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Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL

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Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 12, 2016 10:29AM
Poll
Is Yosemite the most popular national park in the world?
Only registered users are allowed to vote for this poll.
12 votes were received.
Yes5
 
42%
No7
 
58%



Yosemite gets over 4 million visitors a year. There are countless books written. There are hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of people who have made online blogs, special maps and hiking guides. Thousands, or perhaps millions, of photos can be found online of Yosemite. There are many active forums.

Is Yosemite the most popular national park in the world?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2016 10:31AM by hotrod4x5.
avatar Re: Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 12, 2016 01:06PM
Quote
hotrod4x5
Yosemite gets over 4 million visitors a year. There are countless books written. There are hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of people who have made online blogs, special maps and hiking guides. Thousands, or perhaps millions, of photos can be found online of Yosemite. There are many active forums.

Is Yosemite the most popular national park in the world?

The most popular national park in the world?

Yosemite is not even the most popular national park in the United States. Both Great Smokey Mountains and Grand Canyon National Parks in the United States are more popular the Yosemite.

Still, that shouldn' diminish the undisputed fact that Yosemite is the BEST National Park in the entire world!
Re: Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 12, 2016 03:54PM
Smokey Mountains is a bit surprising to me. I would have guessed Yellowstone would be ahead in terms of visitation. Maybe it's a bit out of the way? Smokeys probably get most of the east coast folks.

Grand Canyon has the luxury of being close to Vegas. Easy for tours to offer both, kill two birds with one stone. Just a short hop away, though it really is gorgeous. Can see why people would be going, even without the Vegas factor. For the combo of granite domes/slabs and concentration of waterfalls, Yosemite is the most unique.
Re: Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 12, 2016 05:00PM
Quote
Ohnivy-Drak
Smokey Mountains is a bit surprising to me. I would have guessed Yellowstone would be ahead in terms of visitation. Maybe it's a bit out of the way? Smokeys probably get most of the east coast folks.

Grand Canyon has the luxury of being close to Vegas. Easy for tours to offer both, kill two birds with one stone. Just a short hop away, though it really is gorgeous. Can see why people would be going, even without the Vegas factor. For the combo of granite domes/slabs and concentration of waterfalls, Yosemite is the most unique.

Smokey Mountains Natl Park has public roads going through it (much like 120 goes through Yosemite) but unlike Yosemite they don't charge entrance fees. So a lot of people "drive through" just because that's the best way to get from point A to point B.
Re: Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 12, 2016 06:37PM
As much as I love Yosemite, I have to say Denali and Wrangell St Elias are the top 2 for me. Grand Teton would be 3rd (had always wanted to see the tetons since I was young so I might be biased). Yosemite for would be 4th and SEKI 5th. Still I visit Yosemite the most!
Re: Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 12, 2016 08:14PM
Yosemite is home and there is no place like home.

That said, I found the Tetons gorgeous (been there twice) and Glacier fabulous. I loved the Going to the Sun road, and their hoary marmots, much more stylish looking that our fat yellow-bellied ones. ;-) Yellowstone is interesting, but the scenery doesn't do much for me. The animals are fun to see.

I can't wait to go back to Glacier.

Off topic, but I had a chance to visit the Chamonix/Mont Blanc area two summers ago and it was also absolutely amazing. I highly recommend it. We had 3 nights booked in Chamonix and loved it so much extended it to five nights. We were there in July and the wild flowers were amazing, the glaciers stunning. Another place that I'd love to go back too.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2016 08:16PM by recycling1991.
Re: Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 15, 2016 01:13PM
Smokey Mountains Natl Park has public roads going through it (much like 120 goes through Yosemite) but unlike Yosemite they don't charge entrance fees. So a lot of people "drive through" just because that's the best way to get from point A to point B.[/quote]

That's what I was thinking.
Re: Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 15, 2016 08:41PM
It is also not that far from major metropolitan areas.
avatar Re: Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 15, 2016 09:24PM
Quote
Ohnivy-Drak
Smokey Mountains is a bit surprising to me. I would have guessed Yellowstone would be ahead in terms of visitation. Maybe it's a bit out of the way? Smokeys probably get most of the east coast folks.

