Despite fires, Glacier Park visitation breaches 3.1 million for the year

Print Article

Looking down at Two Medicine Lake from the base of Pumpelly Pillar.

Glacier National Park’s September visitation was down more than 19 percent over last year due to closures and wildfires, but the Park still set an overall attendance record, breaching 3.192 million visitors.

Last year, which was the previous record, the Park saw 2.946 million visitors for the whole year.

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

September 2017 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 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 did reopen on the west side. The Sprague Fire continues to put up smoke on sunny dry days and won’t go completely out until snow falls on it. The east side of the Sun Road is currently open to Jackson Glacier Overlook.

There’s snow on Logan Pass, which has the road closed.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Yesterdays: A look back at local history

October 16, 2017 at 5:00 am | Hungry Horse News 70 years ago Oct. 10, 1947 Glacier National Park had an overpopulation of elk. The Park had about 3,300 elk, park officials said, but only enough winter range for about 2,000 animals. One “solution...

Comments

Read More

Columbia Falls psychic says she does more than predict the future

October 12, 2017 at 5:00 am | Hungry Horse News Columbia Falls now has its own psychic. Rose Stuart recently opened up her shop on U.S. Highway 2, where she says she does more than just predict people’s futures. She said she’s an ordained ministe...

Comments

Read More

Despite fires, Glacier Park visitation breaches 3.1 million for the year

October 11, 2017 at 11:36 am | Hungry Horse News Glacier National Park’s September visitation was down more than 19 percent over last year due to closures and wildfires, but the Park still set an overall attendance record, breaching 3.192 million v...

Comments

Read More

Former employees remain skeptical of tests at CFAC site

October 11, 2017 at 8:12 am | Hungry Horse News After a full year of groundwater testing, the main pollution plumes appear to be coming from two landfills and an old sludge pond at the Columbia Falls Aluminum Co. Superfund site, a hydrogeologist w...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 892-2151
PO BOX 189, 926 Nucleus Avenue
Columbia Falls, MT 59912

©2017 Hungry Horse News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X