Vacation travelers are loving the Great Smoky Mountains Park more than ever! In May, the park has a record 1 million visitors, the most ever for that month. Between January and June, there has been more than 4.3 million visitors.
All major park entrances have seen increases, especially at the Oconaluftee entrance near Cherokee, North Carolina where visitation has increased 26% this year. More visitors are camping too with 100,000+ people (up 14% over 2014) have camped in one of the park’s nine campgrounds and 55,000 (up 12%) have camped in the park’s backcountry so far this year.
Continued record setting visitation comes on the heels of the park’s busiest year in 14 years. In 2014, 10,099,275 visitors enjoyed the national park, an 8% increase over 2013. The numbers were spurred by strong July and August visitation as well as the highest October visitation in 27 years. So make your plans now for this leaf season! See our Great Smoky Mountains Guide to plan your vacation near Asheville with our top things to do on the North Carolina side of the park.