Grand Teton is offering a series of tips for visitors, after park officials say they’ve seen and uptick in camping and hiking in the National Park.
The park has reportedly hosted an estimated 755,762 recreation visits in July 2020.
This is a 3% decrease compared to July 2019.
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Park statistics show that July 2020 has the fourth highest number of recreation visits on record for the month of July.
Visitors to Grand Teton National Park are being reminded to plan ahead, “pack patience,” and recreate responsibly.
Officials with the park, in a statement released Wednesday, encouraged visitors to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local and state authorities, by maintaining social distancing guidelines and wearing a face covering when in buildings and high-visitation outside areas.
Most hiking trails in Grand Teton National park have reportedly increased daily traffic and officials say all campgrounds in the park are filling earlier each day when comparing this summer to previous years.
“In general, hiking use in the park has increased approximately 13% and camping in concession-operated campgrounds increased 2% with backcountry camping up 13% in July 2020 compared to July 2019,” a the Park statement said.
The following tips were provided by Grand Teton National Park for potential visitors:
- Be prepared for parking lots to fill up early. Jenny Lake, String Lake, and Colter Bay are popular destinations at the park. Arrive early or late in the day to avoid crowds and park in designated areas only. If an area is crowded, please consider an alternate area or activity.
- Campgrounds are filling daily, most before noon. Surrounding USDA Forest Service camping is also filling on a daily basis. Come prepared with a plan for finding a campsite, and alternate plans if camping sites are not available. Camping in the park is only allowed in designated sites.
- A permit is required for all backcountry camping in the park, and some advance planning. Permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis no more than one day before the start of a trip. Visit https://cms.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/back.htm for more information.
- Expect wait times at park entrances, visitor centers, Jenny Lake shuttle boat, high-visitation areas, book stores, etc.
- Dispose of waste and recycle properly in designated trash or recycling receptacles Follow Leave No Trace principles by packing out what is brought in, including all trash, masks, and left-over food.
- Grizzly and black bears thrive in park and visitors may encounter a bear anywhere and at any time. The proper storage of food items and responsible picnicking are vitally important in bear country. Learn more about bear safety at www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/bearsafety.htm.
- When watching wildlife, maintain a distance of at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves and 25 yards from all other wildlife.
- Pets are allowed inside Grand Teton National Park, but they must be restrained at all times and are not permitted on hiking trails and the multi-use pathway, or inside visitor centers and other facilities. A good rule of thumb is that a pet may go anywhere a car may go, such as roads and road shoulders, campgrounds, picnic areas, and parking lots. These regulations are enforced to protect the visitor, pet, park resources, and other visitors. For more information, please visit the National Park Service website. Service animals used for the sole purpose of aiding a person with a disability are permitted but should be clearly marked as a working animal. Dogs with a sole function to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals.
- Fires are only allowed in park designated and installed fire rings and/or grills. Always be careful with fire and visit the Teton Interagency Fire website, TetonFires.com, for updated information about fire danger and any fire restrictions that may be in place.
The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:
What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.
If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.
Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.
For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: email@example.com
- Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.