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Zion National Park attendance breaks record

Zion National Park received a record number of visitors in 2009 — more than 2.7 million.

The 2,735,401 visitors were a 1.7 percent increase from park attendance in 2008, the previous record year, according to statistics released by the National Parks Service.

A portion of the increase in visitors may be attributed to the park's Centennial celebration in 2009. In addition, the park's backcountry continues to draw more people. In 2009, the number of backcountry users increased by 17.3 percent compared with 2008.

Visitation through the South and Kolob canyons entrances increased in 2009, while visitation decreased through the east entrance and in the Kolob Terrace section of the park. Compared with 2008, there was a 29 percent decrease in the number of visitors arriving by tour bus.

The park has set new visitation records four times since 2002. Since 1919, when the park was renamed Zion National Park, 88,904,937 visitors have entered the park. Visitation has exceeded 2 million people per year since 1990. In the last decade alone, more than 25 million people have visited Zion National Park.

Additional visitation information is available online at www.nature.nps.gov/stats.