While Plenty Busy, Glacier National Park Falls Short of June Attendance Record

Nearly 560,000 people visited Glacier last month, about 60,000 fewer than the previous June

By Tristan Scott
Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow laughs with visitors along the boardwalk near Logan Pass. Beacon file photo

Although parking areas are filling early and campgrounds are brimming with visitors, Glacier National Park’s booming attendance fell just short of breaking another monthly record for June.

Nearly 560,000 people visited Glacier Park last month, roughly 60,000 fewer than last June, which holds the all-time record for that month, according to National Park Service statistics.

Glacier has set annual attendance records for four consecutive years, and last year drew 3.3 million people. Last July, the park ushered more than 1 million visitors through its gates for the first time in history, shattering the previous monthly record and forecasting another groundbreaking summer for attendance.

And while this June may have lagged slightly behind the record, in part due to the cool and wet weather, the park is still on pace for a record-setting year.

Through the first six months of 2018, Glacier has already attracted more than 828,000 people, a 10 percent decrease over the first six months of 2017 with the busiest months still to come.

Last month’s attendance broke the previous June 2016 record by about 70,000 people, and saw more than 200,000 visitors compared to attendance figures from five years ago.

Still, the booming attendance — and persistent congestion — does not appear to be letting up. This summer park officials have been reporting full parking lots at Logan Pass, Avalanche, Bowman Lake, Kintla Lake, and other popular locations between 9-10 a.m. throughout the week. Campgrounds at all corners of the park are similarly teeming with eager, and oftentimes out-of-luck, visitors.

Ahead of the July 4 holiday, nearly all of the park’s larger developed campgrounds were filling early in the day, and the month is off to a frenetic start.

The West Entrance, by far the most popular entry point in the park, attracted 224,096 visitors last month, while visitors to Saint Mary totaled 115,856. Many Glacier tallied 65,992 visitors and Two Medicine attracted 41,706 people.

On July 10, Logan Pass parking lot filled by 8:55 a.m. and Avalanche was full as of 10:19 a.m.

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