Thursday, February 18, 2016

National Parks Set Overall Visitation Record - Annual Top 10 Lists

President Theodore Roosevelt was reelected in 1904, the same year rangers started counting national park visitors. There were more than 120,000 visits to America’s 11 national parks in the first year of counting. This week, the National Park Service (NPS) certified 2015 national park visitation at more than 307 million. It also released its popular Top 10 list of the most visited national park sites.

“The popularity of national parks is well known, but last year’s numbers really are extraordinary,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “As the National Park Service celebrates its 100th year, we’re preparing to welcome more visitors than ever including a new generation of park supporters and advocates who are discovering their own national park adventures.”

Today’s figures were an increase from the unofficial visitation total of 305 million reported by the NPS in January. The difference is attributed to the recently-completed NPS visitation audit.

2015 Visitation Highlights:

• 307,247,252 recreation visits, a 4.9%t increase over 2014 and the previous record of 292.8 million recreation visits.

• 57 of the 371 reporting parks set a new record for annual recreation visits.

• Eleven parks had more than 5 million recreation visits in 2015.

• NPS campground tent overnight stays were up 13 percent.

• Backcountry overnight stays were up 7 percent.


Notable Park Milestones in 2015:

• Glacier National Park surpassed 100 million total recreation visits (1910 to 2015)
• Rocky Mountain National Park surpassed 4 million annual visits for the first time.
• Yellowstone National Park surpassed 4 million annual visits for the first time.
• Grand Canyon National Park surpassed 5 million annual visits for the first time.
• Joshua Tree National Park surpassed 2 million annual visits for the first time.


Top 10 Visitation - National Park Units

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 10,712,674
2. Grand Canyon National Park - 5,520,736
3. Rocky Mountain National Park - 4,155,916
4. Yosemite National Park - 4,150,217
5. Yellowstone National Park - 4,097,710
6. Zion National Park - 3,648,846
7. Olympic National Park - 3,263,761
8. Grand Teton National Park - 3,149,921
9. Acadia National Park - 2,811,184
10. Glacier National Park - 2,366,056


Top 10 Visitation - All National Park System Units

1. Blue Ridge Parkway - 15,054,603
2. Golden Gate National Recreation Area - 14,888,537
3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 10,712,674
4. Lincoln Memorial - 7,941,771
5. Lake Mead National Recreation Area - 7,298,465
6. George Washington Memorial Parkway - 7,286,463
7. Gateway National Recreation Area - 6,392,565
8. Natchez Trace Parkway - 5,785,812
9. Vietnam Veterans Memorial - 5,597,077
10. Grand Canyon National Park - 5,520,736





Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
HikinginGlacier.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
TetonHikingTrails.com

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