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US NP 2018 visitation down 13M from record 2017 numbers, but still third highest year ever

Volcanics, no solar eclipse, and wildfires no doubt all played a role in the decline of visitation to the National Park System in 2018, when slightly more than 318 million visits were recorded, a drop of 13 million from the year before when a record 330.8 million visited the parks.

After all, much of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park was closed to the public for four months in 2018 while the Kīlauea volcano spewed lava and fractured the surrounding landscape with earthquakes; smoke and flames from the Ferguson wildfire closed the Yosemite Valley for more than two weeks last summer, and; unlike 2017, when huge crowds ventured to Grand Teton, Great Smoky Mountains, and other national park properties to view the solar eclipse, there was no similar astronomical event in 2018.

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