THE BLOG

Alaska led U.S. in Least-visited National Parks in 2014, but Skagway Historic Park Saw a Record

02/18/2015 09:09 am ET | Updated Apr 20, 2015

America's national parks drew tourists in record numbers last summer, according to the U.S. National Park Service, but most of the agency's Alaska units remain starved for attention.

The five least-visited parks in the 49th state attracted fewer than 2,000 visitors total in 2014, according to agency numbers, and three of the parks -- all in the Northwest Arctic -- actually posted goose eggs in the visitor column.

John Quinley, Alaska region spokesman for the Park Service, is sure someone visited Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Kobuk Valley National Park and the Noatak National Preserve. It's just that they didn't get counted, he said.

The count was better in the Southeast Alaska town of Skagway, a well-preserved historical outpost popular with cruise-ship tourists, and it was there the Park Service claimed a record.

Visitation to Skagway's Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park was near 1.1 million in 2014. That marked the first time an Alaska park topped 1 million visitors. It came in a year when Alaska parks set a record for total visitors at just under 2.7 million, Quinley added.