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Are massive crowds in Glacier National Park scaring off visitors?

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Glacier National Park’s visitation is exceeding expectation.  Numbers are up by 30% compared to last year and this year’s June visitation numbers broke last year’s  This June alone Glacier National Park had over 260,000 visitors.  This year Glacier is extremely popular, but people want to go to the park to escape.  Are these masses turning some people off to the park?  

We spoke with Sarah Jones from Seattle who has been visiting the park for the past twenty years.  And while she’s noticed an increase in the past few years she tells us more people in the park aren’t going to stop her from coming.

Jones says, “No, the last couple years it's gotten quite a lot busier.  But it's still the most beautiful place on earth so that's why.”

Then we ran into the Olson family who traveled two days by car from Minnesota.  They have a goal to visit every national park in the country.  Their two children just graduated high school and figured they would visit Glacier National Park before they start college in the fall.  But everywhere in the Flathead Valley is busy.  Making hotel reservations at the last minute did not work in their favor.  The Olson family is having to stay at the Cheap Sleep motel, but it’s all worth it.  They have a strategy to avoid the crowds.

Erik Olson tells us, “We talked about maybe going further up this side to bowman lake or somewhere where it might be less crowded on a weekend.  And then saving Going to the Sun road for maybe Monday or Tuesday.  We're thinking weekends might be less crowded.”

Their daughter Kiera Olson has an idea as to why people are visiting the park so much this year.

Kiera Olson explains, “The glaciers are melting really rapidly so I think that's why so many people are coming maybe now.  But that doesn't stop us because it's better to come sooner rather than later.”

In order to avoid crowds the park recommends going to the park really early in the day or later at night.

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