by Alanna Smith
Content Quality Editor
The National Park Service turns 102 this year, which is certainly worth celebrating. Take advantage of a beautiful spring day, or upcoming Memorial Day Weekend, and visit one of the dozens of parks across the country. Having trouble choosing? Take a look at our list below of the most popular parks, and get inspired!
There are free admission days this year on April 21, September 22, and November 11. Find out more here.
10. Glacier National Park
Known as the "Crown of the Continent," Glacier had over 3 million visitors in 2017. Filled with towering mountains and mirror-like lakes, it is home to Going-to-the-Sun Road, one of the most spectacular drives in the United States.
9. Olympic National Park
This jewel of the Pacific Northwest saw 3.4 million visitors last year, even though there are no roads that cross the park. It contains a unique blend of ecosystems ranging from boulder-strewn beaches to snow-capped mountains.
8. Acadia National Park
Acadia is famous for its rocky shoreline and fantastic camping, which draw in a record 3.5 million visitors last year. Most of the park can be found on Mount Desert Island, a patchwork of parkland, private property, and picturesque seaside villages.
7. Yellowstone National Park
Wyoming, Montana, & Idaho
Want to visit the country's very first national park? Yellowstone welcomes over 4 million visitors each year. It covers 2.2 million acres across three states and is home to two-thirds of the world's geysers.
6. Yosemite National Park
Cascading waterfalls, deep valleys, and giant sequoias are just a handful of the reasons to visit this historic park, which saw about 4.3 million visitors last year! Many visitors love the stunning Yosemite Valley, an eight mile-long canyon bordered by famous peaks like Half Dome and El Capitan.
5. Zion National Park
Distinguished by its steep red cliffs, Zion attracted about 4.4 million visitors last year. Sometimes overshadowed by the Grand Canyon, this park offers fantastic hiking and some of the country's most unique and majestic rock formations.
4. Rocky Mountain National Park
With 150 lakes, 450 miles of streams, and a huge variety of wildlife and ecosystems, it's no surprise that this park is a top destination for tourists—with almost 4.5 million visitors last year—seeking the ultimate Colorado wilderness experience.
3. Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton is located only 10 miles from Yellowstone, but it is a wholly unique park. Of the almost 5 million visitors in 2017, many gravitated towards its fantastic climbing peaks and backcountry campsites.
2. Grand Canyon National Park
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Tennessee & North Carolina
The most-visited national park in the U.S., the Great Smoky Mountains saw around 11.3 million recreational visitors last year, thanks to eclipse viewers. Unlike other parks, admission is always free, which makes it easy to enjoy 850 miles of hiking trails (including a section of the Appalachian trail).