Glacier sets new visitation record

Print Article

Two women look out the sun roof as they near the Logan Pass Visitor Center Parking Lot on Wednesday. (Aaric Bryan/Daily Inter Lake)

Glacier National Park has once again set an overall attendance record, breaching 3.1 million visitors so far this year according to National Park Service statistics. The record mark comes despite September visitation dropping by more than 19 percent over last year due to road closures and wildfires.

Last year, which was the previous all-time busiest year, the park saw about 2.9 million visitors for the entire year.

A third of this year’s visitation came in one month — July — when more than 1 million visitors came to the park.

September saw 389,137 recreational visits, despite wildfires and smoke, that closed the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road from Apgar to Logan Pass for most of the month. Fires also closed portions of the North Fork, as well.

West Entrance visitation was off 43.5 percent over last year, while traffic at St. Mary was up about 9 percent, with 115,411 going through the gates. Even with the Sun Road closed, the West Entrance still saw 121,055 visitors — many folks came just to view the Sprague Fire, which was visible from the shores of Lake McDonald.

For the year, Glacier’s visitation is up 12 percent over last year. The theory is that more Canadians came to Glacier this year, as Parks Canada celebrated its 150th anniversary and admission was free to Canada parks.

That appears to bear out in the numbers — the St. Mary entrance in Glacier was up 42.5 percent for the year, with 892,279 visitors. Most Canadians come from Alberta and enter the park from the east side.

Polebridge was also a very popular spot, with 102,874 visits through September, up 25 percent over last year.

The Sun Road never reopened on the west side following the initial closure due to the Sprague Fire, which continues to put up smoke and won’t go completely out until snow falls.

The east side of the Sun Road is currently open to Jackson Glacier Overlook due to snow on Logan Pass.

Print Article

Read More

Garner tops Welzel in HD7 primary

June 17, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Rep. Frank Garner, R-Kalispell looks to have secured the support of Republican voters in his bid for another term in the Montana Legislature. Preliminary results Tuesday night showed Garner earning ...

Comments

Read More

Sen. Tester tackles issues in Whitefish

June 17, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake U.S. Sen. Jon Tester spoke Sunday morning at the Montana Broadcasters Association Conference at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, where he told people what voters should expect out of him if they re-ele...

Comments

Read More

Inter Lake takes home 15 awards at annual newspaper convention

June 17, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Daily Inter Lake The Daily Inter Lake captured 15 awards in the 2018 Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the Montana Newspaper Association. The awards were announced at the association’s convention on Saturday n...

Comments

Read More

New brewery opens in downtown Kalispell

June 17, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake In two months, Kalispell has gone from the biggest city in Montana with only one brewery to a blossoming bastion of beer. Bias Brewing opened last weekend in its new space at 409 1st Avenue East in...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

News: (406) 837-5131
Advertising: 406-758-4410
Bigfork Eagle
c/o Daily Inter Lake
PO Box 7610
Kalispell, MT 59904

©2018 Bigfork Eagle Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X