Pent-up demand for travel is playing out across the United States as seven National Parks have seen record-breaking visitation for the month of June. The largest increase percentage-wise has been seen in Maine’s Acadia National Park where 660,779 visitors were recorded in June alone. This number marks a 228 percent increase from the COVID stricken 2020 season and a 34 percent increase from June 2019. The resurgence in visitation wasn’t limited to the Eastern United States as parks in six states saw new records set with many still to report statistics.
Although visitation data is considered preliminary until the beginning of the following year the upward trends are obvious. Increased crowding has led rangers at Arches National Park to recommend arriving before 8 a.m. or wafting until the afternoon to avoid long lines inside the park. Other parks, including Rocky Mountain and Yosemite, have taken restrictions a step further by implementing timed-entry reservations to ease crowds. According to the National Parks Service, 25 percent of total recreational visits occur in just the top six most visited parks.
Although many popular National Parks including Arches, Rocky Mountain, Grand Canyon, and Grand Teton have yet to release their June visitation numbers those who have made new visitation records are listed below.
- Acadia National Park, Maine – 660,779 visitors, 228% increase from 2020 and 34% increase from 2019
- Badlands National Park, South Dakota – 256,041 visitors, 52% increase from 2020 and 27% increase from 2019
- Capitol Reef National Park, Utah – 189,603 visitors, 20% increase from 2020 and 25% increase from 2019
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina & Tennessee – 1.7 million visitors, 8% increase from 2020 and 13% increase from 2019
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota – 150,232 visitors, 41% increase from 2020 and 12% increase from 2019
- Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming – 938,845 visitors, 64% increase from 2020 and 20% increase from 2019
- Zion National Park, Utah – 675,799 visitors, 79% increase from 2020 and 7% increase from 2019