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Glacier sees uptick in June visitation

By Rebecca Vogt, KCFW Reporter, rvogt@kcfw.com
Published On: Jul 30 2013 08:49:59 PM MDT
Updated On: Jul 30 2013 10:38:06 PM MDT
WEST GLACIER, Mont. -

The answer varies as to why so many folks are flocking to Glacier National Park, but most agree it's to experience a unique adventure.

"Glacier Park is kind of the unknown national park -- I think people are starting to discover it and that's really cool," said Josh Berreth.

Berreth, a guide for Great Northern Resort tells NBC Montana it's the busiest season he's seen in seven years. Rooms are sold out, so are rafting trips. Every guest wants to see and experience the Crown of the Continent.

"I think the appreciation for the environment, ecology has increased in the last few years," said Claudia George, visiting from Indiana. "I think people want to get out and adventure more."

"There's less and less of areas that this that offer just a real wilderness experience. Something that's a whole less commercial. I think people like to escape that from their daily lives," explained Nic Lee.

Glacier's visitation numbers are up for June - 351,090 people drove through the park's 10 entrances. It's a 12 percent increase over this time last year. But why so many people? Nic Lee at Great Northern thinks he has an answer -- a centennial celebration and lots of references in pop culture.

"Ever since 'The Bachelor' filmed out here we've been getting even more calls, we're booked through 2015 already," said Lee.

Another plus -- access to Logan Pass opened on-time this year.

"We definitely like the visitors at the park and we anticipate that we'll see more throughout the summer," said Glacier's Denise Germann.

So far, July's visitation looks promising -- news that is music to the park's and businesses ears.

"We get this area pretty much to ourselves in the winter, so we like seeing folks come up here in the summer," Lee said. "We like sharing this area with them. There's plenty of space out here - lots of river miles and millions of acres."