Entrance fees may be rising but the $5 increase is not going to keep people away. National parks are seeing record numbers in terms of visits. There were 331 million recreation stays in 2016—a third consecutive all-time attendance record for America’s “best idea.”
Half of all national park visits was recorded in 26 parks, but it grew more than 10 percent in parks that see more modest annual visitation. The National Park Services’ centennial last year is one factor that helped drive the huge numbers.
This summer more people are expected to go and explore. To make it easy for people to sightsee paths beyond popular parks and trails, TomTom and the National Park Foundation have curated maps to go “Off the Beaten Path.”
Don’t be discouraged by the numbers. Go ahead and plan an adventurous trip in the wilderness. You can make the most of your visit by avoiding the crowds during the peak summer months. Enjoying solitude and getting in touch with nature, as opposed to annoying tourists, during your vacation is possible.