After seven months of flat visitation numbers, Glacier National Park’s annual visitation is up nearly 2 percent following a busy August.
According to numbers released this week, 771,874 people visited the park in August, up more than 15 percent from the same month last year when 667,688 people came to the park. More than 2.45 million people have visited the park in 2019, a 1.96 percent jump from the 2.41 million who visited during the same time period in 2018.
Just a month ago, year-to-date visitation was down more than 3 percent, with 1.6 million people coming to the park between January and July.
One likely reason for the spike in August visitation is that for the first time in three years, the park did not have a major wildfire. In 2017, the Sprague Fire shut down part of the park and destroyed the beloved Sperry Chalet, and in 2018, the Howe Ridge Fire forced a large evacuation of the Lake McDonald Valley.
Overall, visitation across the National Park Service system was up in August. In August, more than 229 million people visited a park, up .42 percent from the previous August when more than 228 million people entered a park.
The west entrance of Glacier remained the most popular, with 366,186 people passing through its gates in August. More than 1.1 million have entered the park at West Glacier so far this year. More than 179,000 visited St. Mary last month and more than 82,000 went to Many Glacier.