More people visited Idaho State Parks in 2020 than in any year before — by a margin of more than 1.2 million guests, the agency reported last month.
A combined total of resident and nonresident day users, along with resident and nonresident campers tallied 7,671,582 visitors, blowing away the 2019 record of 6,468,159.
“It’s a mind-boggling number,” Brian Beckley, chairman of the Idaho Parks and Recreation Board, said in the statement. “Never before have we had so many people come out to our parks. But with the pandemic keeping people indoors and isolated, outdoor recreation became one of the few things people could do responsibly to beat COVID cabin fever.”
Idaho State Park visits have been slowly increasing over the past seven years, but the monumental jump from 2019 to 2020 was unparalleled. Day visits accounted for 7 million of the total with the remaining 647,743 camper visits. Although camping numbers in 2020 were lower than in 2019, the two-month campground closure during the pandemic affected the decrease.
Parks around the Magic Valley remained busy as well.
The number of visitors to popular parks Castle Rocks State Park and City of Rocks National Reserve near Almo increased 61.26% and 48.95% respectively.
Check out the full article from MagicValley.com here.