A year ago some in Congress were greatly concerned that the national park system was experiencing an unhealthy decline in visitation. That's not the case this year, where visitor traffic is on the upswing in a number of parks.
As the Traveler noted back in July, visitation was up in Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Glacier national parks. Now comes word from Olympic National Park that 2007 visitation there is up nearly 16 percent.
Recreation visits to Olympic National Park through September 30 are up 15.91 percent over the first nine months of 2006. Approximately 3.2 million visits have been paid to Olympic so far this year.
Visitation to Lake Crescent, Kalaloch, Hurricane Ridge, Staircase and Quinault all saw increases over last year. The Staircase access road was closed for most of the 2006 summer because of safety impacts from a wildland fire outside the park boundary.