St. Mary slower in June, but west side up as Glacier visitation numbers released

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A hiker crosses the suspension bridge at Gunsight Lake.

Visitation to Glacier National Park was down slightly in June over the previous year by 2.2 percent and is down about 3.6 percent overall.

The Park saw 544,088 visitors in June and so far this year about 795,800 visitors total.

St. Mary’s was down the most — 7.5 percent, but Many Glacier was up 4.8 percent. Two Medicine was down 4 percent.

The west side of the park, however, was actually busier than last year, with Polebridge up 4.8 percent and the West Entrance up 4.8 percent to 234,814 visitors for June.

The full length of the Going-to-the-Sun Road didn’t open until June 24 this year due to road work, which could explain the dip at St. Mary.

June was a wet month in Glacier and it’s shown in the numbers, with backcountry stays down 31.8 percent. The park saw 2,661 backcountry campers in June, Just .4 of 1 percent of all visitors to Glacier actually got a backcountry permit, but total overnight stays, which includes the lodges and motor campgrounds, was basically flat.

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