In April 2021, Yellowstone and Grand Teton experienced a record number of visitors. This didn’t surprise the park’s superintendent Cam Sholly as he had made that prediction back in March.
“I predicted a record season, and I think we’re on track for that,” Sholly told the Billings Gazette.
Yellowstone National Park saw 67,000 recreational visitors passing through the entrance. That number is 40 percent more than April 2019, surpassing the number by 19,000 visitors. The previous record was 59,000 people in 2016.
Grand Teton National Park saw a 48 percent increase from April 2019, welcoming a record-breaking 87,700 visitors.
Montana’s Glacier National Park had reached almost 50 percent more visitors than in 2019 at 53,000 people. However, it didn’t surpass the record of 55,000 people in April 2016.
Almost 40 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated as of May 2021; however, international travel is still not fully back, and domestic summer trips are much easier to plan. As demand rises, Sholly said the park has prepared by hiring more seasonal employees for this busy season and getting them vaccinated. The park has stocked up on COVID-19 tests, personal protective gear, and cleaning supplies. All three of the park’s medical clinics are open, and a mask mandate remains in place, according to Billings Gazette.