Jul 6, 2022 - News

Visitors spend $530 million at Washington's national parks

🏕 National Park visitor spending, 2021
Data: National Park Service; Note: Delaware does not include any National Parks that collect visitor data; Map: Axios Visuals

Washington's national parks draw big crowds and big money.

More than 7.3 million people visited national parks in the Evergreen State last year, spending a total of $530 million, per new data from the National Park Service.

  • That ranks Washington's national parks in the top 15 in annual visitor spending nationally.

The big picture: Washington has 15 national parks and not all are natural wonders like perennial tourist favorites Olympic and Mount Rainier.

  • Other disparate national park offerings here include the Klondike Gold Rush park office inside the Cadillac Hotel in Seattle's historic Pioneer Square neighborhood, and the Manhattan Project facilities at Hanford that produced the plutonium to test and fuel atomic bombs during World War II.

By the numbers: Washington's national park properties generated nearly $730 million in economic activity last year, the highest the figure has been since officials began tracking the data in 2012.

  • National parks in Washington also have created 5,790 jobs.

Zoom out: California’s national parks attracted the most visitor spending last year, at $2.4 billion.

Of note: The National Park Service measures economic output as the total estimated value of the production of goods and services from visitor spending near park lands.

One word of advice: When making a pit stop in any of Washington's more remote national parks, don't be like this tourist. Leave your phone in the car or your pocket.


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