies hope to alleviate some of the problems that tend to occur.

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