325.5 million visits to national parks in 2023, 13 million visits at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Clingmans Dome Observation Tower. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

GATLINBURG, Tenn. —Last week, the National Park Service announced that 400 national parks reported a total of 325.5 million visits in 2023, an increase of 13 million or 4% over 2022.

At Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 2023 visitation was 3% higher than 2022. With 13.3 million visits, it is the second highest year on record at the park, after 2021. June through October were the busiest months, with over 1 million visits each month. Over the last decade, the park has averaged nearly 12 million visits per year.

“This year’s data shows that Great Smoky Mountains National Park continues to resonate with millions of visitors,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “People come here to build deeper connections with the park, seek adventures, and make new discoveries.”

Visitation figures and trends guide how the National Park Service manages parks to ensure the best experience possible for park visitors. The NPS Visitor Statistics Dashboard provides recreational visit statistics for every park in the US for 2023 and also for previous years, dating back to 1979 for some parks. There are 429 parks in the National Park System, and 400 parks counted visitors in 2023. For the first time, there are now parks reporting their visitation numbers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four US territories. Five national parks began reporting in 2023, and this is the first year a park from Delaware is included.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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