Arizona Ranks 6th in the Nation for National Park Trips

“Happy people jumping in Grand Canyon. Young multiethnic couple on hiking travel. Grand Canyon, south rim, Arizona, USA.”

new report by Outdoorsy looking at the best U.S. states for visiting national parks. Visiting national parks can be a COVID-safe vacation option, and many parks have remained open during the pandemic. Researchers ranked states based on the number of NPS-managed parks that are partially or fully contained within the state.

They also assessed the annual visits to the NPS parks in each state, a measure of the economic benefit from NPS park tourism, and the name of the most visited park in each state.

In Arizona, 12,463,772 people visit the 22 national parks annually, which generates $2,015,900,000 in revenue for the state per year. Out of all states and the District of Columbia, Arizona is the 6th best for national park trips.

With air travel down, many Americans are hitting the roads during COVID-19. Assuming local regulations allow for it, exploring the outdoors can be a good way to vacation safely during this turbulent time.

Fortunately, many National Park System parks remain open with fewer visitors than during a normal year.

The National Park System is managed by the National Park Service (NPS), which oversees 422 different parks that span over 80 million acres across all 50 states.

While some of the most visited parks are recreational areas, parkways, and national parks, the National Park System is comprised of many different types of parks, including monuments, memorials, battlefields, and historic sites.

In fact, less than one-third of annual visits are visits to the 62 parks with “national park” in their name.

During 2020, there’s been almost a 25 percent decline in visits to the National Park System, which will impact these communities and their economies. However, even with social distancing orders in place, outdoor recreation and visiting these areas can be a COVID-safe activity.

To find the states that offer the best access to the National Park System, researchers at Outdoorsy looked at data from the National Park Service’s National Park Service Visitor Use Statistics. They ranked states based on the number of NPS-managed parks that are partially or fully contained within the state.

They also included the annual visits to the NPS parks in each state, a measure of the economic benefit from NPS park tourism, and the name of the most visited park in each state.

The analysis found that in Arizona, 12,463,772 people visit the 22 national parks annually, which generates $2,015,900,000 in revenue for the state per year. Out of all states and the District of Columbia, Arizona is the 6th best for national park trips. Here is a summary of the data for Arizona:

  • Number of NPS (National Park Systems) parks*: 22
  • Annual visitors to NPS parks: 12,463,772
  • Economic benefit from NPS park tourism: $2,015,900,000
  • Most visited NPS park (& visits): Grand Canyon NP (5,974,411)
Total
9
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