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GGNRA Regains Top Spot As Most Visited Site In National Park System

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The Golden Gate National Recreation Area regained the top spot as the most visited site in the National Park System in 2018, officials announced Tuesday.

The recreation area, which includes Crissy Field, Muir Woods and Alcatraz led the system in visitation with 15.2 million visitors, beating the Blue Ridge Parkway and its 14.8 million visitors.

Both sites have traded places for the top spot since 1979.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gateway National Recreational Area and the Lincoln Memorial round out the top five visited sites.

Nationally, the park service reported 318.2 million visits in 2018, the third highest total since recordkeeping began in 1904.

"America's national parks are national treasures that tell the story of our nation and celebrate its beauty, history and culture," Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt said in a statement. "I am pleased that so many Americans and visitors from around the world continue to take advantage of the affordable and accessible recreational opportunities provided by these sites."

Yosemite was the sixth most visited park in the National Park System, with 4.01 million visitors in 2018. Two parks in California, Death Valley and Joshua Tree, beat attendance records last year.

Most Visited - All Parks in the National Park System

  1. Golden Gate National Recreation Area – 15,223,697 visitors 
  2. Blue Ridge Parkway – 14,690,418
  3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park – 11,421,200
  4. Gateway National Recreation Area – 9,243,305
  5. Lincoln Memorial – 7,804,683
  6. Lake Mead National Recreation Area – 7,578,958
  7. George Washington Memorial Parkway – 7,288,623
  8. Grand Canyon National Park – 6,380,495
  9. Natchez Trace Parkway – 6,362,439
  10. Vietnam Veterans Memorial – 4,719,148

Most Visited - National Parks

  1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 11,421,200 visitors
  2. Grand Canyon National Park - 6,380,495
  3. Rocky Mountain National Park - 4,590,493
  4. Zion National Park - 4,320,033
  5. Yellowstone National Park - 4,115,000
  6. Yosemite National Park - 4,009,436
  7. Acadia National Park - 3,537,575
  8. Grand Teton National Park - 3,491,151
  9. Olympic National Park - 3,104,455
  10. Glacier National Park - 2,965,309
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