Glacier Park Visitation Surpasses 2.8 Million

With more than 30,000 visitors, last month marked the busiest November since 1985

By Dillon Tabish
Visitors snap pictures of a mountain goat near Hidden Lake in Glacier National Park. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Favorable weather in November further amplified Glacier National Park’s record year for visitation.

The National Park Service says an estimated 30,800 people visited Glacier last month, pushing annual attendance over the 2.8 million mark for the first time.

Last month marked the busiest November since 1985, when an estimated 36,900 people visited. Unseasonably dry, warm conditions led to a 58 percent spike from 2015, when 19,500 people entered Glacier in November.

The bulk of visitors — 17,400 — entered the park through the West Entrance, which is the primary access point open during winter.  Currently, 11.5 miles of Going-to-the-Sun Road are open on the west side of the park, from the West Entrance to Lake McDonald Lodge. On the east side, the road is closed at the Hudson Bay Road junction near the St. Mary Entrance.

With 2.82 million people, Glacier’s year-to-date attendance is up 20 percent and is expected to settle around 2.84 million people. The national park has already shattered the annual record of 2.36 million people set a year ago. This is the third consecutive year of record attendance in the park.

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