National Park rankings

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

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     Now that we know 3.9 million people cranked into Yosemite last year, how does this stack up against the other National Parks? No, we are NOT #1. The busiest National Park is Great Smoky Mountains. They drew 9,463,538 to top them all. Why there? Well, it sits in the middle of easy driving for Easterners who can drop in and out for lunch, jacking up the numbers. So who is #2? Is it Yellowstone or Yosemite? Neither. Try Grand Canyon NP at 4,388,386. Surely we are #3 – Bingo, Gringo! Yosemite’s exact count was 3,901,408; 6 of those trips were me! To round out the top 10 National Parks we had:

Yellowstone NP 3,640,185

Rocky Mountain NP 2,955,821

 Olympic NP 2,844,563

Grand Teton NP 2,669,374

Zion NP 2,665,972

Acadia NP 2,504,208

Cuyahoga Valley NP 2,492,670

     In full disclosure, there were many smaller facilities under the control of the NPS that were sprinkled in between these sites, but I focused my monograph on only named “National Parks.” But let’s all cheer: We’re #3, We’re #3!

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Thanks to the interstate highway system, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything.”  -Charles Kuralt

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com*

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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  1. alison s says:

    Hi, I’d love to see a post about your thoughts/opinion on some of the other longer trails in Yosemite – Clouds Rest, Waterwheel, etc. It might be helpful people who didn’t get permits but want a great hike, and I’d love some other options for our other days in Yosemite (assuming I can still walk after hiking Half Dome!).
    Thanks!

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