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

Rocky Mountain National Park recorded nearly 4.6 million visitors last year, making it the third most-visited national park in the U.S.

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

The Great Smokey Mountain. /VCG Photo

The Great Smokey Mountain. /VCG Photo

The Grand Canyon National Park. /VCG Photo

The Grand Canyon National Park. /VCG Photo

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, with the aim of unveiling 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 over 84 million U.S. dollars.

(With input from Associated Press)

(Cover Photo: Milner Pass in Rocky Mountain National Park. /VCG Photo)