These Were the Most-Visited National Parks in 2022

The number-one national park alone counted almost 13 million visitors last year.

With 63 national parks across its territories, the US definitely has plenty of options when it comes to outdoor activities and exploration. Whether you want to immerse yourself in nature or discover some of the country's most iconic landmarks, our national parks have got your back.

Some of them, though, are usually much busier than others, and if you're looking to be away from everything and everyone for a spell, you might want to stay away from the most frequented ones. This week, the National Park Service released its latest annual visitation data, which will help us (and you) decide where to plan your next hike, whether you're looking for a communal vibe or a more secluded and isolated experience.

With almost 13 million visits last year, the Great Smoky Mountains remain undefeated when it comes to the most visitors of any national park. The park drew in slightly fewer visitors compared to its 2021 numbers, though, when it had 14.1 million recorded visits.

The Grand Canyon came in second thanks to its iconic red landscape, though it came quite a bit short of the Great Smoky Mountains' popularity. In 2022, it racked up nearly 5 million visitors, which is nearly 8 million short of the leading park.

Third on the list was Zion National Park. Located in Utah, it's a great park to visit both in the winter and summer seasons, and it offers a variety of trails to hike with gorgeous views and great terrain. According to the NPS, Zion welcomed 4,692,417 visitors in 2022.

Here's the list of the top 10 most-visited national parks in 2022, according to the NPS:

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park: 12,937,633 visits
2. Grand Canyon National Park: 4,732,101 visits
3. Zion National Park: 4,692,417 visits
4. Rocky Mountain National Park: 4,300,424 visits
5. Acadia National Park: 3,970,260 visits
6. Yosemite National Park: 3,667,550 visits
7. Yellowstone National Park: 3,290,242 visits
8. Joshua Tree National Park: 3,058,294 visits
9. Cuyahoga Valley National Park: 2,913,312 visits
10. Glacier National Park: 2,908,458 visits

As we mentioned earlier, though, you might be looking for less crowded parks to enjoy your own company and that of nature. These are the 10 least-visited national parks according to the numbers:

1. National Park of American Samoa: 1,887 visits
2. Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve: 9,457 visits
3. Kobuk Valley National Park: 16,925 visits
4. Lake Clark National Park & Preserve: 18,187 visits
5. Isle Royale National Park: 25,454 visits
6. North Cascades National Park: 30,154 visits
7. Katmai National Park & Preserve: 33,908 visits
8. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve: 65,236 visits
9. Dry Tortugas National Park: 78,488 visits
10. Great Basin National Park: 142,115 visits

For more information and to take a look at all the data, you can visit this website.

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Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.