Visitation drops at Bryce Canyon National Park due to Brian Head Fire

Posted at 7:45 PM, Jun 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-28 21:45:45-04

BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK — Less than 50 miles from the fire line, Bryce Canyon National Park is seeing a big impact from the Brian Head Fire.

"It has been very noticeable that our visitation has dropped since the fire started over on the Brian Head Fire," said Kathleen Gonder, Public Information Officer at Bryce Canyon National Park.

Typically this time of year, the visitor center has roughly 5,000 people walk through the doors every day. Gonder estimates that over the last week, it's dropped to 3,200.

"We are open, so come and visit, but, you know, there is some days and parts of the day that visibility is not as good," Gonder said.

For the people who are still making the trek into the park, there is a benefit: smaller crowds.

"It's always better, less tourists, less tour bus. Well, we're tourists of course, but it's always fun to be alone down in those hoodoos, so today was really fun," said Louis LaMarche, visiting from Montreal, Canada.

A hoodoo is a tall, thin spire of rock.

LaMarche says he worried about finding somewhere to camp, but was pleasantly surprised to find spots open in the usually sold out campgrounds at the park.