Glacier National Park has record breaking spike in visitors

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, Mont.—The Crown of the Continent saw record breaking crowds for the month of July.

Glacier National Park saw over one million visitors. According to park officials that number is up 23 percent from July 2016. The number of visitors in 2016 was also record breaking.

Reports said the park saw so many more visitors this summer, the staff held an emergency congestion management workshop to put strategies in place to manage some of the more popular areas of the park.

Those areas include the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor, the North Fork, Two Medicine, and Many Glacier.

Park officials said some of the solutions they have come up with for those problems could affect parking time limits in areas meant to serve visitors making a quick stop.  The time limit is to provide an opportunity for people to use the restroom, take a few pictures, and go for a short walk, but not congest the park road ways.

GNP Superintendent Jeff Mow said he is grateful for visitors’ patience.

“Glacier Country has a tremendous amount to offer its tourists. While people wait for times that are less crowded to visit the park, our surrounding public lands and local businesses can offer exceptional opportunities for people coming to see this spectacular region,” said Mow.

Mow said visitor totals were not the only numbers rising this summer.

Reports said the amount of emergency calls and calls for ranger services saw a 29 percent increase over the past year.

“Rangers have been stretched pretty thin responding to the increased number of calls this summer,” said Mow

Officials said many calls were for heat exhaustion. July was a hotter month than normal and visitors were not always prepared for the heat.

Mow said every person who goes to the park prepared relieves the park staff to take better care of the park. The GNP website has more information for visitors. 

© 2017 KREM-TV


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