Travel Guides

Busiest National Parks for summer 2021

Busiest National Parks for the Summer of 2021

Summer is always a busy season for National Parks, and 2020 was no different. Okay, it was a little different. That said, even amidst a pandemic and temporary closures, National Parks received 237 million recreational visits throughout the year. 

As a sense of normalcy slowly and safely makes its return in Summer 2021, you can expect National Parks to be as booked and busy as years past  – especially the 10 most-visited parks of 2020.

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park 

Recreational Visits in 2020: 12,095,720 

Since 1944, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has remained the most-visited of the bunch. Once you experience the wildlife and wildflowers this summer,
you’ll know why.

2. Yellowstone National Park 

Recreational Visits in 2020: 3,806,306 

Sixth on the list in 2019, Yellowstone National Park made a big move to second! Every summer, huge crowds flock to the park to
see its world-renowned geysers.

3. Zion National Park 

Recreational Visits in 2020: 3,591,254 

Zion National Park is a fan favorite! If you haven’t hiked Angel’s Landing yet, what are you waiting for? Make sure to pack lots of water – Utah summers are hot!

4. Rocky Mountain National Park 

Recreational Visits in 2020: 3,305,199 

Summer in the Rocky Mountains means flowing rivers, cascading waterfalls, and blooming florals. Not to mention, the weather is absolutely stunning. 

5. Grand Teton National Park 

Recreational Visits in 2020: 3,289,638 

From eight to fifth, Grand Teton made quite the jump in visitations, and you can expect that number to keep growing this year. Perfect for summer activities, you can float along Snake River or go fly fishing!

6. Grand Canyon National Park 

Recreational Visits in 2020: 2,897,098 

Holding second place for 30 years, Grand Canyon National Park moved down the list. But you can expect business to pick back up this year as summer promises nearly 15 hours of sunshine. 

7. Cuyahoga Valley National Park 

Recreational Visits in 2020: 2,755,628 

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the only national park in Ohio, made its way onto the top 10 list in 2020. Home to the “Crooked River” and 33,000 acres of forest and farmland, there’s much beauty and history to explore.

8. Acadia National Park 

Recreational Visits in 2020: 2,669,034 

“The Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast” protects Maine’s rocky coastline. In Acadia National Park, you can spend your day basking in the sun on Mount Desert Island or take a ferry to the remote island of Isla au Haut.

9. Olympic National Park 

Recreational Visits in 2020: 2,499,177 

Olympic National Park spans a vast wilderness. From Hurricane Ridge to the Hoh Rain Forest, there is plenty of wild beauty to venture into.

10. Joshua Tree National Park 

Recreational Visits in 2020: 2,399,542 

Summer is scorching in Joshua Tree, making the season a rather quiet one. Though you may not want to do much adventuring during the heat of day, the park is perfect for a peaceful sunrise or sunset hike.

How to take advantage of the summer boom 

Whether you rent out your rig to other renters or hit the road yourself, here’s how you can make the most of the summer boom.

Rent your rig 

A busy season for National Parks also means a busy season for the RV rental business. As travelers flock to parks across the nation this summer, consider taking advantage of the outdoor boom by renting out your RV.

If you decide to list your RV on Outdoorsy, here are a few tips: 

1. Set a seasonal rate: Some owners may raise their rates during the busy seasons and offer seasonal discounts when there are vacancies. 

2. Offer add-ons: A great way to enhance the renter experience and make some extra money is to offer summer add-ons, from paddle boards and kayaks to grill sets. 

3. Adjust your minimal rental period: During busy seasons, many owners will require travelers to rent for a minimum of three days.

Hit the road 

And if you’re heading to the National Parks yourself, make sure to book your campsite early. Thousand Trails campgrounds and Encore RV Resorts are conveniently located to many of the National Parks on this list. Check out to plan your adventure!

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