According to the National Park Service, the 10 most visited National Parks in 2022 in descending order were;
10. Indiana Dunes
9. Grand Teton
8. Acadia in Maine
7. Yosemite in California
6. The Gateway Arch in St. Louis
3. Rocky Mountain
2. The Grand Canyon
and #1, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park largely in Tennessee
The list in 2021 was virtually the same althought the destinations were somewhat scrambled.
In ascending order they were
1. The Great Smoky Mountains, which remained the most visited National Park over the 2 year stretch
2. Zion in Utah that was #4 the previous year
3. Yellowstone, mostly in Wyoming
4. The Grand Canyon in Utah
5. Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado
6. Acadia National Park. Ruth and I have been to all but Indiana Dunes over the years and added Cayahoga recently
7. Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming
8. Yosemite National Park, where John Muir liked to hang out
9. Indiana Dunes, which draws folks from Chicago
10. and Glacier National Park, a park we tried to visit in summer 2023 after many years but it was closed. It had 3.1 million visitors in 2021, an increase of more than 50% from the previous year.
Visitors ranged from more than 3 million for Glacier in 2021 to up to 14 million for way popular Great Smoky Mountains, the most visited National Park in the system.
Conversely, the least visited national parks in descending order in 2023 were:
10. Glacier Bay with only 89, 768 visitors. Oddly, Ruth and I visited Glacier Bay in 2023 for the firat time and really enjoyed it being on our cruise itinerary.
9. The Dry Tortugas National Park in the Caribbean, which had almost 84,000 visitors. Oddly, this national park had an international incident in January, 2023 when ABC News reported that hundreds of migrants, mostly from Cuba, descended on this National Park and temporarily forced its closure.
8. Wrangell-St Elias National Park. I recently told about Ruth & my aborted attempt to visit this national park while in this part of Alaska. It should be no surprise that California and Alaska are tied for the most National Parks.
7. Isle Royale National Park in northern Michigan had almost 26,000 visitors in 2021.
6. Katmai National Park. This national park in Alaska is famous for its bears.
5. Lake Clark NP had only slightly more than 18,000 visitors in 2021.
4. North Cascades National Park. This park in the state of Washington is known as the American Alps and unaccountably has fewer than 18,000 visitors each year. We have been there.
3. Kobuk Valley NP in Alaska.
2. The National Park of American Samoa attracted only 8,485 visitors in 2021.
1. And the least visited National Park in existence is Gates of the Arctic. Only 7, 362 people visited this breathtakingly beautiful national park in Alaska in 2021. Going there requires a flight from Fairbanks to Bettles, a guide, and lots of money. Alaska has 8 national parks like California. The other 2 are Denali and Kenai Fjords.
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