Glacier National Park records one of the busiest June
Glacier National Park had one of its busiest June last month, with more than half a million visits despite a new reservation system aimed at reducing congestion on the Going-to- route. the-Sun.
Park officials recorded 502,581 visits during the month, more than in June 2015 (414,671) or June 2016 (485,017), according to preliminary data.
And that total is incomplete, as the traffic counters in the Many Glacier area were not working last month and the entrance post was understaffed due to a large road construction project. The total number of visits to the park last month was likely closer to the high marks set in June 2017 (620,962), June 2018 (556,304) and June 2019 (544,088).
June traffic at Many Glacier exceeded 23,000 in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
For reasons related to the pandemic which may seem obvious at the moment, the low attendance in 2020 does not allow good comparisons. Instead, park officials looked to 2019 and the record-breaking 2017 visitor season when analyzing the data.
Other points to remember from the June visit numbers:
Traffic meters at the entrance to West Glacier recorded 88,374 vehicles, surpassing the previous monthly high of 87,014 in 2019.
The monthly traffic count was 20,682 at Goat Lick, surpassing the previous record of 19,455 in 2018.
The entrance to Camas Road recorded a traffic of 9,173, just below the record set in 2019.
The entrance to Polebridge counted 8,807 vehicles, beating the mark of 7,310 set in June 2017.
Traffic counters at Two Medicine set a new record high of 23,580, breaking the 2017 record of 15,723.
Park officials say the Sun Road ticketed entry system is only being tested this year, although they have also said it works as intended, preventing traffic jams, forced closures of West Glacier entrances and St. Mary’s and the long traffic jams that have dumped on the United States 2 over the past years.
Tickets cost $ 2 and are available as you go on Recreation.gov. They are released in batches every morning at 8 a.m.
Associate Editor Chad Sokol can be reached at 406-758-4439 or [email protected]