There's a lot of stuff going on in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. It's pretty easy to combine a trip to Dollywood with a short visit to the park.
Re: Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 12, 2016 04:50PM
I have always said that I have never been to a national park that I haven't like. Each one has something special and unique that you can't find anywhere else. That being said, Yosemite is my favorite and the one that I have been to the most. Next most visited is Zion but it is in a three way tie for second favorite with Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Rocky Mountain and Glacier are tied for third. The next 13 or 14 I have seen I really liked and would (and have in some cases) go again but they don't "call" to me like the 6 I mentioned.
avatar Yellowstone Visitation Tops 4 Million
February 12, 2016 01:21PM
In 2015, there were 4,097,710 “visits” to Yellowstone National Park, up 16.6% from 2014, making it the highest visitation year on record. The number of “visits” is always greater than the actual number of individuals who came to the park because people may enter and leave the park repeatedly during a stay in the area.

42.5% of the total visitation came into Yellowstone through the park’s West Entrance in 2015, which also saw the greatest percentage increase in visits among the park’s five entrance gates, up more than 21.2% from 2014 levels.

The National Park Service’s “Find Your Park” public awareness campaign, marketing and tourism promotions by the states of Montana and Wyoming, and lower gas prices contributed to the record number of visits.

The increase in visitation to Yellowstone this year brought an increase in demands on park staff, facilities and resources. Long lines to enter the park, traffic jams, and the resultant frustration of visitors and staff undoubtedly affected the visitor experience.

“Last year’s visitation tested the capacity of Yellowstone National Park,” said Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk. “We are looking at ways to reprioritize in order to protect resources, to provide additional ranger programs, and to keep facilities clean.”

Congress just provided an increase in funding for national parks in 2016, and that is going to help meet some needs related to increased visitation. Congress is also considering separate Centennial legislation which could provide additional temporary increases and permanent authorities that will encourage philanthropy, volunteerism, and allow us to directly improve services.

“We will be asking park visitors to pack their patience for the upcoming summer season, as we expect more record breaking numbers in 2016, the National Park Service Centennial year,” said Superintendent Wenk.

Detailed park visitation information and additional information on how these statistics are calculated is available online at https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/Reports/Park.
Re: Yellowstone Visitation Tops 4 Million
February 12, 2016 04:11PM
Quote
eeek
In 2015, there were 4,097,710 “visits” to Yellowstone National Park, up 16.6% from 2014, making it the highest visitation year on record. The number of “visits” is always greater than the actual number of individuals who came to the park because people may enter and leave the park repeatedly during a stay in the area.

42.5% of the total visitation came into Yellowstone through the park’s West Entrance in 2015, which also saw the greatest percentage increase in visits among the park’s five entrance gates, up more than 21.2% from 2014 levels.

The National Park Service’s “Find Your Park” public awareness campaign, marketing and tourism promotions by the states of Montana and Wyoming, and lower gas prices contributed to the record number of visits.

The increase in visitation to Yellowstone this year brought an increase in demands on park staff, facilities and resources. Long lines to enter the park, traffic jams, and the resultant frustration of visitors and staff undoubtedly affected the visitor experience.

“Last year’s visitation tested the capacity of Yellowstone National Park,” said Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk. “We are looking at ways to reprioritize in order to protect resources, to provide additional ranger programs, and to keep facilities clean.”

Congress just provided an increase in funding for national parks in 2016, and that is going to help meet some needs related to increased visitation. Congress is also considering separate Centennial legislation which could provide additional temporary increases and permanent authorities that will encourage philanthropy, volunteerism, and allow us to directly improve services.

“We will be asking park visitors to pack their patience for the upcoming summer season, as we expect more record breaking numbers in 2016, the National Park Service Centennial year,” said Superintendent Wenk.

Detailed park visitation information and additional information on how these statistics are calculated is available online at https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/Reports/Park.

According to that site, Yosemite's visitation total was higher than Yellowstone for 2015. Great Smokey is more than double, which is crazy!

BUT... is there as much published "stuff" about Great Smokey?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2016 04:13PM by hotrod4x5.
Re: Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 12, 2016 03:31PM
For me: 1) Yosemite. I can't believe that there is a more beautiful place on Earth!
2) Zion. It has such unique geography/geology from the Main (Zion) Canyon to the Kolob Canyons.
3) Grand Canyon. Each time I go there it's like the first time. It's so big there is always someplace new to explore.smiling smiley



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2016 05:36PM by ERICG.
avatar Re: Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 12, 2016 04:36PM
Quote
ERICG

For me: 1) Yosemite. I can't believe that there is a more beautiful place on Earth!

You cannot believe it because there isn't a more beautiful place on Earth than Yosemite!

