An estimated 632,971 folks streamed into Glacier last month, an increase of 16.8 percent over August 2009 and a number that boosted the park's year-to-date visitation to 1.8 million, up 11 percent from 2009.
Whether it was the fear of missing a glimpse of Glacier's glaciers, which some geologists expect to melt away by 2020, or to help the park celebrate its 100th birthday, Glacier was busy. Which is good. And bad.
The crush of visitors resulted in parking lots filling by mid-morning and campgrounds filling nearly every day.
“We thank everyone for being patient and for sharing the park’s resources with so many fellow visitors this summer," said Glacier Superintendent Chas Cartwright. "We were also able to make many improvements to the park’s infrastructure with minimal impact to the visitor’s experience. What a great way to mark the park’s 100 year anniversary!”
The Going-to-the-Sun Road shuttle system was widely used by visitors this summer, serving 170,466 passengers, the most in its four-year existence, according to park officials.
Glacier remains open to the public throughout the year. Autumn can be a beautiful time to visit Glacier with cooler weather, less traffic and a splash of fall colors already getting under way.