The most popular national parks in 2017? This may surprise you

The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee at dusk.
(Mint Images / Getty Images)

National parks received 330,882,751 visitors in 2017, a little less than the record-setting number in 2016, the National Park Service’s centennial year. So where did all those travelers go?

Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee tops the list with more than 11 million visitors, almost twice as many as the second-most-visited park. The numbers were announced last week by the National Park Service.

Yosemite National Park, which was the third most-visited park in 2016, dropped to No. 5 in 2017. And Arizona’s Grand Canyon, in the No. 2 spot, hit a milestone 6-million-plus visitors.


Here are the rest of the most-visited parks last year:

3. Zion National Park in Utah

4. Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado

5. Yosemite National Park in California

6. Yellowstone National Park in Montana and Wyoming

7. Acadia National Park in Maine


8. Olympic National Park in Washington state

9. Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming

10. Glacier National Park in Montana

Most – 385 of 417 parks in the National Park System – count the number of visitors. The system also oversees other federal lands, such as scenic parkways, recreation areas, national memorials, etc.

Here are the 10 most-visited sites in the system.

1. Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and Virginia

2. Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the San Francisco Bay Area


3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee

4. Gateway National Recreation Area in New York and New Jersey

5. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

6. Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada and Arizona

7. George Washington Memorial Parkway in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

8. Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee

9. Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona

10. Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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