Yosemite is the most beautiful and the best!

#Yosemiteisbest

.
Re: Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 16, 2016 01:39PM
Quote
hotrod4x5
Is Yosemite the most popular national park in the world?

Well, not to get all literal-minded but I'd have to say that that depends on how you define "popular." (Sorry but my day-job requires me to be ultra-picky about things like that and some habits are hard to turn off! eye popping smiley). I would think that, as others have interpreted it here, that would be based primarily on a statistical measure of how many people visit the park (although an alternative interpretation would be how many repeat visitors you get). And, since you asked "in the world," I'd think that there must be places in China that have an even higher visitation (based on the country's population size) than Great Smoky.

Now, if the question is "what's your favorite national park in the world?" again, the picky part of me says "I haven't been to every national park in the world (or even in the US) but, based on the 15-20 that I HAVE been to (all in the US), Yosemite is, hands-down, at the top of my list (in fact, one of the reasons I haven't been to more parks is that, when vacation time comes around, our pattern is "go-to-Yosemite, go-somewhere-else, go-to-Yosemite, go-somewhere-else, etc." ). It's hard for me to quantify but, even giving Yosemite some bad marks for the often-excessive crowding (which I've become reasonably adept at avoiding) and rapidly-rising costs of lodging (haven't been able to avoid that, unfortunately), this place still always feels like coming home to me. I literally feel my heart rate slow and my blood pressure drop when I drive through one of the park's entrances. No other park I've visited has the sheer abundance of types of features (remote trails, easy-to-get-to-trails, granite, waterfalls, gorgeous forests, mountains, valleys, history, historical structures both obvious and remote and so on), not to mention the sheer abundance within each of those types. Like many of us on this board, I simply adore this place.

There's no other US NP I've explored as thoroughly as Yosemite (even though I feel like I've barely scratched the surface there) but, based on my visits elsewhere, I'd say my top 5 are probably
  1. Yosemite (see above for reasons)
  2. Zion (definitely need to see more but the several days we spent there a few years ago left me salivating for more)
  3. Rocky Mountain (pretty much the only NP we've been to where, not only do I love every part of the Park we saw (which was mostly the east side...we plan to go back later this year and spend some time on the west side as well), we also fell in love with the town of Estes Park (where we rented a cabin for our stay).
  4. Sequoia (mostly because I'm such a Giant Sequoia junkie and they don't get any better than this place (even though I want my ashes scattered in the Mariposa Grove when that time comes!)
  5. Hmmm...after that, I start qualifying things...
such as
  • I'd probably put Yellowstone (and maybe Grand Teton) up there but the one time I've been there was right after a particularly heavy winter and there were many parts of the park we couldn't really explore. It's definitely on my "need-to-go-back" list but, based on my limited exposure, it didn't match the "OMG, I can't frickin' believe this place!" experience of my first (and pretty much every) visit to Yosemite.
  • Similarly, if I ever get back to do some backpacking in King's Canyon, I'd probably put that way up on the list as well. The good news/bad news about it is that it's SO un-developed that your day-trip options are relatively limited...you really need to spend several days on foot to get a good sense of the place.
  • Bryce is gorgeous and getting down among the hoodoos is endlessly fascinating but it's so small that I can't see frequent return trips.
  • I feel like I should like Grand Canyon more than I do (and I still need to get to the North Rim) but my most recent visit there made crowds in Yosemite on a holiday weekend look sparse. It's also the only place I've ever suffered from dehydration or sunstroke so I'm not anxious to return (unless possibly in the winter)
  • well, you get the idea



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2016 01:39PM by DavidK42.
avatar Re: Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 16, 2016 02:31PM
I think Yellowstone has Yosemite beat when it comes to a diversity of features. Obvious there's the most diverse set of geothermal features anywhere in the world. Then there are canyons, waterfalls, meadows, rivers, and some of the best wildlife viewing anywhere in North America. Yellowstone is also considerably larger, and it has far better road access. However, I wouldn't say it necessarily has the drop-dead gorgeous scenery of Yosemite.

I guess the weird thing about Yellowstone is just sitting around and waiting for geysers to go off. It gets kind of boring until something actually happens.
Re: Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 16, 2016 04:10PM
Quote
y_p_w
I think Yellowstone has Yosemite beat when it comes to a diversity of features. Obvious there's the most diverse set of geothermal features anywhere in the world. Then there are canyons, waterfalls, meadows, rivers, and some of the best wildlife viewing anywhere in North America. Yellowstone is also considerably larger, and it has far better road access. However, I wouldn't say it necessarily has the drop-dead gorgeous scenery of Yosemite.

