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Big Bend National Park sees increase in recreational visits

The park saw 581,000 visitors in 2021, which was a 25% increase since 2019.

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, Texas — Big Bend National Park has seen a record number of visitors in 2021. 

The park had 581,000 visitors this past year, which was a 25% increase since 2019. The 464,000 visitors in 2019 was the last year the park was completely open. 

“This is a significant milestone,” said Chief of Interpretation & Visitor Services Tom VandenBerg. “When Big Bend National Park was established in 1944, a mere 1,400 visitors arrived that first year, but park promoters dreamed of a day when the area would host half a million visitors. That dream has now become reality.”

The park staff has seen "one-in, one-out" traffic control measures taken during the winter holidays, spring break, and holiday weekends. Park employees have looked for ways to limit vehicle access in specific areas of the park, which include the Chisos Basin, Hot Springs, Boquillas Canyon and Lost Mine Trail. 

The park suggests for all visitors to plan ahead in 2022 and be prepared for all the areas of the Big Bend.