Internet Travel Monitor - Travel Industry News

March 7, 2018

Here Are the Most Visited National Parks in 2017

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A Federal News Radio analysis of National Park Service statistics shows more than 83 million people were drawn to the parks last year, an increase of 0.5 percent from 2016. Here is a countdown of 2017's most popular national parks, including the number of 2017 visits and the percentage change over 2016.

15. Arches National Park - 1,600,893 visits/ +1%
The Utah park features more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including Delicate Arch.

14. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park - 2,016,702 visits/ +6.8%
The park protects the Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, two of the world's most active geological features. Diverse ecosystems range from tropical forests at sea level to barren lava beds at more than 13,000 feet.

13. Cuyahoga Valley National Park - 2,330,688 visits/ -#.8%
A short distance from Cleveland, Ohio the winding Cuyahoga River gives way to deep forests, rolling hills and open farmlands.

12. Joshua Tree National Park - 2,386,300 visits/ -4.7%
A fascinating variey of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain.

11. Bryce Canyon National Park - 2,571,684 visits/ +8.7%
This Utah park features hundreds of hoodoos (odd-shaped pillars of rock left standing from the forces of erosion). They can be found on every continent, but Bryce Canyon has the largest collection of hoodoos in the world.

10. Glacier National Park - 3,305,512 visits/ +12.2%
In northern Montana on the border with Canada, the park is dominated by mountains which were carved into their present shapes by the huge glaciers of the last ice age. The glaciers have largely disappeared over the last 12,000 years.

9. Grand Teton National Park - 3,317,000 visits/ +1.4%
With extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes and alpine terrain in northwest Wyoming, the Teton Range offers over two hundred miles of trails, and the chance to float the Snake River.

8. Olympic National Park - 3,428,537 visits/ +1.1%
Within Washington state, the park offers three distinct ecosystems: sub-alpine forest and wildflower meadow, temperate forest and the rugged Pacific Shore.

7. Acadia National Park - 3,509,272 visits/ +6.2%
This park on the Maine coast includes mountains, woodlands and lakes. Cadillac Mountain, on the eastern side of the park, is one of the first places in the United States to see the sunrise.

6. Yellowstone National Park - 4,095,230 visits/ -3.8%
Located at the intersection of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, Yellowstone was the first national park. It is known for its many geothermal features, especially Old Faithful geyser.

5. Yosemite National Park - 4,268,150 visits/ -15.1%
Located in northern California, Yosemite is recognized for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams and giant sequoia groves. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness.

4. Rocky Mountain National Park - 4,437,215 visits/ -1.8%
Featuring mountains, alpine lakes and a wide variety of wildlife, the Colorado park also features the 43-mile long Trail Ridge Road - the highest (12,183') paved road in the country.

3. Zion National Park - 4,504,813 visits/ +0.9%
Located in southern Utah at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin and Mojave Desert regions, the park has a unique geography and a variety of life zones that allow for unusual plant and animal diversity.

2. Grand Canyon National Park - 6,139,967 visits/ +2.9%
Nearly two billion years of geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock. Visible from space, this Arizona landmark is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and attains a depth of over a mile.

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 11,338,893 visits/ +0.2%
On the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, the park is one of the largest protected areas in the eastern United States. After hiking and sightseeing, fishing (especially fly fighing) is the most popular activity.

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By Terry Wing, digital editor of
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