Which parks are the most crowded?

August 07, 2019

Which national parks are the most crowded? Some parks certainly seem more crowded than others, especially at the beginning of August. For example Zion National Park feels much more crowded than Grand Teton National Park although both are in the top 10 of number of visits per year. Is there a way to quantify this anecdotal feeling?

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Which parks are the most popular?

July 10, 2019

Which parks are the most popular? The post, How many people visit the national parks? lists the national parks in order of number of visits in 2018, but let’s also take a look at this data per capita and over time. Are certain parks getting more popular and others declining? After visiting 30 national parks over this past year, anecdotally I could name the most popular based on the crowds that we experienced, but better to let the numbers do the talking.

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Have park visits been going up over time?

June 26, 2019

In the last post, we looked at the number of visits to the national parks in 2018. Those numbers are interesting, but how do they compare to historical data? Have park visits been going up or down over time?

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How many people visit the national parks?

June 12, 2019

Using the data made available by the NPS, we can’t determine how many unique visitors the parks get each year, but the NPS does track the number of visits to each park. The number of visits and how that number changes over time can give us an idea of how crowded a park is and the human impact that a park needs to prepare for.

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How big are the national parks?

May 29, 2019

For the next few posts I will concentrate on the 61 units with the designation “national park.” These are the crown jewels of the system and certainly get the most press — check out Ken Burns’ documentary “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” watched by over 30 million people in its first run on PBS in 2009.

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What is the National Park Service?

May 15, 2019

“The primary duty of the National Park Service is to protect the national parks and national monuments under its jurisdiction and keep them as nearly in their natural state as this can be done in view of the fact that access to them must be provided in order that they may be used and enjoyed. All other activities of the bureau must be secondary (but not incidental) to this fundamental function relating to care and protection of all areas subject to its control.” — Stephen Mather, 1925

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What are the national parks?

May 01, 2019

“National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.” – Wallace Stegner, 1983

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