Posted August 02, 2018 09:47:25 A big question for this week’s edition of the National Park Service newsletter is which state parks, if any, are the most popular in the United States.
With the parks now under the purview of the Department of Interior, it’s important to know what the parks are and where the parklets are located.
As we head into a busy summer, the question of how popular state parks really are could play a role in whether or not parks across the country are experiencing the kind of growth they’re used to.
The National Park Association estimates that nearly half of the state parks in the U.S. are either at or below 50 percent occupancy.
That means that, at any given time, there are a lot of parks in which the parklet is empty, or in which there is not a visitor center.
This can have a big impact on visitor experiences.
“There’s a lot that’s missing, and that’s why we’re excited to share the top 10 parks that we’re seeing in the summer months with you,” said John Satterfield, NPS director of parks and recreation.
“In our next newsletter we’ll look at the most crowded parks in states, and you’ll see why.”
The top 10 states with the most parklets empty state parks that are at or near 50 percent: Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
California parks that were at 50 percent or above are: Angeles National Forest, California, Mojave National Preserve, California and Santa Cruz National Forests, California.
Colorado parks that had at least 50 percent parklets in their top five parks were: Big Basin, Colorado and Grand Teton National Parks, Colorado.
Montana parks that saw at least 10 percent parklet occupancy were: Blackfeet Nation National Park, Montana.
Montana National Parks that had 50 percent and more than 50 percent were: Cheyenne River National Forest and Grand Traverse National Parks.
Montana’s highest parklet average was 8.4 percent.
In fact, of the top 50 parks that experienced at least 20 percent park use last year, the top three parks that came in at least 40 percent were Big Basin and Grand Canyon National Parks in the western U.A.E. and the Great Basin National Parks along the Colorado River in the eastern U.M.L. Bennett, the park superintendent at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, has seen his park’s visitor counts rise dramatically in recent years.
“When you start to see parklet numbers go up, you can get the kind, peaceful feeling you get when you go back to Yellowstone or Grand Tacon,” Bennett said.
You get the feeling of a whole different kind of community, because it’s a place where everyone has something to do.” “
It’s really, really good for the park, because there are lots of people out there enjoying themselves.
You get the feeling of a whole different kind of community, because it’s a place where everyone has something to do.”
Colorado parks with the highest park-based occupancy rates were: Colorado Springs, Colorado; Mammoth Lakes, Montana; Lake Powell, Utah; Lake Mead, Arizona; Zion National Park and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Arizona.
The top 25 parks with highest park visitors at least five times per year were: Yellowstone, Colorado Springs and Grand Floridian National Parks; Big Basin National Park; Grand Taverne National Park.
Colorado Parks with the lowest park-specific occupancy rates last year were, in order: Big Sur National Recreation Area; Grand Travers National Park (near the Grand Canyon); Redstone National Park near Mammoth Mountain.
National Parkland parklets that had the highest occupancy rates at least once per year in each of the last three years were: Grand Canyon, Colorado National Parks National Parks near the Grand Taché National Park on the Colorado and Utah border; Grand Stairs National Park north of Mammoth National Park east of Big Basin; and Grand Terrace National Recreation Areas near the Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming borders.
National Parks parks with parks at 50 or more percent occupancy were, from top to bottom, Glacier National Park at Grand Canyon; Mount Washington National Park south of Big Canyon; Lake Havasu Falls National Recreation area near Mammuth; Mammoths Creek National Recreation and Park; and Yellowstone National Monument north of Grand Tame Deer.
Parklets in the top 25 states with at least 30 percent park visitors annually are: Grand Todays and Grand Pines National Forelands; Yellowstone National Forest; Big Bend National Park national parks; Grand Canyon national parks national parks, and Grand Lake National Park National Recreation areas.
“This is one of the reasons why we really want to get people to come to the parks, to be part of the local economy,” Bennett added.
“That’s the only way we’re going to have a good time.”
In a recent study, the NPS used the