After reading this article this morning, I am reassured we made the right decision why Reel Deal Anglers is concentrating the majority of our guiding efforts in the Green River Basin. We still offer professionally guided trips on the Snake River, Flat Creek in the National Elk Refuge and private trip on Crystal Creek at the Historic Red Rock Ranch. Please know that we LOVE our beloved Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks but we DON’T love the traffic; whether on the roads, trails, lakes or rivers!
Y’stone, Grand Teton visits smash records
POSTED: THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2016 4:30 AM
By Mike Koshmrl Jackson Hole Daily |
When it comes to visitation to Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, 2014 was one for the record books.
But 2015 ended up blowing ’14 and all other prior years out of the water.
By the close of the year Yellowstone had logged nearly 4.09 million “recreational” visits — 16 percent more than in 2014 and 13 percent more than the previous record-setting year of 2010. Grand Teton’s 3.15 million recreational visits last year, meanwhile, bested 2014’s record numbers by 8 percent.
Yellowstone officials attribute the larger-than-ever crowds to the National Park Service’s “Find Your Park” campaign, Montana and Wyoming tourism campaigns and cheap gas.
“Last year’s visitation tested the capacity of Yellowstone National Park,” Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk said in a statement. “We are looking at ways to reprioritize in order to protect resources, to provide additional ranger programs, and to keep facilities clean.”
Grand Teton officials have also said the summer and shoulder season crowds took a toll on their staff and on park resources. More people needed to be rescued, rangers stationed at gates dealt with longer, steadier lines and the park even ran out of some interpretive souvenir maps.
Staff at both parks are bracing for an even busier 2016.
National Geographic’s nearly 7 million global subscribers will open the May edition to find an issue solely about the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. 2016 is also the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service.
Grand Teton spokesman Andrew White said there are no official projections, but that he’d be surprised if there aren’t similar gains in “total visitation” in 2016.
Total visitation accounts for all entrances people make into the park, including, for example, a commercial truck that cruises down Highway 26-89-191. Recreational visitors represent the people seeking out the park as a destination.
Increases similar to last year “would put our [total] visitation right at 5 million, which is impressive,” he said.
“The number of ‘visits’ is always greater than the actual number of individuals who came to the park because people may enter and leave the park repeatedly during a stay in the area,” Yellowstone’s statement said.
Wyoming’s two national parks were both consistently busy during the year.
In Grand Teton, every month of 2015 saw more visitors compared with the corresponding months of 2014.
In Yellowstone, only November — the quietest month of the year — was slower in 2015 than in ’14. July, with almost 981,000 recreational visitors, was the busiest month in the 143-year history of Yellowstone National Park.
Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or [email protected]