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Entries in Montana tourism (11)


Glacier National Park sets new yearly visitor record

Dennis Bragg photo (WEST GLACIER)-  Glacier National Park visitation not only breaks the 3-million mark for visitors, but easily crushes that mark. The final report on park visitation from the National Park Service shows over 3.3-million people went through the park gates in 2017, a solid 10% increase over the previous year. The park passed 3-million visitors this year in September, even with the fire season cutting access on the west side of the park. 

The new record wasn't unexpected.  For the first time in Glacier's history, more than 1-million people had come through the gates in the month of July alone. That was a jump of more than 23%. And park visitation was already up 11% through the first half of the year. 

St. Mary was by far the most active entrance to the park, largely driven by the fire closures of Going-to-the-Sun on the west side of the park in August and September. 


December visits will add to Glacier National Park record 

Dennis Bragg photo (WEST GLACIER)- It's all gravy from here.

And however many visitors decide to see Glacier National Park will only add to the park's new annual visitation record. 

Last week the the park set a new visitation record for the second year in a row, a mark reached despite a summer which brought fire closures that interfered with tourism.

There had been some questions in mid-summer whether Glacier would be able to come close to the record set in 2014, after a major fire in the St. Mary valley shut down the Going-to-the-Sun Highway, lodging and campgrounds for a couple of weeks.  

But even with the road's closure, park visits remained strong through the balance of the summer and into the fall. 


The park's November report shows the visitor total at 2.35 million people, easily outpacing the the 2.3 million people that had gone through the park gates at the end of November last year. It also breaks the latest record that had just been set last year at 2.1 million visitors. 

It's the sixth time in the past decade Glacier has had more than 2-million visitors. 


Glacier sets new all-time record for visits

(WEST GLACIER)- There are still three months to go, but Glacier National Park has already set a new all-time record for park visits, topping the previous record that's more than 3-decades old.

Glacier has been on a near-record pace all year long, despite a slow start to the summer and a few snowy spells that closed the popular Going-to-the-Sun Road. 

According to the latest statistics released by the National Park Service today, Glacier has seen more than 2.2-million recreation visitors pass through the gates through September 30th. The actual number is 2,238,761.

That's not only almost 39-thousand more people than the most recent near-record year during the park's centennial in 2010, it also shatters Glacier's previous all-time record of 2,203,847 visitors back in the 1983. And it means any visits between now and the end of December will add to the new record. 

The park had come close to record territory in 2012 and again in 2013, but a combination of wintery weather and last year's government shutdown had stopped the total short of the 1983 record. 

By comparison, only 4,000 people visited the park in its first full season in 1911. 


Glacier Park visitor rate remains strong 

Dennis Bragg photo(WEST GLACIER)- The latest reports show Glacier National Park remains on pace to possibly break the 30-year old visitation record, with nearly 1.9 million people coming through the park gates by the end of August. 

That puts the park on project to possibly beat the 1983 record of 2.2 million people, but just as importantly, could be the busiest year since the park's centennial in 2010. 

However, early fall weather could cut the number of visitors, especially if the weather trends continue through September. There's also the threat of another government shutdown, such as cut park visitation off last fall, although Congress has pledged to not let that happen.


Glacier visits up this summer

Glacier National Park photo(WEST GLACIER)- Glacier National Park is having another solid year for park visits, with the latest numbers showing visitation up more than 3% in July. 

The latest report from the National Park Service shows more than 1.2-million people have gone through the park's gates during the current fiscal year, although the pace of total visits has still been running a little behind the pace of year-to-date visitors through July. 

By the end of July last year 1,156,976 recreation visitors had come to the park to hike, sightsee, camp or stay overnight in one of the park's lodges. This year 1,120,873 visitors had come to the park. But compared over the fiscal year, visitation is up 3.2%

The most popular way to come into the park has been at West Glacier, where visits are up 8.3%. St. Mary's remains the second most-popular entrance station. Other places in the park were comparable with last year, although Polebridge, and the Walton-Goat Lick area had dropped. 

Total overnight stays are up 6.5%, although there's been a significant drop in group camping, which is off by more than 63%. Tent camping is up by more than 14% above last year.