Glacier National Park Sees Near Record July Visitation
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt, 406 888-5838
Contact: Wade Muehlhof, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Glacier National Park officials today announced that park visitation numbers for July 2010 are the second highest July in park history. An estimated 673,359 people passed through the entrance gates during July, an 11.5 percent increase over 2009 visitation numbers for the same month. The only July with greater visitation numbers was in 1983, when an estimated 689,489 people came to Glacier. In 1983, the park saw its highest visitation numbers for a single year, 2,203,847. The year-to-date total for 2010 is outpacing the 1983 total for the same time period.
Tent camping in Glacier was up four percent, backcountry overnight visits were up seven percent and group camping was up 20 percent. Sun Tours, which operates bus tours in Glacier with a Blackfeet perspective, reports an increase in July visitors, and strong reservations for the rest of the summer. Glacier Park Inc. operates lodging and the red buses in the park, and reports that it was a strong July for them as well. Another park concessioner, Glacier Park Boat Company, saw a 10 percent increase in boat trips and rentals, and report a significant increase in reservations for August and September.
Glacier Superintendent Chas Cartwright said, "We are overwhelmed that so many people are choosing to spend their vacation in Glacier this summer. It is a great way to help commemorate the park's centennial. We also thank park visitors for being patient while a number of construction projects take place this summer."
Glacier will waive entrance fees on August 14 and 15 along with all National Park Service sites to encourage all Americans to visit our national parks. The fee free waiver does not include other fees for camping, reservations, tours and use of concessions. The remaining 2010 fee free days are September 25 (Public Lands Day) and November 11 (Veterans Day).
Extensive information is available for people planning a trip to Glacier on everything from hiking the backcountry to ranger-led activities at http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/index.htm. Glacier is commemorating its centennial this year and numerous centennial events are scheduled throughout 2010. A complete calendar of events can be found at www.glaciercentennial.org.
Additional visitation statistics are available at http://www.nature.nps.gov/stats/index.cfm. Park officials caution that visitation figures are estimates based on vehicles counts and multipliers.
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Did You Know?
Did you know that 2003 was one of the hottest recorded years in Glacier National Park's history? That year, approximately 144,000 acres burned from multiple wildfires.