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Glacier Park Boasts Second-Busiest July on Record

By Beacon Staff

WEST GLACIER – Glacier National Park officials say that, despite a sluggish economy, the park has experienced a significant increase in visitors in July compared to the same time last year.

An estimated 673,359 people passed through the park’s gates in July — up 11.5 percent over last year and making this past July the second-busiest on record. Only 1983 surpassed this summer’s visitation, with 689,489 visitors in July.

That same year — 1983 — set the bar for overall visitation at 2.2 million, and so far 2010 is on pace to break the record.

Park spokesman Wade Muehlhof says tent camping is up 4 percent over last year, and backcountry camping has increased 7 percent. Group camping, which never sees large numbers, is up 20 percent.

Some say the economy has not recovered enough for families to afford an expensive vacation, but just enough to allow them to go on a cheaper camping trip.

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