National parks are good for us and the economy

National parks in western states contribute billions of dollars to local economies annually, according to a report by the National Park Service ( An interactive tool breaks down the number of park visitors by state ( in 2017, their spending in gateway communities and the number of jobs supported.

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Across the country, nearly $36 billion was pumped into hotels, restaurants, transportation and recreation, with the biggest spending in the West, including at Yellowstone, Glen Canyon, Rocky Mountain National Park and others.

In Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park welcomed more than 3 million visitors last year, resulting in a $744 million impact. More than 15 million visitors spent $1.1 billion in Utah, and in California, more than 40 million park visitors supported 25,000 jobs. See the economic impact of national parks in your state.

Separate reports on tourism in Montana and Wyoming found that it’s not only national parks that bring in significant revenue. The University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation found that tourists spent an average of 4.7 nights in hotels, campgrounds, vacation rentals and bed and breakfasts across the state in 2017, bringing in $30.7 million in lodging tax revenue. Wyoming saw an 8.9% increase in travel spending last year, thanks in part to last summer’s solar eclipse.

– Western Governors’ Association


“There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and the wildlife are native. The fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. The parks stand as the outward symbol of the great human principle.” 

– Franklin D. Roosevelt