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Flood of visitors: Zion sees 2nd-busiest year in park’s history

If you visited Zion National Park last year and thought it was overly crowded, you were right.

The park in southwestern Utah recorded 4,692,417 visits in 2022, its second busiest on record, the park said in a statement Friday. That number is more than 200,000 more than the total number of visits recorded in 2019.

By the numbers

— Zion hosted record-high numbers of visits in six of the last 10 years.

— It hosted more than 5 million shuttle boardings, up more than 20 percent from 2021.

— Zion saw more than 82,000 visits over Memorial Day Weekend in 2022. About one third of all national parks, more than 150, recorded fewer than 82,000 visits in all of 2022.

— Zion maintenance staff provided nearly 2000 miles of toilet paper in park restrooms. This is nearly enough to stretch from Zion to Washington, D.C.

— Park rangers responded to more than 120 calls that required search and rescue operations in 2022.

— Park rangers answered more than 26,000 phone calls and emails – an average of more than 70 every day of the year – to share information about visiting Zion.

“We are glad that many people are getting outside to enjoy their parks and public lands,” Jeff Bradybaugh, Zion’s superintendent, said in the statement. “But it does present challenges for park staff protecting park resources, maintaining public health, and sustaining facilities.”

Zion and other Utah national parks have seen visitation rise steadily over the past decade, with some parks seeing their average annual attendance nearly double.

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