Despite COVID-19 restrictions and closings in 2020, more than 237 million people visited America’s National Parks last year. According to USA Today, that’s a 28% drop from 2019 when 327.5 million visited the parks. However, it’s a still a good number of visitors given that more than 60% of America’s 423 park sites were closed for two months or more due to the pandemic.
So, which parks did most people visit? For the 77th consecutive year, Great Smoky Mountains National Park along the Tennessee-North Carolina border was, by far, the most-visited park. About 12.1 million people visited the park last year, a relatively small decrease from 12.5 million the previous year.
There were several changes to this year’s Top Ten, with the most dramatic being the Grand Canyon dropping from two in 2019 to six this year. Yellowstone National Park did the opposite, jumping from six in 2019 to two this year. Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio and Joshua Tree National Park in California landed in the Top Ten for the very first time.
Top Ten Most Visited National Parks in 2020
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park (12.1 million visitors)
2. Yellowstone National Park (3.8 million)
3. Zion National Park, Utah (3.6 million)
4. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado (3.3 million)
5. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (3.3 million)
6. Grand Canyon National Park (2.9 million)
7. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio (2.8 million)
8. Acadia National Park, Maine (2.7 million)
9. Olympic National Park, Washington State (2.5 million)
10. Joshua Tree National Park, California (2.4 million)