GSMNP (press release)—Great Smoky Mountains National Park welcomed over ten million visitors in 2014, just the fourth time in 80 years and the first time since 2000. In 2014, 10,099,275 visitors enjoyed the national park, an 8% increase over 2013. The numbers were spurred by strong July and August visitation as well as the highest October visitation in 27 years.
Increased visitation also led to increased camping in the park. Front country camping at one of the park’s developed campgrounds increased to 287,164, up 13.7% over 2013. In addition, back country camping also increased significantly with over 86,153 visitors (11.3% more than 2013) spending a night at one of the park’s back country campsites or shelters.
“We are honored to welcome so many people to the Smokies to enjoy America’s most visited national park,” said Acting Superintendent Clay Jordan. “As we prepare to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, we look forward to continuing to protect the resources of this special place and provide opportunities for discovery as people experience the park along a trail, river, or scenic roadway.”
Visitation was up nearly every month in 2014. Great Smoky Mountains National Park has welcomed over ten million people in one year four times: 1987, 1999, 2000, and 2014. The highest annual visitation on record was set in 1999 when 10,283,598 people visited the national park.