News & Features

Glacier Park Annual Visitation Tops 2.16 Million

National park drew one of its highest visitor totals on record

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

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