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Report: National Park in Texas Ranks Among Top 10 in USA

For National Parks Week, Travel Lemming analyzed data to rank all 63 US national parks. Big Bend National Park shines on the list at #7, while Guadalupe National Park falls far behind in the #53 slot.

Denver (April 27, 2023) – In celebration of National Parks week, Travel Lemming released a data-backed ranking of all 63 US national parks. Big Bend National Park in Texas ranks as the 7th best in the USA, while Guadalupe National Park lands in the bottom dozen.

Travel Lemming’s national parks ranking is based on an analysis of data scoring each park across six factors: affordability, accessibility, biodiversity, crowds, reviews, and weather.

The report revealed the following insights regarding the national parks in Texas:

  • Big Bend National Park ranks #7 overall in the country, earning points for affordability, weather, crowds, and biodiversity. Still, Big Bend comes in at #55 on the accessibility scale, with its remoteness noted as being a key feature.

  • Guadalupe Mountains National Park ranks #53 overall, largely driven down the list due to a lack of affordability and accessibility. It fares highest in the weather ranking, coming in at #14 among all the national parks with average temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit for 9 months of the year.

  • Several lesser-known parks rank in the top 20, challenging conventional ideas of the top US national parks.

  • Shenandoah National Park tops the list at 1st overall, with exceptional scores in affordability, accessibility, and biodiversity.

The top 10 US national parks in the USA according the report are:


National Park Name



Shenandoah National Park



North Cascades National Park



Biscayne National Park


4 (tie)

Kings Canyon National Park


4 (tie)

Sequoia National Park



Everglades National Park



Big Bend National Park



Mammoth Cave National Park



Death Valley National Park



Channel Islands National Park


The most famous national parks fared surprisingly poorly in the data, largely due to the crowds and affordability factors. Grand Canyon National Park was ranked #15, Yellowstone National Park at position #23, and Yosemite National Park at slot #34.

Travel Lemming Senior Travel Writer McKenna Mobley commented: “I have traveled the world, and can confidently say that the USA national parks are unparalleled, making them one of my all-time favorite travel destinations. Every US national park offers its own special flair, so in some sense ranking them is like ranking music genres — they’re all good!”

“However, I hope this report highlights the fact that some of America’s less famous parks offer far more than what meets the eye. Sometimes the best experiences can be found at hidden park gems that are off the lemming path.”


National Parks were ranked on six factors, based on the following data:

  • Crowds – Number of visits per acre of park land in 2022. (Sources: NPS 2022 Recreation Visit Data, Wikipedia Acreage Data)

  • Reviews – Average visitor review score out of 5. (Sources: Google Maps, Yelp, TripAdvisor)

  • Weather – Number of months with a comfortable average temperature, defined as between 50 and 90 degrees fahrenheit. (Source: NOAA NECI US Climate Normals)

  • Affordability – Average nightly cost of a nearby quality hotel room during the first weekend of the park’s most popular month. (Sources: Booking, Google Travel, Hotel Websites)

  • Accessibility – Average of driving distance to the park from the closest FAA Primary Airport and from the closest hub airport. (Sources: FAA, Google Maps Driving Distance, Wikipedia Major US Airports)

  • Biodiversity – Number of species deemed “present or probably present.” (Source: NPS Species List)

Overall rankings were determined by each park’s average ranking across all factors. Further details are available in the report’s methodology section.

About Travel Lemming

Travel Lemming is an online travel guide with more than 10 million annual readers. It is known for highlighting emerging and lesser-known destinations, and for the authentic guides produced by its team of dozens of local and expert travel creators.

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