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AROUND OREGON: National Parks in Northwest post record highs, lows in visitors during 2020

A visitor takes a picture at the Watchman Overlook in Crater Lake National Park. (Jamie Hale/The Oregonian)

To say it’s been a hectic year for Northwest national parks is an understatement.

National park sites across the region posted record high numbers of visitors in 2020, as well as record lows, as park managers dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, raging wildfires and swarming crowds of people, some of whom endangered their own safety and the natural landscapes themselves.

Monthly visitor numbers published by the National Park Service from 2020 show an up and down year across Oregon: Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon broke several monthly records last year, for example, while the nearby Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve posted the lowest annual visitor total since 1945.

The same was true in . . .