The National Park Service posted the visitation statistics for 2016 this week in its “Annual Park Ranking Report for Recreation Visits.”
In total, the National Park Service saw more than 330.9 million visitors in its Centennial Year. This was boosted by fee-free days and the “Every Kid in a Park” initiative to provide 4th graders with free admission. It was was a large increase from the already record-breaking 307 million visitors in 2015. Many park enthusiasts are beginning to raise concern about overuse from so many travelers.
Most Visited National Parks in 2016
Great Smoky Mountains National Park tops the list of most visited national parks in 2016 with more than 11 million visitors. It was followed closely by Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Parks, each with more than 5 million visitors. There were no big changes this year; all the parks on this year’s list were also featured in the Top 10 of 2015.
And while not designated as a national park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area continues to be the most visited unit among the 417 units of the National Park Service. It logged more than 15.6 million visitors in 2016.
Wondering about the least visited? That honor goes to Aniakchak National Monument & Preserve in Northern Alaska with only 100 visitors in 2016.