Grand Teton National Park sets record in 2016 with over 4.8 million visits
Exceeds Yellowstone National Park
January 18, 2017
Grand Teton National Park reports record visitation for the third consecutive year, receiving over 4.8 million visits in 2016. This was a 3.8% increase from the previous record of 4.6 million visits in 2015. The most significant increases came in the months of May, June, and November when total visitation increased 20, 11, and 10 percent, respectively.
The record visitation is part of a longer term upward trend which has seen park visitation increase 23 percent over the past four years. The record is also part of a nationwide trend which has brought record numbers to parks across the country. Visitation numbers are derived from traffic counter data. The numbers recorded by these counters are run through an algorithm to determine an estimated visitation number.
Park managers believe a number of factors contribute to the rising visitation levels including gas prices, overall economic growth, interest generated by the National Park Service Centennial, trends in the tourism industry, and marketing promotions including the Find Your Park campaign. The record year came despite the Berry Fire, the largest wildland fire in park history, which closed portions of U.S. Highway 89/191/287 in the park for 11 days in August and September.
Park managers implemented measures in 2016 to mitigate the impacts of increased visitation on park resources and the visitors' experience. In 2017, park managers will begin implementation of the Moose-Wilson Corridor Comprehensive Management Plan, which will ultimately manage the number of visitors in the area at any one time.
By comparison, nearby Yellowstone National Park reported 4.2+ million visits for 2016.
More info on national park visitation statistics at: https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/Reports/Park