In a year that was largely devoid of worldwide travel, we paid extra fist to America's national parks in 2020. Despite closures and restrictions throughout the year, the 63 recognized sites to be a refuge because that those in need of a socially distanced retreat. The national parks received 237 million visitors in 2020, i beg your pardon is a 28 percent decrease native the previous year, according to the national Park Service, yet 15 parks actually experienced a record variety of tourists, and five of those parks broke the visitation records they collection in 2019. “This previous year has reminded united state how crucial national parks and also public lands space to as whole wellbeing,” claimed NPS deputy manager Shawn Benge in a push release. “Throughout the country, national parks provided close-to-home methods for civilization to spend much needed time the end for your physical and psychological health.”

The NPS's main top 10 perform for 2020—a ranking the the most visited national parks in a offered year—looks pretty familiar to vault years, many notably due to the fact that the optimal spot has remained the same since 1944. But the list had actually a couple of surprises entries and also omissions, proving the this previous year was hardly predictable. Inspect out the whole list below, and start planning those 2021 road trips ASAP.

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This collection was initially published in march 2019. It has been to update with brand-new information.


2020 visitors: 2.4 million

Spoiler for the remainder of this list: Yosemite didn't do the cut this year. However rest assured the California still showed up on critical year's most-visited list, this time through the ever-beautiful Joshua Tree nationwide Park. Renowned for its hiking trails and stargazing opportunities, we mean this nationwide park to keep breaking records in years to come.


2020 visitors: 2.5 million

Olympic national Park hasn't checked out numbers this low since 1983, which only proves how well-known the park has become in the past years (2020 aside). That has whatever that renders the Pacific Northwest together a beautiful region of the country, native rocky beaches to temperate rain forests.


2020 visitors: 2.7 million

Despite see the lowest visitor numbers because 2014, Acadia nationwide Park remains one of the country's most renowned parks. We could go on and also on around the photogenic lighthouses and weathered pine tree trees, yet let's it is in honest—those sunrises atop Cadillac hill are the real attract here.


2020 visitors: 2.8 million

Something the a surprise entry this year, Cuyahoga Valley national Park reached a an individual best in regards to visitors in 2020. The park is a well-known day-trip from Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, and Pittsburgh, therefore we're guessing a lot of human being used it come cure their cabin fever—and peep those beautiful waterfalls, the course.


2020 visitors: 2.9 million

Grand Canyon nationwide Park dropped indigenous the second-most visited national park—a position it held for 30 years—to the sixth most-visited in 2020. The still remains among the most well-known tourist destinations in the country, v dramatic sunsets, ample long walking trails, and views you'll never ever forget.

2020 visitors: 3.3 million

Rising favor a mirage over the levels of Wyoming, cool Teton national Park proceeds to tempt outdoor and also wildlife enthusiasts; in fact, the park saw much more backcountry campers in 2020 than in any type of other year in history. That helps that there are tasks for every season, indigenous rafting in summer to skiing in the winter.

2020 visitors: 3.3 million

What's not to love around Rocky mountain National Park? The site controlled to remain in the height 10 in 2020, despite a finish closure in April and reduced number in March and May, proving that pretty much nothing have the right to keep us away indigenous those world-famous hill views.

2020 visitors: 3.6 million

One of Utah's “Mighty Five” national parks, Zion is one evergreen favorite among park goers. The vast array of hiking trails and also bike courses make this an ideal spot to spend some alone time (as lengthy as you have the right to dodge the various other tourists), therefore we totally get the appeal.

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2020 visitors: 3.8 million

Yellowstone national Park moved from the sixth most-visited nationwide park in 2019 to second most-visited in 2020—a position it has actually not held since 1947. Chalk it as much as the park's otherworldly heat features and also ample wildlife the town hall opportunities, which deserve to be took pleasure in in both warm and cold months. 

2020 visitors: 12.1 million

That's right, folks—the good Smoky mountains National Park nabbed the peak spot again this year, a feat it has achieved every year because 1944. The 800-square-mile park is well-known for its loss foliage and also magical firefly seasons, and is a specifically convenient location to social distance as much of the park deserve to be explored from the comfort of your very own car. 

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