A mountain biker at Curt Gowdy State Park. Wyoming’s state parks have seen increased visitation as outdoor recreation grows. (Wyoming State Parks)

WYOMING — State Parks in Wyoming are on pace to match the record visitation of 2020, according to a recent release by WYO State Parks.

Through October, 5,199,772 people have visited Wyoming’s State Parks and Historic Sites in 2021, a 24% increase over the system’s five-year average.

Wyoming State Park’s officials attribute unseasonably warm temperatures, post-pandemic momentum and the return of first-time visitors from last year returning this year, to the increased visitation.

“These statistics are an indication to us that we had a lot of first-time visitors come to our parks last year as a way to safely recreate during the pandemic,” State Parks and Cultural Resources Deputy Director Dave Glenn said. “A lot of those people have returned this year despite a lot more options now available for entertainment or recreation.”

Glendo State Park has continued to sustain last year’s momentum with increased visitation throughout much of the year. Through October, Glendo has hosted 660,027 recreationists compared to 610,836 last year; an increase of 8%.

Other state parks that posted positive numbers this year are Boysen, 4%; Curt Gowdy, 10%; Guernsey, 12%; and Hawk Springs, 10%.

Wyoming State Parks continues to look for new ways to engage with these new visitors. The division is currently working to expand campgrounds throughout the system, as well as other outdoor recreation opportunities such as archery ranges, additional trails and special events.

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.