Sinks, South Pass record largest increases in 2019 State Park Visitation

South Pass City State Historic Site visitation was up 17 percent in 2019, thanks in part to a good turnout at the annual Gold Rush Days in July. Here visitors pan for gold in Willow Creek. Wyotoday.com photo by Ernie Over

A major player in Wyoming’s Tourism industry, Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails boast a visitation of more than 4.4 million visitors while generating a projected economic impact of nearly $500 million to the state during 2019.

These efforts are recognized during Wyoming State Park, Outdoor Recreation and Wildlife Day, May 7, a part of the Wyoming Office of Tourism National Travel and Tourism Week 2020 celebration.

Last year’s numbers are a two percent increase over 2018 and a six percent change from the previous five-year average.

State Parks and Historic Sites registering the highest percent of increased visitation during 2019 were the Oregon Trail Ruts (26%), Sinks Canyon (19%), South Pass City (17%), Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site (16%) and Edness Kimball Wilkins (13%). Hot Springs State Park was the most visited site.

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September continues to be the busiest month at Wyoming Historic Sites with 61,156 visitors while visitors enjoy Wyoming’s State Parks the most in July, 727,041.

“The Wyoming State Parks contribution to the tourism industry provides a true Wyoming experience,” said State Parks and Cultural Resources Department Director Darin Westby. “Additionally, Wyoming’s State Historic Sites tell the story of what Wyoming is and is really about.”

With continued improvements at several sites such as the increasingly popular non-motorized trail system at Curt Gowdy and Glendo state parks, and an ever-increasing number of event and program offerings at parks statewide, visitation is expected to continue to increase.

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