Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Devils Tower sees record-breaking visitation

 

September 30, 2021



Full campsites, busy roads and record visitation at some of Wyoming’s most popular spectacles, including Yellowstone – it’s been quite the summer for tourism. The latest figures from the National Park Service show that Devils Tower National Monument is following the trend with record-breaking numbers in August and an overall increase of 41.35% over last year’s visitation.

By the end of August, the national park had welcomed a total of 440,839 people to enjoy the unique geological spectacle – an increase from 311,869 at the same time in 2020. Visitors had spent more than a million years viewing the Tower so far this year – 1,107,474 hours, to be precise – and 3312 people had stayed in the National Park Service campgrounds.

That included 127,079 visitors in August alone, up 11.57% from the year before.

The last time Devils Tower National Monument saw visitation numbers higher than the ones recorded for this August was in 1994, when a total of 132,261 people visited in August. However, the year-to-date visitation was lower than this year at just 387,719.

In no other year since the National Park Service’s records begin in 1994 has the Tower seen more visitors by the end of August. The closest was 2017 at 411,330 people.

The year of 2020 was, of course, the beginning of the increase in outdoor recreation across America, thanks to the social distancing rules of the pandemic. While annual visitation had declined by August by 14.77% due to lockdowns and travel restrictions across the nation and world, the month of August saw an increase of 13.27%, with 113,898 visitors in total.

By comparison, visitation to the Tower had actually seen a decline by this time in 2019. August of that year saw 100,557 visitors to the monument, which was lower than the year before by 1.39%, and by that time there had been 365,905 visitors in total, down 3.77% from the year before.

Visitation at the Tower has been higher than usual since late summer and early fall of last year. In September and October of 2020, it was reported to have been at its highest levels ever for those months of the year, which was attributed to the lack of social events elsewhere during lockdown.

October’s numbers in 2020 were nearly double those of the year before. It remains to be seen whether the rest of 2021 turns out to be another record-breaker for Crook County’s national monument.

 
 

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