Glacier National Park On Pace for Record Visitation Despite Road Closure

An estimated 689,064 people visited Glacier last month

By Beacon Staff
Going-to-the-Sun Road shuttle at Logan Pass on July 3, 2015. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Glacier National Park continues to see record visitation this summer despite a slight lull in recent weeks due to closures along the Going-to-the-Sun Road as a result of a wildfire, park officials said.

According to visitor-use statistics, an estimated 689,064 people visited Glacier last month, the third most on record the month of July. Last year, the park reported a record for the month, 699,650 people.

The park’s year-to-date visitation has increased more than 11 percent from this time in 2014. Last year was a record year for visitation with 2.3 million visitors to Glacier Park. An estimated 1.33 million people have visited the park this year.

Park visitation for July 2015 was slightly down from July 2014, a decline that park officials attributed to fire-related road closures.

The St. Mary entrance recorded 21 percent fewer visitors in July than last year. The east side of the Sun Road has been inaccessible due to the Reynolds Creek Fire, which started burning July 21 and is listed at nearly 70 percent contained.

“It is likely that this closure has impacted visitation at the east entrance to the park, but overall park visitation remains high,” according to a press release from Glacier Park officials.

Peak visitation at Glacier National Park is in July and August.

Firefighters are focusing their efforts on removing hazards from the Sun Road corridor in order to fully reopen the road within the week.

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