Out of 59 headliner national parks, Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park ranked as the fourth most popular in the United States, according to CNN.Even though Rocky Mountain National Park had a slower year in 2017, it hasn't stopped it from being included in CNN's "Most Popular National Parks in America" list. In fact, Estes Park's gorgeous national park ranked as the fourth most visited in 2017. Are we really that surprised, though? I mean, have you seen Rocky Mountain National Park?? Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina/Tennessee) came in first with 11,388,893 visitors; Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona) had 6,254,238; and Zion National Park (Utah) had 4,504,812. Rocky Mountain National Park had 4,437,215 visitors last year. You can view the full list of national parks and their rankings HERE.
In 2017, close to 331 million people visited the National Park Service's 417 sites and spent more than 1.4 billion hours in the parks.
"Our National Parks are being loved to death," US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement. "As visitor rates continue at a high level, we must prioritize much-needed deferred maintenance including aging facilities, roads, and other critical infrastructure."Because of such a high volume of visitors, Rocky Mountain National Park has plans to increase the entrance fee from $30 per vehicle to $70 in hopes of using that extra money towards park maintenance, including roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, bathrooms, and other visitor services. This change would have an impact on the 2018 season. Read more about the entrance fee increase. What do you think of Rocky Mountain National Park's rankings in CNN's most popular list? Are you surprised? Or not at all? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.