Outdoors

Glacier Park Attendance Record Settles at 2.33 Million

The annual total broke the previous all-time record of 2.22 million set in 1983 and was a 6.7 percent increase over 2013

With 2014 officially in the books, the final numbers have been tallied for Glacier National Park’s banner year.

An estimated 2,337,719 people visited the Crown Jewel of the Continent in the last 12 months, according to the National Park Service Public Use Statistics Office.

The annual total broke the previous all-time record of 2.22 million set in 1983 and was a 6.7 percent increase over 2013. It marked the sixth time in the last eight years that visitation surpassed 2 million people.

The year-end totals show 1.07 million people entered the park through the West Entrance, a 6.6 percent increase over 2013. There were 484,500 people at Saint Mary’s, a 2.9 percent decrease over last year.  Many Glacier attracted the third most visitors, 300,767, a 9.4 percent increase over 2013.

There were fewer overnight stays in the park in 2014. A total of 364,476 campers stayed overnight, a 4 percent decrease. The number of RV campers — 104,379 — dropped 6.8 percent. Concession lodging stays dipped 7.8 percent, with 117,074 people. There were 110,584 tent campers, roughly the same as a year ago. A total of 29,869 people camped in the backcountry, a 1.7 percent increase.

It appears to have been a banner year overall for the National Park System. An estimated 294 million people visited national parks last year, a new record and 20 million more than in 2013, according to early estimates.

At Yellowstone National Park, over 3.51 million people visited, marking the eighth year in a row over the 3-million mark. Visitation was up 10 percent from the previous year and was the second highest on record.

Park officials at Glacier have been studying the trend of ballooning visitation, hoping to craft a management strategy for the bustling western core. In June, the NPS began reviewing nearly 400 public comments and a draft plan with several alternative proposals, including potential changes to the park’s free shuttle system, will be released this spring.

Glacier Park Record Visitation Report for 2014

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