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Contact: Jennifer Evans, 541-594-3002
Crater Lake National Park welcomed 664,000 visitors in 2015, a 13.5 percent increase from 585,000 visitors in 2014. This is the highest park visitation in 25 years, since the park first implemented modern tracking methods. Higher visitation is partly the result of low snow levels in 2014 and early 2015, which allowed the park to open facilities and roads earlier in the spring than usual. In addition, the National Park Foundation’s “Find Your Park” media campaign has sparked interest from travelers and from communities near national parks, state tourism agencies, and Congress. The park’s travel and tourism partners, including Travel Oregon, Travel Southern Oregon, and Discover Klamath, also have contributed to increased visitation through their targeted efforts featuring Crater Lake.
The increase in visitation to Crater Lake National Park paralleled the record-breaking numbers reported by the National Park Service as a whole. More than 305 million people visited national parks in 2015, eclipsing the all-time visitation record for the National Park Service in the previous year. The unofficial visitation numbers for 2015 were announced by National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, as the National Park Service is celebrating its centennial year in 2016.
“The increased visitation to Crater Lake National Park and across the national park system confirms the value these places have to the American people. In a year when the National Park Service turns 100, these numbers are reminders that the national parks serve to create lasting memories for individuals and families through their enjoyment of and deep connection to these special places,” Crater Lake Superintendent Craig Ackerman said. “The parks also bolster the economies of local communities.”