National Park Service: Nearly 7.9 million people visited Lake Mead in 2017

Posted at 12:30 PM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-28 21:43:41-05

With over 7.9 million visitors in 2017, Lake Mead National Recreation Area is the sixth most visited park in the entire National Park Service (NPS), according to a press release from NPS.

The last time Lake Mead had that many visitors was 2003.

Lizette Richardson, the superintendent for Lake Mead, believes that the NPS's Find Your Park campaign helped boost visitor numbers by 10 percent compared to 2016.

RELATED: 13 National, State and Local Parks to Visit Near Las Vegas

“We have done a lot of outreach in our gateway communities to promote the park and all of the public lands in Southern Nevada and Northern Arizona, especially with our nearby military and education partners,” she said.

Richardson added that with more visitors, Lake Mead is seeing "increased needs to prioritize the park's deferred maintenance backlog."

"This year, we have numerous multi-million dollar projects underway to modernize the visitor experience and improve public and employee safety, including a $3.4 million project to rehabilitate the Boulder Beach Campground,” she said.

RELATED: Joshua Tree National Park seeing surge in popularity

Other projects over the next few years will include new exhibits at the visitor center and improvements to Willow Beach Road and the Cottonwood Cove flood control system. There are also multiple ongoing projects to improve communications infrastructure.

The ten most-visited National Park Service sites include the following:

  1. Blue Ridge Parkway – 16,093,765 visitors
  2. Golden Gate National Recreation Area – 14,981,897 visitors
  3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park – 11,388,893 visitors
  4. Gateway National Recreation Area – 9,190,610 visitors
  5. Lincoln Memorial – 7,956,117 visitors
  6. Lake Mead National Recreation Area – 7,882,339 visitors
  7. George Washington Memorial Parkway – 7,562,793 visitors
  8. Natchez Trace Parkway – 6,326,062 visitors
  9. Grand Canyon National Park – 6,254,238 visitors
  10. Vietnam Veterans Memorial – 5,072,589 visitors