Wyoming state parks are just as busy as they were last year, in part thanks to unusually warm temperatures and an increase in outdoor tourism nationwide attributed to the coronavirus pandemic.
Wyoming’s parks and historic sites reported a record number of visitors in 2020, welcoming more than 5.8 million people amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency expects to receive at least as many by the end of 2021, the department said in a statement on Wednesday.
As of October of this year, state parks have already registered a total of 5,199,772 visits, the statement said. That’s about a quarter more visitors than the parks five-year average.
“These statistics tell us that many first-time visitors came to our parks last year to safely recreate themselves during the pandemic,” said Dave Glenn, deputy director of state parks and cultural resources in the press release. “Many of those people have returned this year despite many more options now available for entertainment or recreation.”
Glendo State Park, which tends to draw people from Colorado as well as Wyoming, recorded the highest number of visitors to date, with 660,027 at the end of October. This is 8% more than last year.
Other state parks reporting more visits from 2020 include:
- Guernsey: 12% more visitors;
- Curt Gowdy: 10% more visitors;
- Hawk Springs: 10% more visitors;
- Boysen: 4% more visitors.
State and national parks have seen an unusually high spate of visits since the summer of 2020, as locked-in Americans seek spacious and safe places to vacation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks broke their attendance records this fall.
From January to October, the parks received 4.8 million and 3.7 million recreational visits, respectively.