It’s no secret millions of people enjoy the Smokies each year – as the park is the most-visited national park in the country offering hundreds of miles of trails and is world-renowned for its biodiversity.
Travel Lens, which launched in 2019 a travel blog that has grown with millions of followers, states in its “The Best National Parks” study that they looked at the number of recreational visitors (in 2021), the entrance fee, the distance to the closest city, and the percentage of reviews that mention the word, “beautiful” in order to collect its list of best national parks in the U.S.
The Travel Lens study says GSMNP scored 8.45 out of 10 based on those factors, adding that the park also had the second-highest percentage of reviews that mention the word, “beautiful.” This study has been shared prior to the Smokies’ “Park It Forward” program launch in March, in which park visitors will pay for and be required to display parking tags. The daily parking tag fee is included in the list.
Travel Lens’ top 10 U.S. national parks listed in the study have been ranked as:
|Rank||Name||Location||Recreation visitors||Entrance Fee||Distance to Closest City (miles)||“Beautiful” Reviews||Overall Score /10|
|1||Great Smoky Mountains||North Carolina, Tennessee||14,161,548||$5||7.6||54.73%||8.45|
|8||New River Gorge||West Virginia||1,682,720||$0||*||48.15%||7.01|