Montana's two National Parks bring millions of people to the state annually. In recent years, attendance has been up and down and influenced by the pandemic, catastrophic flooding, and park construction. The latest data has been released for park visitations in 2023.

In a press release, the National Park System shared visitor data for 2023 which showed 325.5 million visits. Smithsonian Magazine used park data to find the 10 most popular national parks based on attendance in 2023.

READ MORE: A Look at Montana's National Parks Ranking Over the Years

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Photo by Sean Stratton on Unsplash

The results are similar to prior years. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is often named the most popular national park. In 2023 it had almost 13.3 million visits. But one Montana park didn't show up in the top 10 that has been favored in the past.

Glacier National Park
Photo by Cole Allen on Unsplash

Glacier National Park Visits Were Down 

Glacier National Park had the lowest number of visits since 2020, and not enough visitors to put it in the top 10. 2020 was also the last time Glacier wasn't in the top 10. According to the Visitor Use Statistics Data Explorer, Glacier National Park only had 722,535 visits in 2023.

READ MORE: How to Get 2024 Summer Reservations for Glacier Park

Yellowstone National Park
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Yellowstone National Park's Ranking Goes Up

Since 2017, Yellowstone National Park has consistently been one of the country's top 10 most popular parks. 2020 and 2021 were the years when the park was most popular, ranking #2 and #3. The park dropped to #7 in 2022 in large part because of the historic flooding. But in 2023 the ranking went up to #4 with 4.5 million visits.

The park system says attendance in all parks was up 4% in 2023.

Yellowstone National Park Rebuilds After Historic Flooding

After catastrophic flooding damaged portions of Yellowstone National Park in June of 2022, major reconstruction was necessary to make the park passable again. The following are photos of the improvement projects at Old Gardiner Road and the Northeast Entrance Road. All photos are courtesy of the National Park Service, photographer Jacob W. Frank.

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