Day Trippers Fueled '12 Natl. Park Visit Hike
Despite a sour economy and expensive gasoline, nearly 283 million visitors traveled to the National Park System in 2012, an increase of nearly 4 million from 2011 and the highest level of visitation since 2009, National Parks Traveler reported.
Remove 2009 — when visitation reached 285.6 million — from the list and the 282.7 million visitors who headed to parks last year marked the highest visitation in more than decade; you'd have to go all the way back to 2000, when 285.9 million visitors turned out, to find a higher year in terms of visitation.
The figures went live on the National Park Service's Visitor Use Statistics page after the close of business, East Coast time, on Friday (Feb. 15) and Park Service officials were not immediately available for comment. However, the statistics seem to indicate the overall increase was driven by day trippers.
Click here to read the entire story from National Parks Traveler.