Park visitation down sightly

Nov 14, 2012

Great Smoky Mountains National Park recorded 1,112,474 visitors during October 2012 which is a 1.9  percent decrease over October 2011. The yearly visitation, however, is up 7.3 percent, or 581,244 more visitors, than what was recorded between January and October 2011.

The slight decrease in visitation is most likely a result of a significant snow event associated with Superstorm Sandy which took place in the last few days of the month. The upper elevations of the park received a record amount of snowfall, and shut down Highway 441 for several days due to ice and snow. The news reports of the projected weather conditions might have also detoured some visitors from traveling into the park just prior to the storm event.

Even with the storm and the slight decrease in numbers compared with 2011, October 2012 visitation showed a 4 percent increase over the 10 year average visitation for October.

October 2012

Visitors by Entrance:


Gatlinburg:                   413,368

Townsend:                    142,002

Cherokee:                     250,426

Outlying Areas:             306,677

The park visitation stats can be found by searching for Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the NPS Stats website: