National Park Service Certifies 2015 Visitation at 307 Million

President Theodore Roosevelt was reelected in 1904, the same year rangers started counting national park visitors. There were more than 120,000 visits to America’s 11 national parks in the first year of counting. This week, the National Park Service (NPS) certified 2015 national park visitation at more than 307 million. It also released its popular Top 10 list of the most visited national park sites.

“The popularity of national parks is well known, but last year’s numbers really are extraordinary,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “As the National Park Service celebrates its 100th year, we’re preparing to welcome more visitors than ever including a new generation of park supporters and advocates who are discovering their own national park adventures.”

Today’s figures were an increase from the unofficial visitation total of 305 million reported by the NPS in January. The difference is attributed to the recently-completed NPS visitation audit.

2015 visitation highlights include:

307,247,252 recreation visits, a 4.9 percent increase over 2014 and the previous record of 292.8 million recreation visits.
371 of the 410 parks in the National Park System report visitation.
57 of the 371 reporting parks set a new record for annual recreation visits. Eleven parks had more than 5 million recreation visits in 2015.

Notable park milestones in 2015

Joshua Tree National Park surpassed 2 million annual recreation visits for the first time.
Rocky Mountain National Park surpassed 4 million annual recreation visits for the first time.
Yellowstone National Park surpassed 4 million annual recreation visits for the first time.
Grand Canyon National Park surpassed 5 million annual recreation visits for the first time.
Glacier National Park surpassed 100 million total recreation visits (1910 to 2015)

Top 10 Visitation

All Units of the National Park System

Blue Ridge Parkway – 15,054,603
Golden Gate National Recreation Area – 14,888,537
Great Smoky Mountains National Park – 10,712,674
Lincoln Memorial – 7,941,771
Lake Mead National Recreation Area – 7,298,465
George Washington Memorial Parkway – 7,286,463
Gateway National Recreation Area – 6,392,565
Natchez Trace Parkway – 5,785,812
Vietnam Veterans Memorial – 5,597,077
Grand Canyon National Park – 5,520,736

National Parks

Great Smoky Mountains National Park – 10,712,674
Grand Canyon National Park – 5,520,736
Rocky Mountain National Park – 4,155,916
Yosemite National Park – 4,150,217
Yellowstone National Park – 4,097,710
Zion National Park – 3,648,846
Olympic National Park – 3,263,761
Grand Teton National Park – 3,149,921
Acadia National Park – 2,811,184
Glacier National Park – 2,366,056

 

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