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3.4 million guests visited Montana State parks in 2021

Montana Fish, WIldlife, and Parks say it's the second-biggest year on record.
Giant Springs State Park
Posted at 5:51 PM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 19:51:26-05

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks released their annual visitation report Tuesday, showing more than 3.4 million visitors visited parks across the treasure state.

That figure is 1.3 percent less than the all-time record set in 2020. FWP cites drought conditions and colder temperatures for the drop in attendance.

In a press release, Parks and Outdoor Recreation Division Administrator Hope Stockwell said more people at the parks are good for local health and economies.

“The number of visitors coming to Montana’s state parks is a testament to their importance in the everyday lives of our communities both for users’ health and as a critical component of our outdoor recreation economy,” said Stockwell. “We continued to see first-time visitors and those who know our parks well, and we are encouraged by their efforts to recreate responsibly.”

The top five most visited state parks in 2021 were:

  1. Giant Springs (Great Falls) 414,889
  2. Flathead Lake-all units (Kalispell) 339,631
  3. Cooney Reservoir (Roberts) 263,691
  4. Spring Meadow Lake (Helena) 254,141
  5. Lake Elmo (Billings) 212,916

One park that saw a surge of attendance was Milltown State Park near Missoula. More than 110,000 guests visited the park in 2021, a 52.9 percent increase from the previous year.

To view the complete report, visit Montana FWP and click on “Montana State Parks Visitation Reports.”