The Top 10 Most Visited National Parks for 2017

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The U.S. National Park Service has announced visitation numbers for America’s national parks in 2017, and as usual these amazing outdoor spaces continue to attract a large audience. According to reports, more than 330 million people filtered through the park system last year, which is down slightly from 2016 when the NPS celebrated its 100th anniversary.

If you’ve seen the list of most visited parks in the past, you’ll probably be able to tell which ones made the cut. But, there has been some shuffling around of the parks with perennial favorite Yosemite dropping from number 3 down to number 5, while Zion moves up to take its spot in the top five.

Here’s what the top ten looks like:

  1. Great Smokey Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee
  2. Grand Canyon in Arizona
  3. Zion National Park in Utah
  4. Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado
  5. Yosemite National Park in California
  6. Yellowstone National Park in Montana and Wyoming
  7. Acadia National Park in Maine
  8. Olympic National Park in Washington state
  9. Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming
  10. Glacier National Park in Montana
In total there are 59 national parks in the entire system, but 417 “sites” that include monuments, battlefields, historic places, and so on. If you include those into the mix, the visitation picture looks a bit different. Here are the top ten most visited places that the National Park Service oversees:
  1. Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and Virginia
  2. Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the San Francisco Bay Area
  3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee
  4. Gateway National Recreation Area in New York and New Jersey
  5. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  6. Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada and Arizona
  7. George Washington Memorial Parkway in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
  8. Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee
  9. Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona
  10. Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
None of these are bad places to have on your bucket list if you haven’t seen them. 
Kraig Becker