Attendance at U.S. National Parks increased in 2022 compared to 2021, but remained somewhat below pre-pandemic levels.
The U.S. National Park Service said visitation increased 4.6% in 2022 compared to the year before. Over 311 million visitors made it to U.S. National Parks in 2022, but that figure remains below the 2019 number of 327 million visitors.
But the U.S. National Park Service said its figures show efforts are working to bolster attendance at its lesser-known parks.
“People continue to seek a variety of national park travel experiences – to learn about American history and culture, get active, and enjoy breathtaking scenic views,” National Park Service director Chuck Sams said. “We’re excited to see our efforts to increase visitation to parks in the off-season and in parks that are less well-known paying off.”
As part of its data release this week, the National Park Service released attendance figures for all its locations.
1. Blue Ridge Parkway - 15,711,004
2. Golden Gate National Recreation Area - 15,638,911
3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 12,937,633
4. Gateway National Recreation Area - 8,728,291
5. Lincoln Memorial - 7,825,397
6. George Washington Memorial Parkway - 7,397,120
7. Natchez Trace Parkway - 6,543,533
8. Gulf Islands National Seashore - 5,685,155
9. Lake Mead National Resource Area - 5,578,226
10. Vietnam Memorial Memorial - 4,886,254
In case you’re curious, the least attended attraction was the Rainbow Bridge National Monument with just 81 reported recreational visitors. The U.S. National Park Service said water levels on Lake Powell make it challenging to reach.