Home #WHERETONEXT USA Trending US National Parks Travelers Want To Tour This Year

Trending US National Parks Travelers Want To Tour This Year

As explorers worldwide prepare for walking season, adventure tour operator Explore Worldwide has set out to find the trending USA national parks this year. Their new study reveals which parks across the 51 States have seen the biggest percentage spike in potential visitors, according to Google data.

By comparing Google search data from the last two years, Explore’s latest research has determined the national parks that are seeing the biggest uplift in online searches for park tours. 

From the towering sequoias of California’s Sequoia National Park to the cliff dwellings built by Ancestral Puebloans at Mesa Verde National Park, these trending national parks offer visitors a wide range of unique, breathtaking sights, from wildflower meadows and natural hot springs to crystal white sand dunes and even the Aurora Borealis.

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park – up 97%

On the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountains top the list of trending national parks this year, with a 97% year-on-year increase in online searches for tours here. From scenic drives along the Cades Cove Loop road to hiking through the misty plant vapor that gives the park its name, or admiring the thunderous Laurel Falls, the Great Smokies are one of the most alluring national parks this year – perfect for those who wish to explore the Appalachian region.

2. Mount Rainier National Park – up 95%

Following closely behind first place is Mount Rainier in Washington state, which has surged in popularity 95%. One of 11 trending national parks located in the western region of the USA, this park is home to Mount Rainier’s volcanic peak and offers exciting hiking trails through old-growth forests. But make sure you plan ahead: on busy weekends and summer days, entry to the park can take up to an hour.

3. Voyageurs National Park – up 89%

In northern Minnesota, Voyageurs emerges as a hidden gem, with an 89% increase in search interest propelling it into the top three trending national parks of the year. More than a third of the park’s expanse is water, creating a wonderland of interconnected lakes that makes it the go-to spot for kayakers, canoeists and water lovers aiming for a remote and tranquil escape.

4. North Cascades National Park – up 73%

The Pacific Northwest region of the USA continues to dominate the rankings with Washington’s North Cascades experiencing a 73% surge in ‘tour’ searches this year. Appropriately known as the ‘American Alps’, the park’s jagged peaks and glacier-carved valleys are a backpacker’s dream, with trails such as the Cascade Pass Trail and the Agnes Gorge Trail through the untouched wilderness providing breathtaking views at every turn.

5. Mesa Verde National Park – up 64%

Rounding out the top five trending USA national parks in 2024 is Mesa Verde in Colorado, which is enjoying a 64% increase in visitor interest thanks to well-preserved cliff dwellings that are over 700 years old. For those who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, the park offers a Balcony House sunrise tour to witness the striking daybreak over Mesa Verde, but beware: climbing and crawling are required.

Michael Edwards, Managing Director at Explore, adds: “Our new research on which national parks are seeing a surge in interest shows there is a growing appreciation for the USA’s natural wonders and a desire to reconnect with the great outdoors. Whether it’s hiking, camping, fishing, or wildlife photography, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in these stunning nature playgrounds that continue to captivate adventurers. While each park offers its own unique blend of natural beauty, history and adventure, one thing is certain: the allure of America’s unfiltered natural landscapes continues to grow with time. We hope our study of the top trending USA national parks inspires travelers as they plan their next outdoor adventure and helps create lasting memories amidst the beauty of America’s wilderness.”