CHEYENNE — Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites’ annual visitation numbers for 2022 indicate high visitor use is here to stay with nearly 5.2 million visitors across all parks and historic sites, according to Gary Schoene, Public Information Officer of the State Parks, in Cheyenne.
This trend follows that of previous years in which Wyoming’s outdoors were a beckoning beacon for visitors to explore and enjoy.
Individually, Schoene said, state parks hosted nearly 4.9 million visitors, 3% above the five-year average, and historic sites hosted nearly 334,000 visitors, 6% above the five-year average. 2020 saw over 5.8 million visitors, with 2021 over 5.7 million visitors. He said these numbers remain well above pre-pandemic visitation, which can be attributed to the retention of many first-time guests during this extreme visitation period.
Of prime interest to Uinta County are the Fort Bridger State Historic Site and Bear River State Park near Evanston. Schoene said there was an increase of 8,613 visitors to the Fort Bridger State Site in 1922 from 1921, bringing the total to 87,175. This site is also the site for the Fort Bridger Rendezvous, which will mark 50 years this fall. Normally, the 50-year mark would have been reached this year as the Rendezvous started in 1972. But, it wasn’t not held a couple of years ago due to the COVID pandemic sweeping the country and Wyoming.
As for the Bear River State Park near Evanston, Schoene said the park road (vehicles are counted) had 271,637 count in 1922, which was up 16,954 from 2021. This area also runs along the Bear River, has the picnic tables, a viewing area for wildlife and is the site of the Mountain Man Rendezvous held the week prior to the Fort Bridger Rendezvous.
The Travel Center at Bear River counted a visitation of 180,207 in 2022, which was up from 23,440 in 2021.
State wide the numbers are up across the state’s properties which reflect the national trend to get outdoors after being locked up during the years of COVID.