National parks hosted 35% fewer visitors in 2020

The Sun-Gazette

Sequoia and Kings National Parks hosted only 1.2 million visitors in 2020, but parks are seeing signs of a rebound

SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS – Early on in the pandemic people were told to stay home and limit their time around others. As a result, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks saw a 35% dip in visitation. But things are looking up.

Despite a down year in visitation overall in 2020, the great outdoors has proved to be a respite for many since last November. Holiday weekends reached more than twice the visitation rate from previous years. Trails, overlooks and open spaces have been providing safe ways for visitors to recreate responsibly, get some fresh air and stay active.

“The record numbers we’ve been seeing the last few months lead us to believe that visitation this year will bounce back and possibly exceed previous years,” Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Superintendent Clay Jordan said. “It demonstrates people’s desire to get outdoors and experience the beauty of the Sierra Nevada. With more regional travel in the last year, we hope visitors from our local communities have been able to enjoy these parks which are just a drive away.”

To protect the health of those who live, work and visit America’s national parks, face masks are required in all NPS buildings and facilities. Masks are also required on federally managed lands when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including narrow or busy trails, overlooks, and parking lots. Additional public health measures remain in effect, and visitors should check www.nps.gov/seki for details on operations before visiting.

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