|Above, Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
As 2016 was the National Park Service's centennial year, it is not surprising that the number of visitors to the nation's national parks were higher. In fact, some have set new records.
According to CNN:
(CNN)The National Park Service recorded a record-breaking 331 million visits during the National Park Service's centennial year in 2016, a 7.7% increase over 2015, the park service announced Friday, March 10.
"Our National Parks are our national treasures, and it's important to recognize that they are more than just beautiful landscapes," said US Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who made the announcement during a stop at Glacier National Park.
"Growing up near Glacier National Park, I understand the value these places bring to local economies and in preserving our heritage," Zinke said. "As we enter into a second century of service and visitation numbers continue to increase, we will focus on maintenance backlogs and ensuring these special places are preserved for future generations."
It was the park service's third consecutive all-time attendance record, and 77 national park sites set new records for annual recreation visits. (There are 417 sites in the National Park Service, and 382 of those sites count visits.)
More people stayed overnight: Overnight stays in parks were up 2.5% over 2015. That includes all overnight stays on park property, including concession-run lodges and campgrounds; park service-run campgrounds, backcountry camping and more.
Of those people staying overnight, there was a 12.5% increase in RV camping, a 4.8% increase in tent camping and a 6.7% increase in backcountry overnight camping compared with 2015.
|Above, The Beast at Yosemite's North Pines Campground. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
What were the most popular parks in 2016? Go here and find out!