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Jan 20th
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Home Travel Tips & Guides West Claims Seven 'Most Visited' National Parks in'07

The West

West Claims Seven 'Most Visited' National Parks in'07

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Seven of the 10 most visited National Parks in 2007 were in the West, according to the National Park Service, and those seven parks hosted 22.2 million visitors.

Of the 10 most visited national parks in 2007, Great Smokey Mountains National Park, straddling the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, saw the greatest number of visits at 9.37 million.
Ranking as the second most-visited national park, however, was Grand Canyon National Park, which recorded 4.4 million visitors in 2007.

The next six most visited national parks were all in the West: Yosemite National Park (3.5 million visits), Yellowstone National Park (3.1 million visits), Olympic National Park (2.9 million visits), Rocky Mountain National Park (2.8 million visits), Zion National Park (2.6 million visits), and Grand Teton National Park (2.5 million visits).

Of the 10 most visited units of the National Park System in 2007, three units were in the West. They are Golden Gate National Recreation Area (14.3 million visits) and number two on the list, Lake Mead National Recreation Area (7.6 million visits) and number five on the list, and Grand Canyon National Park (4.4 million visits) and number nine on the list.

The National Park Service said attendance for 2007 for all of its facilities reached 275 million visits, an increase of 3 million visits from the previous year.

"Despite rising gas prices and the lure of electronic entertainment, this is great news," said National Park Service Director Mary A. Bomar. "With all the recreation choices available, national parks still draw more visits than Major League Baseball, the National Football League, professional basketball, soccer and NASCAR combined."

The National Park Service tracks visitation to units of the National Park System - the 391 areas set aside by Congress that include more than 100 national historical parks and historic sites, 74 national monuments, 58 national parks, 28 national memorials, two dozen national battlefields and military parks, as well as national seashores, parkways, recreation areas, and national preserves.

The 58 national parks were the most popular park category in 2007 with 62.3 million visits, and 19 national parks recorded one million or more visits in 2007.