National park visitors surge as Covid-19 pandemic restrictions wane

Last month, Yellowstone National Park noticed probably the most visitors it has ever recorded for the month of May — with greater than 483,100 individuals stopping by, in keeping with a Friday news release from the park.

That’s roughly an 11% improve from May 2019, the park stated. Last yr, the nationwide park was closed for greater than half of May, and reopened solely two of its 5 entrances for the remainder of the month.

Grand Teton National Park, in Wyoming, additionally set a staggering May document, with greater than 363,700 visitors.

That’s roughly 30% up from May 2019 numbers — and in addition a park visitation document for that month.

“Camping in the park increased 93% in May 2021 compared to May 2019, while backcountry camping increased 117%. Trail use in the park increased 70% in May, compared to May 2019, on trails that use is counted,” the park stated in a information launch.

And whereas numbers are already excessive, each parks say they’re anticipating hundreds of thousands extra visitors over the summer time.

“Summer is Yellowstone’s busiest season,” the Yellowstone National Park stated. “Millions of people visit the park in June, July and August. If you plan to travel to Yellowstone this summer, plan ahead, expect crowding, recreate responsibly and take the Yellowstone Pledge to protect yourself and the park.”

Grand Teton National Park officers stated July and August have traditionally been the busiest months of the yr, though the spring and fall seasons have additionally just lately seen an uptick.

“Anyone visiting the park is highly encouraged to plan ahead, recreate responsibly and help ensure this iconic landscape may be enjoyed by future generations,” the park stated.

National parks throughout the nation noticed a 28% lower in visitors in 2020 in comparison with the yr earlier than, largely resulting from non permanent closures and different pandemic-restrictions, in keeping with the National Park Service. About 66 out of the 423 parks within the National Park System have been totally closed for not less than two months, the service stated in a information launch earlier this yr.

NCS’s Danielle Sills contributed to this report.


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