While some people spend their summer at the beaches, a lot of families, and even folks without kids, will head out this summer to experience some of the great National Parks this country has to offer. Of course, last year’s COVID closures resulted in fewer visitors, but with people seeking outdoor activities, some folks did get to make a trip to at least one of America’s great parks, and a new report reveals which ones attracted the most visitors.
According to the National Park Service, more than 237 million people visited a National Park last year, and while that number sounds big, it’s a 28% drop from 2019 where 327.5 million visited the parks. That’s likely due to the more than 60% of America’s 423 park sites being closed for two months or more due to the pandemic.
So, which parks did most people visit?
- Well, for the 77thconsecutive year, Great Smoky Mountains National Park along the Tennessee-North Carolina boarder was the most-visited park.
- About 12.1 million people visited the park last year, a decrease from 12.5 million the previous year.
- There were several changes to this year’s Top Ten, with the most drastic being the Grand Canyon dropping from two in 2019 to six this year
- In addition, Yellowstone National Park jumped from six in 2019 to two this year.
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio and Joshua Tree National Park in California land in the Top Ten for the very first time.
Top Ten Most Visited National Parks in 2020
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park (12.1 million)
- Yellowstone National Park (3.8 million)
- Zion National Park, Utah (3.6 million)
- Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado (3.3 million)
- Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (3.3 million)
- Grand Canyon National Park (2.9 million)
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio (2.8 million)
- Acadia National Park, Maine (2.7 million)
- Olympic National Park, Washington State (2.5 million)
- Joshua Tree National Park, California (2.4 million)