Zion, Bryce Canyon parks report record number of visitors

St. George • Both Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks have reported a record number of visitors for 2017.

The Spectrum reported Thursday that Zion National Park saw more than 4.5 million visitors last year, which is up 5 percent from 2016. While Bryce Canyon National Park recorded 2.6 million visitors — a 9-percent increase.

The figures come just as park service officials are considering a controversial fee hike and a potential online reservation system for Zion.

The National Park Service released a plan this fall recommending that entrance fees more than double during the peak season at some of the nation's most popular parks.

The idea has been controversial, however, with opponents arguing it would price out lower-income Americans and make only a small impact on a growing maintenance backlog.

Information from: The Spectrum.