National Park Visitation Surges

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Since the start of the pandemic, H2R has seen a significant increase in interest and visitation to national parks and other outdoor activities. Keep reading to see the impact this trend has had on park wait times, satisfaction and more.

Many national parks are reporting massive surges in visitors, resulting in long lines or even the turning away of guests. For example, Arches National Park in Utah typically reaches full capacity by 9 a.m. each day, forcing park officials to turn away guests and post signs warning of long wait times – sometimes as long as five hours. Those who choose to wait it out in the hours-long lines are reporting less than enjoyable visits, as they are surrounded by Disneyland-caliber crowds when they finally do get into the park.

Funding for national parks hasn’t increased in proportion to visitation, and the National Park Service has lost 16% of its staffing capacity while witnessing a 17% increase in visitation from 2011 to 2019. While there is talk of an increase in government funding to hire more staff and manage crowds more effectively, the current state of the housing market will likely make it difficult for potential full-time staff to find nearby living quarters.

Read more about the impact of visitation surges on national parks here.


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