Hot Springs National Park Welcomed More Than 1.5 Million Visitors in 2018

Hot Springs, Arkansas – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that approximately 1.5 million people visited Hot Springs National Park in 2018.

“As we prepare to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our designation as a national park in 2021, we are delighted to share the park’s stories and recreational experiences with visitors from across the country and around the world,” said park superintendent Laura Miller.

This past summer, Hot Springs National Park staff contracted with the RSG Group to complete a visitation study to determine the overall effectiveness of the park’s methods for counting visitors. The previous study was completed in 1987 when the only buildings open on Bathhouse Row were the Buckstaff Baths and the Visitor Center in the Fordyce Bathhouse. Miller added, “We are excited to see increasing visitation with all the new Bathhouse renovations at the Quapaw Baths, Superior Bathhouse Brewery, and soon, the Hotel Hale, along with other new developments downtown. Visitors and residents alike now have much more to see and do.”

Across the country visitation to America’s national parks in 2018 exceeded 300 million recreation visits for the fourth consecutive year. The 318.2 million recreation visits total is the third highest since record keeping began in 1904.

The 418 national parks throughout the country provide a vast array of opportunities for recreation and inspiration for visitors of all ages. With at least one located in every state, national parks are easily accessible and affordable destinations. In the past five years there have been about 1.6 billion recreational visits to national parks.

By The Numbers around the National Park System

  • 318,211,833 recreation visits (385 of 418 parks report visitation figures)
  • 1,401,420,191 recreation visitor hours
  • 13,950,759 overnight stays
  • 28 parks set a new record for visitation (about 7% of reporting parks)
  • 17 parks broke a record they set in 2017
  • 3 parks had over 10 million recreation visits – Blue Ridge Parkway, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • 9 parks had over 5 million recreation visits
  • 77 parks had over 1 million recreation visits (about 20% of reporting parks)

Top 10 - All Parks in the National Park System                   
Golden Gate National Recreation Area – 15,223,697                                   
Blue Ridge Parkway – 14,690,418                            
Great Smoky Mountains National Park – 11,421,200                       
Gateway National Recreation Area – 9,243,305                               
Lincoln Memorial – 7,804,683                                              
Lake Mead National Recreation Area – 7,578,958                           
George Washington Memorial Parkway – 7,288,623           
Grand Canyon National Park – 6,380,495                             
Natchez Trace Parkway – 6,362,439                                     
Vietnam Veterans Memorial – 4,719,148                 

Top 10 - National Parks
Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 11,421,200
Grand Canyon National Park - 6,380,495
Rocky Mountain National Park - 4,590,493
Zion National Park - 4,320,033
Yellowstone National Park - 4,115,000
Yosemite National Park - 4,009,436
Acadia National Park - 3,537,575
Grand Teton National Park - 3,491,151
Olympic National Park - 3,104,455
Glacier National Park - 2,965,309

For an in-depth look at 2018 visitation, including individual park figures, please visit the NPS Social Science web site.


To learn more about national parks in Arkansas and how the National Park Service works with Arkansas communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to 

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for the 418 parks in the National Park System and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

Submitted by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201, 501-682-7606
E-mail: [email protected]

May be used without permission. Credit line is appreciated:
"Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism"