An electronic sign indicates that parking at the Zion National Park Visitor Center is full on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
Zion numbers up, other parks slightly down
SALT LAKE CITY — Zion National Park is reporting well over a half-million monthly visitors to its park from May through September and isn’t on track to slow down anytime soon, a National Park Service database shows.
The park ensconced in a canyon is a popular recreation destination point for millions of U.S. residents, as well as international visitors who want to immerse themselves in the spectacular geographic landscapes and embark on adventure with its many hiking trails, including the daunting Angels Landing.
But Utah’s four other members of the “Mighty Five” national parks show slight dips in visitation from the end of August of 2018 to August of 2019, the latest numbers available on the database.
Jim Ireland, Utah state coordinator for the National Park Service, stressed the numbers are still preliminary and needed to be vetted in the coming weeks for authenticity.
Still, he said, the results are a bit of an anomaly.
“When you look at the numbers, I was surprised that statewide our numbers have dropped,” he said. “I am not sure anyone knows exactly why.”
Year-over-year comparisons as of the end of August show Arches slipped just 0.33% in visitation, Bryce dropped by nearly 3%, Canyonlands had a drop of 1.25% and Capitol Reef had numbers of visitors that were 1.63% lower.
Ireland said he doesn’t know if the publicity over crowded parks may be having an impact or if a state tourism campaign celebrating other areas adjacent to the parks is influencing visitors.
“It’s something to watch,” Ireland said.
Park visitation could reach a natural peak and also tends to ebb with factors like the price of gasoline, …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News