Glacier sets new mark for September visitation

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Visitors walk the shores of Avalanche Lake in September.

Glacier National Park recorded its busiest September ever, with just under 489,000 visitors turning the gates. That number is impressive considering the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road was closed for two weeks for from Avalanche Creek to Logan Pass for road work.

The previous busiest September was in 2016, when 482,592 people visited the park.

Through September, Glacier had seen 2.936 million visitors, which means it will likely eclipse the 3 million visitor mark this year for the second time in its history.

The last time that happened was in 2017, when it saw 3.3 million visitors.

Last year it was just under 3 million, with 2.965 million visitors.

What’s interesting about the September numbers is that St. Mary, Two Medicine, Polebridge and the Camas entrance were all down a few percentage points over last year for September, but the west entrance was up about 50 percent.

Last year, however, the Howe Ridge Fire had closed the Sun Road on the west side entirely for a portion of the month.

For the year, the west entrance was up 18.6 percent over last year, while St. Mary was down 4.6 percent.

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