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GTNP reports increased hiking and camping compared to July 2019

JACKSON, Wyo. — Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) has reported that most hiking trails in the park have increased daily traffic and all campgrounds in the park are filling earlier each day when comparing this summer to previous years.

In general, hiking use in the park has increased by approximately 13% and camping in concession-operated campgrounds increased 2% with backcountry camping up 13% in July 2020 compared to July 2019.

The park hosted an estimated 755,762 recreation visits in July 2020. This is a 3% decrease compared to July 2019.  Park statistics show that July 2020 has the fourth-highest number of recreation visits on record for the month of July.

Visitors to Grand Teton National Park are reminded to plan ahead, pack patience, and recreate responsibly. The park highly encourages visitors to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local and state authorities, by maintaining social distancing guidelines and wearing a face covering when in buildings and high-visitation outside areas.

In general, hiking use in the park increased by approximately 54%, camping in concession-operated campgrounds increased 24% and backcountry camping increased 79% in September 2020 compared to September 2019. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrailmore
Crowds of tourists line up waiting to enter the general store at Jenny Lake, one of the most popular destinations in Grand Teton National Park just outside of Jackson. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail
Overflow parking for Taggart Lake Trailhead. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail
Here are some things to expect when visiting Grand Teton this year:
  • Be prepared for parking lots to fill up early. Jenny Lake, String Lake, and Colter Bay are popular destinations at the park. Arrive early or late in the day to avoid crowds and park in designated areas only. If an area is crowded, please consider an alternate area or activity.
  • Campgrounds are filling daily, most before noon. Surrounding USDA Forest Service camping is also filling on a daily basis. Come prepared with a plan for finding a campsite, and alternate plans if camping sites are not available.  Camping in the park is only allowed in designated sites.
  • A permit is required for all backcountry camping in the park, and some advance planning.  Permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis no more than one day before the start of a trip.  Visit https://cms.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/back.htm for more information.
  • Expect wait times at park entrances, visitor centers, Jenny Lake shuttle boat, high-visitation areas, book stores, etc.
  • Dispose of waste and recycle properly in designated trash or recycling receptacles  Follow Leave No Trace principles by packing out what is brought in, including all trash, masks, and left-over food.
  • Grizzly and black bears thrive in park and visitors may encounter a bear anywhere and at any time. The proper storage of food items and responsible picnicking are vitally important in bear country. Learn more about bear safety at www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/bearsafety.htm.
  • When watching wildlife, maintain a distance of at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves and 25 yards from all other wildlife.
  • Pets are allowed inside Grand Teton National Park, but they must be restrained at all times and are not permitted on hiking trails and the multi-use pathway, or inside visitor centers and other facilities. A good rule of thumb is that a pet may go anywhere a car may go, such as roads and road shoulders, campgrounds, picnic areas, and parking lots. These regulations are enforced to protect the visitor, pet, park resources, and other visitors. For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/pets.htm. Service animals used for the sole purpose of aiding a person with a disability are permitted but should be clearly marked as a working animal. Dogs with a sole function to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals.
  • Fires are only allowed in park designated and installed fire rings and/or grills.  Always be careful with fire and visit the Teton Interagency Fire website, TetonFires.com, for updated information about fire danger and any fire restrictions that may be in place.

More data on National Park Service visitor statistics is available online.

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