Visitation up 6 Percent at Glacier National Park

By Beacon Staff

The first month of the bustling summer season was busier than usual in Glacier National Park.

An estimated 351,090 people visited the park in June, a 12 percent increase over last year, according to the National Park Service Public Use Statistics Office.

The total number of visitors in Glacier this year is 6 percent higher than a year ago. More than 521,700 visitors have entered the park compared to more than 490,000 through June of last year.

The Going-to-the-Sun Road opened June 21, three days earlier than last year, and nearly every aspect of the park experienced higher volume.

Polebridge saw the largest surge of visitors in June. More than 15,000 people visited the area, an increase of 107 percent over last year. Two Medicine drew more than 28,000 visitors, a 22 percent hike over 2012.

The number of total overnight stays jumped nearly 15 percent in June. More than 56,000 were logged compared to more than 48,000 last year.

RV and motorhome overnight stays were up 12 percent. Tent camping spiked 38 percent.

Yellowstone attracted more than 791,000 visitors in June, and has already surpassed one million for 2013.

Visitation statistics are calculated by taking the actual number of wheeled vehicles entering the park gates, and using a person-per-person vehicle multiplier to calculate the number of monthly recreational visitors. The multipliers have been used for nearly 20 years to gauge park usage.

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