parks continue to be popular destinations, with recreational visits in 2019
exceeding 300 million for the fifth consecutive year.
The 327.5 million
total is the third highest since record keeping began in 1904.
“The numbers once
again affirm that Americans and visitors from around the world love the
natural, cultural and historic experience provided by our nation’s national
parks,” Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt said.
“The 419 parks in
the national park system provide a vast array of opportunities for
recreation and inspiration for visitors of all ages,” National Park Service
Deputy Director David Vela noted. “With at least one located in every state,
national parks offer nearby history, culture, and adventure.”
Highlights from the
2019 visitation report:
2019 surpassed 2018 by more than 9 million recreation visits, a 2.9 percent
visitor hours have remained above 1.4 billion over the past four years.
--In the past five
years there have been nearly two billion recreation visits to national
parks set a new recreation visitation record in 2019.
broke a record they set in 2018.
records were broken in 2019: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park,
with 432,818 recreation visits, broke a record set in 1976; and Capulin
Volcano National Monument broke a 1968 record with 81,617 recreation visits.
National Recreation Area remained the most-visited site in the National Park
System ahead of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
--The third through
seventh most-visited sites in 2019--Great Smoky Mountains National Park,
Gateway National Recreation Area, the Lincoln Memorial, Lake Mead National
Recreation Area, and the George Washington Memorial Parkway--retained their
--Visitation to the
Natchez Trace Parkway finished just ahead of visitation to Grand Canyon
National Park for the eighth most-visited site.
National Seashore was number 10.
Mountains National Park (12.5 million) and Grand Canyon National Park (5.97
million) continue to hold the first and second most-visited national parks
in the United States.
National Park held on to third place and set a new visitation record at 4.67
Park stayed in fourth place with 4.49 million visits in 2019.
Park recovered from a drop in 2018 visitation attributed to wildland fires
and moved past Yellowstone National Park for fifth place.
spots in the top 15 were Yellowstone, Acadia National Park, Grand Teton
National Park, Olympic National Park, Glacier National Park, Joshua Tree
National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park,
Indiana Dunes National Park, and Gateway Arch National Park.
The Federal Lands
Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) allows the NPS to collect and retain
revenue and requires that fee revenue be used to enhance the visitor
experience. At least 80 percent of the money stays in the park where it is
collected, and the other 20 percent is used to benefit parks that do not