Rocky Mountain National Park was third most-visited park in U.S. in 2018

Rocky Mountain National Park's Dream Lake recovering from a long Colorado winter. (Getty Images)

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Rocky Mountain National Park recorded nearly 4.6 million visitors last year, making it the third most-visited national park.

The Fort Collins Coloradoan reports the Colorado park ranked below Great Smoky Mountains National Park with 11.4 million visitors and Grand Canyon National Park with 6.4 million.

According to the National Park Service, the number of visitors to the Colorado park has increased 42 percent since 2012.

Park officials are drafting a plan to address the high visitation numbers, aiming to unveil the proposal later this year.

The visitor increase has taken a toll on the park’s natural resources and infrastructure, also leading to parking and transportation issues.

The park’s deferred maintenance backlog has reached more $84 million.

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