Oregon’s national parks and monuments have gained more visitors for the third year in a row. Growth was seen across many federally protected destinations including The Oregon Caves and Crater Lake.
This number is an increase from 969,052 in 2013.
In the whole nation, national park visitation increased by 7 percent.
Crater Lake is the one location where visitation has grown for three consecutive years. Impressive numbers were also noted for the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, where success was credited to the “Seven Wonders of Oregon” public relations campaign. The campaign helped to increase numbers at the Painted Hills by 50 percent.
“We saw a huge increase in visits, even with Highway 26 closed for a week in July because of fires,” Shelley Hall, superintendent of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument said.
Predictions for 2015 are also high.
Since Congress expanded the size of the Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve by about 10 times, officials expect record-breaking visitation.
“As Oregon heads into the spring and summer tourist season, the monument’s expansion is welcome news for one of our state’s most iconic natural treasures,” said U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon. “This is a fantastic shot in the arm for Oregon’s tourism and recreation economy.”