Grand Teton sees busiest year on record for visitation in 2021
Published at | Updated at
The following is a news release from Grand Teton National Park.
MOOSE, Wyoming — Grand Teton National Park hosted 3,885,230 recreation visits in 2021, the highest number of recreation visits for one year in the park’s history. Previously, 2018 had the record for the most recreation visits in a year with 3,491,151. Recreation visits in 2021 exceed the 2018 record by 11% and surpassed the 2018 record in September 2021.
“Ensuring that Americans have the opportunity to enjoy their national parks is a key part of the National Park Service mission and it is clear that people are enjoying Grand Teton National Park at unprecedented levels and in new ways,” said Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Chip Jenkins. “We also have a charge to ensure that the scenery and wildlife that are critical to the Grand Teton experience are protected for future generations of visitors. We are in the early stages of identifying potential issues and impacts of changing visitation and engaging with the broader community and stakeholders to discuss what we, and they, are seeing.”
In addition to a record-breaking year, six of the twelve months in 2021 also had their highest ever recreation visits for that month. Record-breaking months include January, March, April, May, June and July, with July 2021 being the busiest month in Grand Teton’s history with over 800,000 recreation visits.
The top five years for recreation visits in Grand Teton National Park are:
- 2021 — 3,885,230
- 2018 — 3,491,151
- 2019 — 3,405,614
- 2017 — 3,317,000
- 2020 — 3,289,639* COVID-19 pandemic
Of the top 10 national parks for recreation visits, Grand Teton National Park was the seventh highest. For National Park Service annual visitation highlights visit the NPS Social Science web page and for national summaries and individual park figures visit the Visitor Use Statistics web page.
The park has also seen increases in 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%
Grand Teton park staff continue to analyze data and studies conducted over summer 2021 to better understand changing visitation trends in the park. Studies include visitor-use and experience studies at Colter Bay, Taggart and Lupine Meadows trailheads, which surveyed visitors in these areas to gain a better understanding of visitor demographics, visitor expectations, and more. Additionally, a parkwide visitor mobility study was conducted this summer to identify common visitor travel patterns and flow. Study results are anticipated in summer 2022.