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325.5 million visits to national parks in 2023
February 27, 2024, 2:10 p.m.

13 million visits at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo by Jeaneane Payne

GATLINBURG, TN - Last week, the National Park Service stated that 400 national parks reported a total of 325.5 million visits in 2023, an increase of 13 million or 4% over 2022.

At Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 2023 visitation was 3% higher than 2022. With 13.3 million visits, it is the second highest year on record at the park, after 2021. June through October were the busiest months, with over 1 million visits each month. Over the last decade, the park has averaged nearly 12 million visits per year.

“This year’s data shows that Great Smoky Mountains National Park continues to resonate with millions of visitors,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “People come here to build deeper connections with the park, seek adventures, and make new discoveries.”

Visitation figures and trends guide how the National Park Service manages parks to ensure the best experience possible for park visitors. The NPS Visitor Statistics Dashboard provides recreational visit statistics for every park in the US for 2023 and also for previous years, dating back to 1979 for some parks. There are 429 parks in the National Park System, and 400 parks counted visitors in 2023. For the first time, there are now parks reporting their visitation numbers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four US territories. Five national parks began reporting in 2023, and this is the first year a park from Delaware is included.

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