It’s no secret that an astounding number of people decided to embrace the great outdoors during these last few difficult years. As it turns out, there is no greater destresser than breathing in that fresh and natural air. National parks all across the country saw a massive influx of visitors in 2021. This includes Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming.
At a glance
- 2021 marked the highest number of recreational visitors in a single year in park history with 3,885,320 visitors
- The previous record year was in 2018, coming in at nearly 400K short of 2021’s total at 3,491,151
- Grand Teton National Park Superintendent says there are “potential issues and impacts” of high traffic at the park
This gorgeous land covers 310,000 acres and includes the 40-mile-long Teton range, including the well-known Jackson Hole. The park is quite literally picture-perfect, yet pictures will never do it justice. Instead, 3,885,230 visitors got to experience first-hand the glories of this national park.
High Visitation Numbers for National Parks
According to KULR8, this is actually the highest number of recreational visitors in a year ever in the park’s entire history. The previous record-breaking year was 2018 with a total of 3,491,151 visitors. Yet, 2021 was able to exceed these numbers by a whopping 11%. It seems as though after being cooped up inside, an expansive place like a national park was the perfect place to plan a vacation.
“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. 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,” Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Chip Jenkins said to the news outlet.
Not surprising, the summer months were the busiest. July 2021 had a total of 800,000 visitors alone.
These are astounding numbers, but Grand Teton wasn’t even the most visited national park in the nation. It was actually the seventh highest. The visitation of national parks increased by 60 million in 2021. This makes sense, considering many areas were closed due to COVID-19 the year before.
According to More Than Just Parks, there were 92,251,867 visitors to the 63 designated national parks. There were 19 national parks that had over a million visits. The most-visited park is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park located in Tennessee and North Carolina.
First Grizzly Bear Spotted in Grand Teton National Park
If you’re looking to go to Grand Teton National Park soon, you may just spot some of the first grizzly bears of the season. Hopefully from very, very far away.
According to Cowboy State Daily, the very first sighting in the park happened last week on March 13. Many of the male bears are starting to come out of their long hibernation. Males emerge at this time of the year, but we won’t spot any females or younger bears until April or even early May.