Travelers continue to flock to United States national parks this summer, with at least 10 parks setting visitation records in July.
Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming saw its busiest month since park officials started keeping records in 1979.
According to National Park Service (NPS) numbers, 828,777 people visited Grand Teton in July. That’s up 4 percent from its previous busiest month, July 2018.
Mount Rainier National Park in Washington had 445,054 recreational visitors in July, also marking its busiest month ever. Previously, its busiest month was back in June 1991 with 409,106 visitors.
Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas is another national park that saw its busiest month on record with 382,406 visitors in July. That’s just 31 more visitors than its previous busiest month, June 2003.
Several Other Parks Set July Visitation Records
As the road trip continued to reign in the summer of 2021, other national parks witnessed record visitor numbers in July. Not all of the country’s 63 national parks have reported their recreational visitor numbers for the month, but here’s what we know:
- Arches National Park in Utah saw 211,393 visitors in July, making it the busiest July on record. That’s a 9 percent increase from last July.
- Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve in Colorado counted 116,377 recreational visitors in July, the park’s busiest July ever. This is a 13 percent increase from July 2020.
- Saguaro National Park in Arizona had its busiest July ever with 87,173 visitors. That’s an incredible 240 percent increase from July 2020.
- White Sands National Park in New Mexico recorded 86,436 recreational visits in July, the most visitors it’s ever hosted in July. That’s a 100 percent increase from last July.
- Canyonlands National Park in Utah had 81,922 visitors in July, the most-visited July on record. This is a 16 percent increase from July 2020.
- Big Bend National Park recorded 27,321 visitors in July, its busiest July yet. The NPS did not report the number of visitors in July 2020, when the park closed temporarily due to a COVID-19 outbreak. In July 2019, the park saw 21,747 visitors.
- Congaree National Park in South Carolina saw 16,803 recreational visitors in July, marking its most-visited July. This is an increase of 39 percent from July 2020.
The NPS notes that all visitor numbers are considered preliminary data and subject to change. Data is finalized by the first quarter of the following calendar year.
The NPS recently updated its mask mandate to require all visitors to wear face coverings inside any NPS buildings, as well as outdoors in crowded areas, such as narrow or busy trails, scenic overlooks, and trailheads.