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Grand Teton Park visits climb in 2012

Grand Teton National Park saw a nearly 5 percent increase in visitors last year with more of those tourists deciding to camp, rather than stay in park lodges.

The National Park Service released final visitation numbers for 2012 last week. The report shows a sizable bump in Grand Teton’s tourism to 2.71 million visitors. Grand Teton was the eighth most-visited national park.

Yellowstone National Park, with 3.45 million visitors, was the fourth most-frequented national park.

Despite the tourism bump, the number of people staying in Grand Teton lodges fell off by 5 percent, from about 207,000 in 2011 to about 196,000 last year.

But the Jackson Hole News & Guide reports ( ) that the number of campers, just over 299,000, increased by 8.3 percent from 2011.

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