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Top Ten National Parks of 2017
The Most Visited National Parks From Around the Country


Of the 59 "headliner" national parks in America, the Great Smoky Mountains was the most visited with over 11 million visits. This is almost twice the amount of visits over the second most visited national park, Grand Canyon National Park.

According to numbers from the National Park Service, nearly 331 million people visited the National Park Service's 417 sites. This number is a slight decline from the record-breaking year of 2016, which clocked in over 331 million visitors.

Even though attendance was relatively the same between the two years, people actually spent more time in the national parks in 2017. Time spent in national parks around the country amounted to 1.4 billion hours in 2017, an increase of 19 million hours over 2016.

"As visitor rates continue at a high level, we must prioritize much-needed deferred maintenance including aging facilities, roads and other critical infrastructure. President Trump's proposal to establish a Public Lands Infrastructure Fund is a step in the right direction" said U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Top Ten National Parks by Visits in 2017 - data from the National Park Service
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (N.C./Tenn.): 11,388,893 visits
2. Grand Canyon National Park (Ariz.): 6,254,238 visits
3. Zion National Park (Utah): 4,504,812 visits
4. Rocky Mountain National Park (Colo.): 4,437,215 visits
5. Yosemite National Park (Calif.): 4,336,890 visits
6. Yellowstone National Park (Idaho/Mont./Wyo.): 4,116,524 visits
7. Acadia National Park (Maine): 3,509,271 visits
8. Olympic National Park (Wash): 3,401,996 visits
9. Grand Teton National Park (Wyo.): 3,317,000 visits
10. Glacier National Park (Mont.): 3,305,512 visits

Trump on National Parks
On December 4, 2017, President Trump signed two presidential proclamations aimed at reducing the size of two National Park Service's monuments located in Utah. A number of Native American tribe filled a lawsuit against the president and several administration officials. Their lawsuit claimed that Trump's decision was in violation of the Antiquities Act of 1906.

During the entirety of 2017, President Trump did not create any new national monuments. In contrast, President Obama established a total of 34 national monuments during his eight years in office.

President Trump has ordered a review of at least 27 national monuments that have been designated since the beginning of 1996. The Wilderness Society believes this sweeping action that is intended to shrink boundaries and reduce protections, and will target monuments that are 100,000 acres or larger.

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August 21, 2019, 1:35 am PDT

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