America’s 11 Most Visited National Parks in 2017

In 2017, America’s National Parks celebrated their 101st birthday an welcomed tens of millions of visitors to their stunning scenery. Spurned on by the total eclipse in August and a warmer than average summer, the 59 National Parks had another incredible year. While wildfires and construction hindered visitation to many popular National Parks, the trend of visitation over the past few years continued upward. Some parks moved up on the list, while others dropped, but the 11 most-visited parks in 2017 remained the same as 2016.

All year long, Americans were encouraged to get outside, yet again, with the aim of exploring the majesty and breathtaking vistas, trails and drives in our National Parks. While the popularity of the parks caused a few problems here and there, the vast majority of visitors took only pictures and left only with inspiring and warm memories from the great outdoors. The visitation numbers are encouraging, giving us hope that the American population will stand up against the continued attacks on our Public Lands by the current administration. We must remain vigilant to ensure that these areas are protected for future generations, so contact your member of Congress and tell them to keep our public lands public and fully funded.

Without any more of a delay, here are America’s Top 11 most-visited National Parks for 2017.

GSMNP via Michael Hick

#1 Great Smoky Mountains National Park

2017: 11,338,893
2016: 11,312,786
2015: 10.7 million
Last Year’s Ranking: 1

Backcountry Stays: 104,352


Grand Canyon National Park via The Outdoor Society

#2 Grand Canyon National Park

2017: 5,843,094*
2016: 6,969,811
2015: 5.5 million
Last Year’s Ranking: 2

Backcountry Stays: 301,130+

*+Number could increase when December of 2017 visitor recreation information is provided. get on the Grand Canyon! 


Zion National Park via Ben Jackson

#3 Zion National Park

2017: 4,504,813
2016: 4,295,127
2015: 3.6 million
Last Year’s Ranking: 5

Backcountry Stays: 25,470


Rocky Mountain National Park via Bruce Dall

#4 Rocky Mountain National Park

2017: 4,437,215
2016: 4,517,585
2015: 4.1 million
Last Year’s Ranking: 4

Backcountry Stays: 45,194


Yosemite National Park. Image via edward stojakovic

#5 Yosemite National Park

2017: 4,274,366
2016: 5,028,868
2015: 4.1 million
Last Year’s Ranking: 3

Backcountry Stays: 158,702


Sunset at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park via The Outdoor Society

#6 Yellowstone National Park

2017: 4,116,524
2016: 4,257,177
2015: 4.1 million
Last Year’s Ranking: 6

Backcountry Stays: 43,378


Acadia National Park via Geoff Livingston

#7 Acadia National Park

2017: 3,509,272
2016: 3.303,393
2015: 2.8 million
Last Year’s Ranking: 8

Backcountry Stays: 1,597


Devils Punch Bowl Bridge on Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park via The Outdoor Society

#8 Olympic National Park

2017: 3,401,996
2016: 3,390,221
2015: 3.3 million
Last Year’s Ranking: 7

Backcountry Stays: 122,678


Grant Teton National Park via The Outdoor Society

#9 Grand Teton National Park

2017: 3,317,000
2016: 3,270,076
2015: 3.1 million
Last Year’s Ranking: 9

Backcountry Stays: 40,193


Looking down into Lake McDonald Valley from the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. Image from April 7th, 2016 courtesy of the NPS

#10 Glacier National Park

2017: 3,305,512
2016: 2,946,681
2015: 2.7 million
Last Year’s Ranking: 10

Backcountry Stays: 34,011


Joshua Tree National Park via The Outdoor Society

#11 Joshua Tree

2017: 2,853,619
2016: 2,505,286
2015: 2 million
Last Year’s Ranking: 11

Backcountry Stays: 19,590


Love the National Parks of the US?

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By Doug and Mathias on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State

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