Glacier National Park drew one of the highest visitation totals in its 101-year history in 2012.
The number of recreational visits surpassed 2.16 million last year, a 12.9 percent increase over 2011 and one of the three highest totals on record, according to the National Park Service Public Use Statistics Office.
After a busy peak season, visitation leveled off in December at 10,082, a 4.5 percent decrease over the same time last year. The overall year-to-date visitor numbers still reached 2,162,254. It was the third time in four years that visitation broke 2 million.
For the entire year, Saint Mary’s saw the largest spike in popularity by percentage. The site drew roughly 505,000 visitors, a 34 percent rise over 2011. Many Glacier experienced an 18.5 percent increase, attracting roughly 277,000. Aided by the availability of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, the west entrance remained the most popular section with more than 955,000 travelers. The Walton and Goat Lick area drew more than 90,000, a 12 percent rise. Camas attracted roughly 84,000, a 10.5 percent increase.
Overnight concession lodgings rose 22 percent in 2012, reaching about 126,000. Overnight stays for motorhomes rose almost 13 percent. Group campers dropped 52 percent.
For a complete list of visitation numbers for Glacier Park, visit irma.nps.gov/Stats/Reports/ReportList.