10 Most-Visited National Parks in the United States


Documentary maker Ken Burns made a film about the National Parks system in the United States called America’s Best Idea. These beloved refuges are located in every region of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii and on both eastern and western shorelines of the continental United States.

Each of the ten most-visited national parks in the United States share spectacular scenery and abundant natural splendor.

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina

Straddling the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, Great Smoky Mountains National Park drew 9,685,829 visitors in 2012, making it far and away the most-visited national park in the United States. The park was founded in 1940 by then-President Franklin Roosevelt, largely due to the efforts of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who donated $5 million to establish the park. Beautiful any time of year for hikers and outdoor activities, springtime is especially spectacular, with a profusion of colorful wildflowers.