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Tourism Strong In Yellowstone And Glacier Despite Wildfires

Glacier Park's Lake McDonald.
Glacier National Park (PD)
Glacier Park's Lake McDonald.

Yellowstone National Park reports that it experienced another busy year last year. The park recorded over 4.1 million visits. That’s a 0.04-percent decrease from 2017 and a 3.5 percent decrease from the record-breaking year in 2016. It was the third busiest year on record.

To calculate visitation numbers for late December, during the partial government shutdown, park staff used data from an automated counter that recorded vehicle traffic at the North Entrance and reports from over-snow concessioners.

Glacier National Park recorded its second-busiest year last year despite wildfires that closed popular areas of the park during peak season.

More than 2.9 million people visited Glacier last year. That’s just more than a 10-percent drop from 2017's record 3.3 million visitors.

The Howe Ridge Fire forced the evacuation of a large section of the park's west side in August. The blaze burned several homes along Lake McDonald and forced the early closure of Lake McDonald Lodge for the season.

Visitation to the park has grown rapidly in recent years. In 2016 the year of the National Park Service's centennial celebration, Glacier saw 24 percent more visitors than the year before.

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