Of the past nine months, six have been record setting for visitation. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

MOOSE, Wyo. — Between January and September 2021, recreation visits in Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) reached 3,493,937. This surpasses the park’s busiest full year on record with three months still to go in 2021.

Previously, 2018 had the record for most recreation visits in a year with 3,491,151 visits. Of the past nine months, six have been record setting for visitation.

Some of the most significant increases in recreation visits occurred during the shoulder season, including the months of March, April, and May. Summer visitation (June, July, August) also increased with July 2021 recording the busiest month for recreation visits in the park’s history.

With increased visitation, GTNP has also seen growing numbers of 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%.

“2021 has been a record setting year for visitation in Grand Teton National Park, but it’s more than just the numbers. We are seeing changing patterns and behavior including more people in the backcountry and more visitors in the ‘shoulder season.’ The park is studying changing visitation to gain a more detailed understanding of existing conditions and learning what issues may threaten a quality visitor experience. We are also learning from other parks, seeing what solutions are being tried and what issues they are solving,” said Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Chip Jenkins. “The visitor experience is a resource, just like moose or clean air, and it’s something we are actively working to preserve and protect.”

Buckrail @ Caroline

Caroline Chapman is a Community News Reporter. She's a lover of alliteration, easy-to-follow recipes and board games when everyone knows the rules. Her favorite aspect about living in the Tetons is the collective admiration that Wyomingites share for the land and the life that it sustains.