America’s Most-Visited National Park in 2019

Once January rolls around, we here at the Outdoor Society like to compile a list of the most-visited National Parks around the country. For the author of this post, this day is a holiday, giving me reason to spend hours pouring over stats that few people care about.  Every year, aside from a few jumps and dives, not much changes. However, these lists can help you know which parks are popular and which ones are seeing a drop in visitation, giving you more of a chance to find silence and solitude on the trails you love. 

In 2019, the National Parks of America had another popular year, inspiring hundreds of millions with the nature, history and culture found throughout these stunning stretches of public lands. While not every park has completed their visitation statistics for 2019, the top 12 parks are in and listed below.

This year, there was some interesting movement in the rankings, as well as some dramatic visitation drops and increases in the top 12 parks. Yosemite saw a 10% jump compared to 2018, mainly because the park and surrounding areas weren’t on fire like they were in 2018. The increase, coupled with decreased visitation in Yellowstone for 2019, flipped these two in the rankings. An interesting side note is that Grand Canyon National Park witnessed a 6.4% decrease in visitation compared with 2018. Overall, five on the top 12 parks saw a decrease of visitation compared to the previous year.

Give this list a glance and see how many of the country’s most popular parks you have visited!

Great Smoky Mountains. Image by Bruce Tuten

#1: Great Smoky Mountain National Park

2019 Recreation Visits: 12,547,743

2018 Recreation Visits: 11,421,200

2018 Rank: 1

Visitation Change from 2018: +9.9%

 


Grand Canyon National Park via Douglas Scott
Grand Canyon National Park via Douglas Scott

#2: Grand Canyon National Park

2019 Recreation Visits: 5,974,410

2018 Recreation Visits: 6,380,495

2018 Rank: 2

Visitation Change from 2018: -6.4%

 


Rocky Mountain National Park. Image via DaveTBear

#3: Rocky Mountain National Park

2019 Recreation Visits: 4,670,054

2018 Recreation Visits: 4,590,493

2018 Rank: 3

Visitation Change from 2018: +1.7%

 


Zion National Park via Ben Jackson

#4: Zion National Park

2019 Recreation Visits: 4,488,268

2018 Recreation Visits: 4,320,033

2018 Rank: 4

Visitation Change from 2018: +3.9%

 


Yosemite National Park.

#5: Yosemite National Park

2019 Recreation Visits: 4,422,861

2018 Recreation Visits: 4,009,436

2018 Rank: 6

Visitation Change from 2018: +10%

 


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

#6: Yellowstone National Park

2019 Recreation Visits: 4,020,288

2018 Recreation Visits: 4,115,000

2018 Rank: 5

Visitation Change from 2018: -1%

 


Acadia National Park. Image via Dave Wilson

#7: Acadia National Park

2019 Recreation Visits: 3,437,736

2018 Recreation Visits: 3,537,575

2018 Rank: 7

Visitation Change from 2018: -1.1

 


#8: Grand Teton National Park

2019 Recreation Visits: 3,405,615

2018 Recreation Visits: 3,491,151

2018 Rank: 8

Visitation Change from 2018: -2.5%

 


Staircase Bridge, Olympic National Park

#9: Olympic National Park

2019 Recreation Visits: 3,245,806

2018 Recreation Visits: 3,104,455

2018 Rank: 9

Visitation Change from 2018: +4.6%

 


GlacierNPS Mt Oberlin – NPS / Tim Rains

#10: Glacier National Park

2019 Recreation Visits: 3,049,839

2018 Recreation Visits: 2,965,309

2018 Rank: 10

Visitation Change from 2018: +2.9%

 


Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park

#11: Joshua Tree National Park

2019 Recreation Visits: 2,988,548

2018 Recreation Visits: 2,942,382

2018 Rank: 11

Visitation Change from 2018: +1.6

 


Bryce Canyon in snow by Flickr user lwtt93

#12: Bryce Canyon National Park

2019 Recreation Visits: 2,594,903

2018 Recreation Visits: 2,679,478

2018 Rank: 12

Visitation Change from 2018: -3.2%