US National Parks Have Had Their Busiest Month On Record


Planning on visiting one of the 423 US national parks this summer? Be sure to plan ahead, because so are millions of others. Visitor numbers are up dramatically from previous years and the National Park Service is telling tourists to expect the trend to continue throughout the summer. In a recent press release, they told people to plan ahead and have a backup plan. 



US National Parks top ten tips for visiting parks like a park ranger
Photo courtesy of the National Park Service website

Unfortunately for tourists, the uptick in visitors is not isolated to one or two US national parks. The influx of travelers is across the board and is only expected to get worse as the summer months continue. Glacier National Park recently released their May visitor numbers and announced they had their busiest May on record since park attendance records were instituted. 

Glacier National Park visitor numbers:

2021 – 294,742

2020 – 56,048

2019 – 251,704

2018 – 269,347

2017 – 263,938

2016 – 292,529


The trend doesn’t stop there. Both Grand Teton National Park as well as Yellowstone National Park also broke records with visitor numbers in May. 

Yellowstone visitor numbers:

2021 –  658,513

2020 –  145,849 *The park was closed May 1 through May 18. Two entrances were open May 18 through May 31.

2019 –  576,776

2018 –  570,823

2017 –  550,486

2016 –  593,755

Grand Teton National Park visitor numbers:

May 2021   363,712

May 2018    296,885

May 2016     292,318

May 2019    278,529

May 2017    255,583

With the Covid-19 pandemic seemingly over in many places around the world, tourist numbers are skyrocketing at an exponential rate. While this is great for the rebound of tourism, many national parks are struggling to handle the influx of tourists as many have unfilled job openings and a shortage of available workers. A lot of national park jobs are usually filled by international students, who are unable to currently enter the country due to ongoing travel restrictions. 

The National Park Service is warning travelers to get there early, plan ahead, and to please be patient as employees do their best to accommodate the influx of travelers. 


We acknowledge and honor the history and recognize the importance of Indigenous lands and communities we live, learn and work.


You may also like these articles from Bébé Voyage:

Visiting U.S. National Parks While Honoring Them As The Ancestral Land Of Indigenous People

Everglades National Park: Alligators, Airboat Rides, And Missiles!

Cross-Country National Park Road Trip


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