Best US national parks, ranked by popularity

National News

Even during the ongoing coronavirus crisis, many of America’s national parks are preparing to welcome summer visitors. 

The iconic Yosemite, for example, will require advanced reservations for day visitors during the peak summer season. The goal is to limit the number of visitors and allow social distancing in the nearly 1,200-square-mile federal preserve. Other national parks, such as Glacier in Montana, also have begun to dole out advance tickets.

Thinking of booking a trip? Here’s an idea of the National Parks in and surrounding the state.

No. 43 on the list, out of 62, is Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota.

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Located just south of the U.S.-Canada border in Minnesota, Voyageurs sits on exposed rock formations that are roughly 3 billion years old. The park’s main entrances are all on the water, and it’s popular with boaters, kayakers and fishers. 

In winter, its large lakes freeze over, and you can ski or snowshoe over them. The park also offers excellent views of the Northern Lights.

Voyageurs had 263,091 visitors in 2020.

Coming in at No. 32 is South Dakota’s Wind Cave National Park.

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This South Dakota park features the densest cave system in the world, one of the longest individual caves in the world, and the last remaining natural grass prairie in North America. 

In 2019, Wind Cave got an unexpected media hit: It came up during a Democratic presidential debate spat between former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who ridiculed Buttigieg’s hosting a fundraiser in a wine cave, saying “I have never even been to a wine cave. I’ve been to the Wind Cave in South Dakota, which I suggest you go to.”

The park had 448,405 visitors in 2020.

At No. 27 is Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.

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The only such park named after one person, Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota pays tribute to the man who did more to protect America’s sprawling natural beauty than any other political figure. The park is popular among locals and tourists for its long hikes, scenic drives, foot and horse trails and abundant wildlife. 

In 2020, TRNP had 551,303 visitors.

At No. 13 sits Montana’s Glacier National Park.

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Montana’s Glacier National Park runs right up to the Canadian border and usually draws millions of tourists from both countries. 

But since some of the park sits on land that belongs to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, park officials must work with tribe members to protect it.

In 2020, visits dropped by roughly half, but still saw 1,698,864 visitors.

Click here to view the full ranking of every national park in the United States, determined by the number of 2020 visitors.

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