I guess the weird thing about Yellowstone is just sitting around and waiting for geysers to go off. It gets kind of boring until something actually happens.

I have to agree with Yellowstone beating Yosemite when it comes to diversity of features. After our first two trips there where we spent a lot of time at the thermal features, we now focus on other areas of the park. We do have to see Old Faithful go off a least once and my son insists that it is in his destiny to see Steamboat go off (which is rare) so we have to stop there. Otherwise we spend most of our time in other areas of the park fishing, hiking, taking pictures and watching the wildlife. Our favorite part of the park is Lamar Valley. The scenery in Yosemite and Yellowstone are different so, for me, it is like comparing apples and oranges, they are gorgeous in their own ways.
avatar Re: Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 16, 2016 11:06PM
Quote
parklover
Quote
y_p_w
I think Yellowstone has Yosemite beat when it comes to a diversity of features. Obvious there's the most diverse set of geothermal features anywhere in the world. Then there are canyons, waterfalls, meadows, rivers, and some of the best wildlife viewing anywhere in North America. Yellowstone is also considerably larger, and it has far better road access. However, I wouldn't say it necessarily has the drop-dead gorgeous scenery of Yosemite.

I guess the weird thing about Yellowstone is just sitting around and waiting for geysers to go off. It gets kind of boring until something actually happens.

I have to agree with Yellowstone beating Yosemite when it comes to diversity of features. After our first two trips there where we spent a lot of time at the thermal features, we now focus on other areas of the park. We do have to see Old Faithful go off a least once and my son insists that it is in his destiny to see Steamboat go off (which is rare) so we have to stop there. Otherwise we spend most of our time in other areas of the park fishing, hiking, taking pictures and watching the wildlife. Our favorite part of the park is Lamar Valley. The scenery in Yosemite and Yellowstone are different so, for me, it is like comparing apples and oranges, they are gorgeous in their own ways.

I feel rather lucky because I saw Giant, Grand, and Riverside erupting simultaneously. Giant seems to have gone quiet except for the occasional eruption.

I was hoping to see Excelsior go.

Personally I think the scenery of Yellowstone outside of the thermal areas is typical of the surrounding area. Can be nice to look at, but not particularly distinguishable from other nearby parts of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. With the NPS you're always hoping for something unique and Yosemite certainly is when it comes to scenery.

I'm also thinking of what could have happened with other places. The Lake Tahoe area nearly became a national park. There were several attempts to designate it as such from 1912 to 1918. While there was some development, it was well before what we know it to be now. I'm wondering how popular it could have been as a national park.
avatar Re: Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 17, 2016 12:55PM
Quote
y_p_w
I was hoping to see Excelsior go.

I was too. But it hasn't erupted in a long time and maybe never will again.
Re: Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 16, 2016 04:14PM
You definitely need to go back to Yellowstone and Teton when you can access all parts of the parks. We love all parts of Rocky Mt. NP but our favorite is the Alpine area. We are going to do more on the west side when we go back this summer since this is an area of the part that we don't spend much time in.
Re: Yosemite's popularity, unequaled? POLL
February 18, 2016 11:16AM
When it comes to parks of all types, number of visits and popularity don't necessarily relate to scenic grandeur or interesting features or being world class. There are large numbers of city parks in the world that receive far far more annual visits than any of our national parks. For instance Central Park in New York City. Oh but you say that doesn't count? Well what about Niagara Falls with 22 million annual visits? Obviously parks close to large populations whether city parks, state parks, or national parks will receive large numbers of visitors and large numbers of locals in those cities may vote their park "most popular". However a person in San Francisco is going to vote for Golden Gate Park not Central Park in NYC. Likewise someone living near the Great Smoky Mountains NP is not going to think Yellowstone is "most popular". So the poll is rather meaningless unless more criteria are applied. One way we might set that up is to ask if you could beam out via Scotty's machine in the Enterprise to any park in the world and come back likewise, where would you choose to go. Obviously if you asked New Yorker's what their "favorite park" of choice would be, Central Park would suddenly drop way down on the list. Another way to size the question up would be to ask how many foreign visitors via airline travel visit the various world national parks that are about NATURAL features and scenery. That would better show what the world thinks,



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