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Mount Rainier National Park on track for busiest year in decades

"We had one of the busiest beginnings to the year that we've had in the last 25 years."

ENUMCLAW, Wash. — National parks across the country are seeing record numbers of visitors as COVID-19 restrictions lift.

CNN reports Yellowstone National Park saw more than 483,100 people in May, the most visitors ever recorded at the park during that month.

Closer to home, Mount Rainier National Park staff said they are on track to see their busiest year in decades.

For the first four months of 2021, the park recorded over 130,000 visitors.

"We had one of the busiest beginnings to the year that we've had in the last 25 years," said Kevin Bacher, the public information officer at Mount Rainier National Park. "I think that after a year of everybody being stuck inside, looking at the same four walls, everybody is looking to get out and see something new."

Bacher said people planning to make a trip to the park should try to come early in the morning and during the week since weekends have been especially busy.

"I see a constant stream of visitors going up the road every morning," Bacher said. "We would be surprised if this didn't turn out to be one of the busiest years that we've had in recent decades."

Staff is also asking people to check on conditions before making the trip.

"There are some hazards that people can face, especially at the beginning of the season when our snow hasn't completely melted yet. Hazards that can make it challenging or even dangerous," said Bacher. "We love to see lots and lots of people here. We love to see people recreating responsibly here, having a safe visit and also visiting in ways that protect the park and protect the resources here."

The park's website has many resources to help visitors plan a trip.