JACKSON (WNE) — Despite a lack of in-park lodging due to COVID-19, Grand Teton National Park reported the second highest number of recreational visits — an estimated 710,198 — on record for August.
Although recreational visits grew by just 1.2% compared to the previous August, that number still marks the second highest recreational visitation on record — eclipsed only by August 2017 when a solar eclipse drew lots of visitors.
Below are August trends for recreational visits over the last several years:
2017: 716,690 (Total Solar Eclipse)
2016: 633,657 (Berry Fire)
This summer, most hiking trails in the park had increased daily traffic and all campgrounds in the park were filling earlier each day when compared to previous summers, park officials said in a news release.
In general, hiking use in the park has increased approximately 26% and camping in concession-operated campgrounds increased 13% with backcountry camping down 10% in August 2020 compared to August 2019.
The News&Guide has reported on how all the park visitation has spilled onto the nearby national forest.
Describing the bustling scene in a once-quiet corner of the Bridger-Teton National Forest, the forest’s Linda Merigliano, told the News&Guide: “It’s the eclipse every day.”