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The Most Popular National Parks in America

America is blessed with great natural beauty, much of it in the form of our national park system.  President Ulysses S. Grant established the first national park, Yellowstone, in 1872.  The National Park Service was founded in August 1916 by Teddy Roosevelt, Stephen Mather, Horace M. Albright, and President Woodrow Wilson.  Today, the NPS manages 417 sites including national parks, monuments, and recreation areas.  According to the NPS, the most popular national parks in 2017 (by numbers of visitors) were:

  1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee.  11.3 million visitors
  2. Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona.  6 million visitors
  3. Yosemite National Park in California.  5 million visitors
  4. Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.  4.5 million visitors
  5. Zion National Park in southern Utah.  4.3 million visitors
  6. Yellowstone National Park in western Wyoming.  4.25 million visitors
  7. Olympic National Park in Washington.  3.4 million visitors
  8. Acadia National Park in Maine.  3.3 million visitors
  9. Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.  3.27 million visitors
  10. Glacier National Park in Montana.  2.95 million visitors

While these were the ten most visited national parks, the entire national park system had just under 331 million visitors in 2017.

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