Most Visited National Parks in 2019

The Most Visited National Parks in 2019

Get that drumroll ready. It’s time to find out who holds the honors on the list of Most Visited National Parks in 2019!

Every year we look forward to early March with the National Park Service Office of Communications issues the annual visitor statistics count. It logs how many people visited national parks in the previous year, the most popular parks, AND the least visited sites.

In 2019, more than 327 million people visited a unit in the National Park Service.

So what sites were the most popular?

As we have since 2016, we’re sharing the Top 10 Most Visited National Parks of the year – with hopes that it sparks your own interest in an upcoming #parkchasing trip.

Here’s the list:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park – 12.54 million visitors

For another year running, Great Smoky Mountains National Park tops the list of the Most Visited National Parks in 2019. Over a million more people visited the park than in the previous year, an astounding increase. Most popular activities in the park include scenic driving, wildlife viewing, and of course, hiking to the gorgeous mountain views.


Grand Canyon National Park - #2 Most Visited National Park in 2019

2. Grand Canyon National Park – 5.97 million visitors

The next closest park to the Great Smoky Mountains on the list of Most Visited National Parks in 2019 is none other than Arizona’s Grand Canyon.

In 2019, Grand Canyon National Park celebrated the centennial of its founding in 1919. We were lucky to be among the 5.97 million visitors who visited, and among the many thousands who spent a night inside the canyon.

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Rocky Mountain National Park - #3 most visited national park in 2019

3. Rocky Mountain National Park – 4.67 million visitors

Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park held it’s #3 spot on the list of Most Visited National Parks in 2019. It also saw a slight increase in visitor count from last year, up from 4.59 million visitors. Fall continues to be one of the most popular times to see the park, with trips to see the famous elk rut and gorgeous fall foliage.

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Zion National Park - #4 most visited national park in 2019

4. Zion National Park – 4.48 million visitors

After a drop in visitor count in 2018 down to 4.32 million visitors, Zion National Park in Utah saw a slight increase this year. It also celebrated a 100 year anniversary of its founding on November 19, 1919, during this past year.

Like many of the other parks on this list, Zion continues to navigate the challenges of high visitor demand and preserving the natural beauty of the park. Popular spots like The Narrows and Angel’s Landing continued to have reported long lines and risky visitor behavior in 2019.

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Passport to the National Parks Discount Code

Yosemite National Park - #5 most visited national park in 2019

5. Yosemite National Park – 4.42 million visitors

With nearly a half-million more visitors this year, Yosemite National Park surged ahead into the #5 spot on the list of most visited national parks in 2019. This year’s total was the closest visitor count to the record 5 million set back in 2016.

California’s precarious wildfire season and unpredictable weather patterns continue to impact travel in the park. Many visitors also find navigating the long lines and traffic headaches in the park challenging and opt to spend more time in nearby Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks instead.

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Yellowstone National Park - #6 most visited national park in 2019

6. Yellowstone National Park – 4.02 million visitors

For the fourth year in a row, our nation’s first national park saw a drop in visitor count. At 4.02 million visitors this year, Yellowstone saw it’s lowest visitor count since 2015. It’s possible that changes to international travel guidelines resulting from the coronavirus outbreak in early 2020 may continue to lower visitor counts as well.

Doesn’t that sound like a good reason to take advantage of fewer crowds and plan a summer road trip?

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Acadia National Park - #7 most visited national park in 2019

7. Acadia National Park – 3.4 million visitors

Holding steady in the #7 slot on the list of Most Visited National Parks in 2019, Acadia National Park saw similar visitor counts as last year. As one of the smallest national parks on this list, Acadia also struggles with overcrowding and traffic management issues. So much so, that the park introduced a reservations system in 2020 for the most popular attractions in the park. Hopefully, this results in a better visitor experience for everyone.

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Grand Teton National Park - #8 most visited national park in 2019

8. Grand Teton National Park – 3.4 million visitors

Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming held onto the #8 spot as well this year, with similar visitor counts as last year. People continue to love the Tetons for #parkchasing year-round. Hiking, wildlife viewing, and enjoying the gorgeous sunsets here continue to be among the most popular activities.

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Olympic National Park - #9 most visited national park in 2019

9. Olympic National Park – 3.2 million visitors

Washington’s Olympic National Park saw an increase in visitors in 2019, from 3.1 million up to 3.2 million. Since our 2016 visit, we continue to tell people that when it comes to all-purpose national parks, Olympic tops the list. Oceans, mountains and old-growth forests. Hiking, whales, and wildlife. Waterfalls and gorgeous campgrounds. Olympic has it all!

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Glacier National Park - #10 most visited national park in 2019

10. Glacier National Park – 3.04 million visitors

Last, but certainly not least on this list of Most Visited National Parks in 2019 is Glacier. Montana’s gem and the Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park held onto the #10 spot again this year. Park visitation rose from 2.9 million in 2019 up to 3.04 million this year. In part because Glacier saw fewer wildfires this year than in previous years.

Glacier holds a special place for us. It was the first national park we visited back in 2010 when this #parkchasing adventure began. If you haven’t made a trip yet, we recommend you join this year’s visitor stats with a trip of your own!

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THE PARKCHASERS

THE PARKCHASERS

Greg & Amy
Chasing a visit to all 400+ units in the NPS
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