Almost 400,000 visited Big Bend in 2020

State & Regional

The Rio Grande river that marks the boundary between the United States (to the right of the river ) and Mexico (to the left) is seen on January 17, 2019 in Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK (Nexstar) – Through three park shutdowns, six months with record-breaking numbers, Big Bend National Park brought in 394,000 people. The park saw 15% fewer people than 2019.

The park implemented changes due to COVID-19 on March 17, 2020 then soon followed a full closure in April in compliance with state orders.

June brought the highest visitation on record before extending closures through August due to Coronavirus.

Since reopening, the vast landscape of Big Bend remains a social distancing spot for tourist to get away.

According to a release, September though December saw the highest monthly visitation in the park’s history. For those months, 2020 visitation exceeded 2019 visitation each month by 17-49%.

“This past year has reminded us how important nation parks and public lands are to overall wellbeing,” said NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge. “Throughout the county, national parks provided close-to-home opportunities for people to spend much needed time outdoors for their physical and psychological health.”

Visitation remains high since the new year.

Changes are still in place due to the pandemic. Groups are limited to eight, rangers are staffing the park’s visitor centers outside only, park campgrounds and the Chisos Mountains Lodge are open at reduce capacity and fully booked well into summer months.

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