JACKSON, Wyo. — Visitation to Grand Teton National Park smashed records last month.

According to park visitation statistics, July 2021 had the highest number of visits on record for any single month in park history. An estimated 828,777 people visited Grand Teton, a 9.7% increase from July 2020 and a 6.8% increase from July 2019.

Compared to last July, camping in the park increased 2.7% and backcountry camping increased 15.4%. Trail use in the park increased 21% on trails that use is counted.

Park staff are collecting data and conducting studies to better understand changing visitation trends in Grand Teton National Park. Historically, July and August have been the busiest months of the year at the park. Recent trends include increased visitation in the spring and fall.

In early August, Grand Teton hosted a workshop with Jackson Hole community leaders and organizations to see and experience current visitation trends at different areas in the park, including Lupine Meadows, Jenny Lake and String Lake. Participants had an opportunity to learn about how the park is working with universities and research organizations to study changing visitation. Community leaders had the chance to share their own experience with changing visitation in Jackson Hole.

Grand Teton National Park staff initiated several studies this summer regarding changing visitation, including visitor-use and experience studies at Colter Bay and Taggart and Lupine Meadow trailheads. These studies survey visitors in these areas to gain a better understanding of visitor demographics, visitor expectations, and more.

A transportation and visitor movement study was also initiated in late July and early August to gain a comprehensive understanding of transportation and visitor movement to, through, and within the park. This study will help park rangers understand the relationships among the number of vehicles entering the park and the levels of use at key areas within the park. Identifying common visitor traffic patterns and understanding how visitors disperse and move throughout the parks is also part of this study.

Researchers are surveying visitors and placing a variety of monitoring equipment in the park through mid-August.

All visitors to Grand Teton are highly encouraged to plan ahead, recreate responsibly and help ensure this iconic landscape may be enjoyed by future generations.

Buckrail @ Shannon

Shannon is a Wyoming-raised writer and reporter. She just completed a master's in journalism from Boston University. Jackson shaped her into an outdoorswoman, but a love for language and the human condition compels her to write. She believes there's no story too small to tell nor adventure too small to take.