America’s National Park Service has revealed its most-visited sites of 2019 – and it’s the Golden Gate National Recreation Area that comes out on top.
The area, which spans 60 miles of mostly coastal spots north and south of San Francisco, welcomed 15million visitors last year.
It beat the Blue Park Ridgeway in North Carolina and Virginia, which is second with 14.9million visitors, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the North Carolina and Tennessee border, which is third with 12.5million visitors.
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area was the most-visited National Park Service site in 2019. Pictured is Baker Beach, which is part of the area
In fourth place is the Gateway National Recreation Area in New York City and New Jersey, which saw 9.4million visitors, and the fifth most-visited site is the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C, which had 7.8million visitors.
The George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia is sixth with 7.5million visitors and Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada and Arizona is seventh – also with 7.5million.
Also making the top ten is the Natchez Trace Parkway, which stretches through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee (eighth, 6.3million), Grand Canyon National Park (ninth, 5.97million) and Gulf Islands National Seashore in Florida and Mississippi (10th, 5.6million).
The National Park Service also released a separate list of the top 10 most-visited national parks in 2019.
The Blue Park Ridgeway, pictured, which stretched through North Carolina and Virginia is the second most-visited National Park site, welcoming 14.9million visitors in 2019
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee had 12.5million visitors in 2019. It came third overall and was the most visited national park
Topping the list is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park followed by Grand Canyon National Park, both of which also feature in the top 10 most visited National Park Service sites.
In third is the Rocky Mountain National Park in northern Colorado, which welcomed 4.7million visitors last year.
It is followed by Zion National Park in Utah in fourth place with 4.7million visitors and Yosemite National Park in California with 4.4million visitors.
The rest of the top 10 is made up of Yellowstone National Park, (sixth, 4million), Acadia National Park (seventh, 3.4million), Grand Teton National Park (eighth, 3.4million), Olympic National Park (ninth, 3.2million) and Glacier National Park (10th, 3million).
The Grand Canyon National Park was the second most-visited national park in 2019. It received 5.97million visitors
Rocky Mountain National Park in northern Colorado, pictured, which welcomed 4.7million visitors last year
Zion National Park in Utah had 4.7million visitors in 2019. The park is characterised by its pink and red cliffs
In total, there were 327.5 million visits to National Park Service sites across the U.S in 2019 – the third-highest figure since records began in 1904.
U.S Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, said: ‘The numbers once again affirm that Americans and visitors from around the world love the natural, cultural and historic experience provided by our nation’s national parks.’
While David Vela, National Park Service deputy director, added: ‘The 419 parks in the national park system provide a vast array of opportunities for recreation and inspiration for visitors of all ages.
‘With at least one located in every state, national parks offer nearby history, culture and adventure.’
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE VISITOR NUMBERS 2019
Most visited National Park Service sites in 2019
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, 15million visitors
Blue Ridge Parkway, 14.9million
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 12.5million
Gateway National Recreation Area, 9.4million
Lincoln Memorial, 7.8million
George Washington Memorial Parkway, 7.5million
Lake Mead National Recreation Area, 7.5million
Natchez Trace Parkway, 6.3million
Grand Canyon National Park, 5.97million
Gulf Islands National Seashore, 5.6million
Most visited national parks in 2019
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 12.5million visitors
Grand Canyon National Park, 5.97million
Rocky Mountain National Park, 4.7million
Zion National Park, 4.5million
Yosemite National Park, 4.4million
Yellowstone National Park, 4million
Acadia National Park, 3.4million
Grand Teton National Park, 3.4million
Olympic National Park, 3.2million
Glacier National Park, 3million
Source: National Park Service