Photo: Tim Rains, NPS
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK -- The number of people finding their park in Glacier National Park is on a record pace.
The National Park Service reports 429,000 people visited Glacier during June 2016, or an increase of 3.67% from June 2015 and up 28% from June 2014. Overall visitation is up nearly 9% for the year thus far.
"2016 is the Centennial of the National Park Service and we are anticipating record visitation. June was up almost four percent over last year," said Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow. "You have to remember that in June 2015 it was really dry and we had a 24 percent increase over 2014. That's a 28 percent increase in two years."
Glacier set a visitation record in 2015 with 2.35 million visitors and that was despite an active fire year that forced the closure of part of Going-to-the-Sun Road for nearly two week during peak season.
If your summer fun includes a trip to Glacier, the Park Service is reminding folks that visitation peaks in July and August. “Visitors planning to visit during peak season are advised to plan ahead for lodging and activity reservations, to use the free park shuttles that began operating July 1, and to avoid peak hours of 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the Going-to-the-Sun Road and on popular trails by traveling early or late in the day to avoid parking lot and road congestion.” Said the National Park Service in a press release.
The free express hiker shuttle service began operating on July 1st and is strongly recommended if you plan on hiking some of the more popular trails such as Avalanche Lake or trails around Logan Pass. All of Glacier’s campgrounds are open, but due to very high visitation they are filling up by the afternoon. If you plan on camping in the park, plan on arriving at the campground early to reserve your spot or book ahead at recreation.gov.