Top 10 National Parks Ranked by Yearly Visits

Clay Malott |
Collage of some of America’s stunning national parks. Photo credit: IMDiversity

The United States is home to some of the most diverse and beautiful scenery in the US. We are lucky enough to have lots of this land protected in the form of wilderness areas, state parks, and national parks. Here are the top 10 US national parks ranked by popularity. All data was taken from Far and Wide.

#10 – Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park of Montana provides some of the most stunning mountainous terrain in the US. Photo credit: National Geographic

2018 visitors: 2,965,309

Established: 1910

Total acreage: 1,013,322 acres

Glacier National Park, in the Rocky Mountains of North America, is in northern Montana, right up against the Canadian border. With towering mountains, pristine alpine lakes, and diverse wildlife including bears, moose, and elk, Glacier is one of the most attractive national parks for wildlife lovers and mountain enthusiasts alike. With 26 glaciers, the park certainly lives up to its name.

#9 – Olympic National Park, Washington

Olympic National Park boasts a diverse landscape, including forests, mountains, and even oceanside beaches. Photo credit: Department of the Interior

2018 visitors: 3,104,455

Established: 1938

Total acreage: 922,880

Olympic National Park is one of the most diverse parks in America. Sprawling beaches, towering old-growth forests, and jagged alpine peaks are what make Olympic so special. With over 1,200 native plant taxa, 20 reptile and amphibian species, 37 native fish species, 300 bird species, 56 mammal species, including 24 marine mammal species, 22 species listed as Threatened or Endangered under the Endangered Species Act, Olympic National Park is truly a flora and fauna paradise.

#8 – Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

The Teton Range of Grand Teton National Park rises abruptly from the plains of Wyoming. Photo credit: Wikipedia

2018 visitors: 3,491,151

Established: 1929

Total acreage: 23,700

Despite its small size, GTNP packs a bang for its buck. Situated in the world-famous Teton range of Wyoming and Idaho, Grand Teton is one of the most accessible parks, with nearby Jackson Hole Airport servicing flights from 12 major cities across the US. The Grand Teton, at 13,775 feet, is the crown jewel of the park, although there are several other peaks exceeding 12,000 feet in elevation.

#7 – Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park boasts stunning ocean vistas and incredible colors. Photo credit: Visit Maine

2018 visitors: 3,537,575

Established: 1919

Total acreage: 49,052

Acadia is home to over 40 miles of stunning rocky headlands along the Atlantic coastline of the US. An abundance of wildlife, landscape, and cultural history makes Acadia a great destination for anyone.

#6 – Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite provides stunning videos of glacially carved valleys and towering peaks. Photo credit: Yosemite NP

2018 visitors: 4,009,436

Established: 1890

Total acreage: 748,160

Surprisingly low on the list coming in at #6, Yosemite National Park is home to some of the most visually stunning scenery in the world. Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls are just a few of the hundreds of stunning features located around the park. Home to towering peaks, sprawling meadows, and babbling brooks, Yosemite is one of the most beautiful parks in America. The close vicinity to Mammoth Lakes makes this a very accessible park to millions of visitors every year.

#5 – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming/Montana/Idaho

Yellowstone’s world-famous geysers and geothermal activity attract visitors from far and wide. Photo credit: Lodge at Big Sky

2018 visitors: 4,115,000

Established: 1872

Total acreage: 2,221,766

Ever since Yellowstone, America’s very first National Park, began reeling in visitors from all across the country in 1872, it has continued to do so. With over 4 million visitors per year, Yellowstone makes the top 5 most visited parks. Visitors flock to the park to see Yellowstone’s vast plains, rich wildlife, and world famous geysers.

#4 – Zion National Park, Utah

Zion NP, Utah. Photo credit: Outside Magazine

2018 visitors: 4,320,033

Established: 1919

Total acreage: 146,624

Zion National Park resides in Utah, one of the richest states in national parks. Utah is home to 5 national parks, only short of California with 9 and Alaska with 8. Zion is home to stunning desert rock features, with incredible hikes such as the world-famous Angel’s Landing hike.

#3 – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Rocky Mountain NP provides high altitude views and activities like nowhere else. Photo credit: Alpine Trail Ridge Inn

2018 visitors: 4,590,493

Established: 1915

Total acreage: 265,769

Rocky Mountain National Park, located along the Rocky Mountain continental divide of North America, is home to some of the most stunning mountains in the US. Popular activities in RMNP include hiking, climbing, swimming in alpine lakes, and camping.

#2 – Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Grand Canyon NP’s spiraling canyons attract millions per year. Photo credit: Trip Savvy

2018 visitors: 6,380,495

Established: 1919

Total acreage: 1,218,375

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most visually astounding canyons in the world. The canyon, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is 277 miles long. The canyon shows millions of years of erosion caused by the Colorado River, creating a stunning layer cake like pattern on the canyon walls, which extend over 6,000 feet down from the canyon rim.

#1 – Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina/Tennessee

Great Smoky Mountains NP is the most visited national park in the US. Photo credit: American Patriot Gateways

2018 visitors: 11,421,200

Established: 1934

Total acreage: 522,427

Great Smoky Mountains National Park boasts a whopping 11.5 million visitors per year. This is mostly due to the park’s accessibility from large cities like Atlanta, Charlotte, Asheville, Knoxville, and Nashville. The park features stunning forests, rolling hills, and winding creeks.

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