MOOSE, Wyo. — More people visited Grand Teton National Park in 2021 than any other year in the park’s history.
On Tuesday, the park reported that it hosted a whopping 3,885,230 visitors last year. 2018 had been the previous record holder with 3,491,151 visits.
Recreation visits in 2021 exceeded the 2018 record by 11% and had already surpassed the 2018 record in September 2021.
In addition to a record-breaking year, six of the twelve months in 2021 also had their highest ever recreation visits for that month. Record breaking months include January, March, April, May, June and July.
In fact, July 2021 was the busiest month in Grand Teton’s history with over 800,000 recreation visits.
“Ensuring that Americans have the opportunity to enjoy their national parks is a key part of the National Park Service mission and it is clear that people are enjoying Grand Teton National Park at unprecedented levels and in new ways,” said Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Chip Jenkins.
Jenkins added that the park’s efforts are focused to ensure that the scenery and wildlife in Grand Teton are protected for future generations of visitors.
“We are in the early stages of identifying potential issues and impacts of changing visitation and engaging with the broader community and stakeholders to discuss what we, and they, are seeing.”
In addition to visitation, the park has also seen increases in trail use. During the 2021 summer, trail use increased approximately 29%, compared to 2019. Looking back five years ago, since 2017, trail use has increased approximately 49%.
Grand Teton park officials say that staff continue to analyze data and studies conducted over summer 2021 to better understand changing visitation trends in the park. These studies include visitor-use and experience studies at Colter Bay, Taggart and Lupine Meadows trailheads, which surveyed visitors in these areas to gain a better understanding of visitor demographics, visitor expectations and other factors.
Additionally, a parkwide visitor mobility study was conducted this summer to identify common visitor travel patterns and flow. Study results are anticipated in summer 2022.