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Top 10 US National Park Markets for Airbnb Vacation Rentals

Top 10 US National Park Markets for Airbnb Vacation Rentals

One of the largest countries in the world by landmass, the US contains a diverse range of spectacular landscapes, ranging from vast deserts to snow-capped mountains, spectacular canyons to haunting forests, roaring rivers and waterfalls, mammoth springs, gorgeous meadows, sandstone cliffs … And this stunning array of sceneries are best reflected in America’s 63 national parks whose incredible beauty and awe-inspiring vistas draw visitors from across the US and the world, year after year.

While the pandemic years of 2020-21 saw overall visitor numbers across the national park system drop to below pre-pandemic levels, some of the best-known national parks experienced record visitation numbers. So much so that the National Park Service, which administers all national parks in the United States, has had to impose new systems to control crowds in some parks. For example, Utah’s Arches National Park rolled out a timed entry program with reservations to be made 3 months in advance.

A Brief History of the US National Park Service

The National Park Service (NPS) is a federal agency within the US Department of the Interior.

In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln responded to pressure from activists by creating the Yosemite Grant Act to protect land in the Yosemite Valley while in 1872 Congress established Yellowstone as the country's first national park via the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act. The Act also set aside public land in the future states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, breaking away from the established policy of transferring public lands in the West to private ownership. More national parks followed including Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park.

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act imbuing presidents with the authority to create national monuments on public land to preserve areas of natural or historic interest. While intended to protect prehistoric Native American ruins and artifacts, Roosevelt used the Act to declare Devil’s Tower in Wyoming the very first national monument.

As environmentalists continued to lobby for wilderness preservation, in 1916 President Woodrow Wilson established the National Park Service, consolidating management of US federal parklands under a single agency, via the National Park Service Organic Act.

Today NPS manages 84 million acres across all US states and territories. While it drew from the European example of woodland preservation, the US national park system is an American idea that has served as a model for countries worldwide.

The Best US National Park Markets for Airbnb Vacation Rentals

Having been stuck at home for stressfully long periods of time during lockdowns, fearful of flying due to restrictions and the higher propensity of catching COVID, many US families, when allowed to travel, chose to escape to the great outdoors across rural America. A clear short term rental market trend in 2022, many opted for the vast open spaces of US national and state parks. According to NPS, nearly 300 million visits were recorded in 2021 across all parks administered by the agency with some parks experiencing record-setting numbers far above pre-pandemic highs and nearby Airbnb markets experiencing an unprecedented boom as a result.

In putting together our list of the best Airbnb markets for US national parks, we considered a number of factors including 2021 visitor numbers and increase in number from the previous years, rents in national park towns (for Airbnb rental arbitrage), revenues including high vs low seasons, property prices, and other attractions available in the towns. With the National Park Service recently encouraging visitors to enjoy a cluster of parks on one vacation, proximity to other national and state parks, as well as recreation areas, was also considered.

Top 10 US National Park Markets for Airbnb Vacation Rentals

Top 10 US National Park Markets for Airbnb Vacation Rentals

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN, NC

  • Number of visits in 2021 – 14.1 million
  • Number of visits in 2020 – 12.1 million

Setting a visitation record of over 14 million visits in 2021, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park emerged as the most popular US national park destination. Covering over half a million acres of land in Tennessee and North Carolina, the breathtaking Great Smoky Mountains offers awe-inspiring landscapes and wildlife as well as remnants of Southern Appalachian culture. Its hiking trails are adorned with stunning waterfalls such as Grotto Falls. Visitors can choose to take scenic drives along trails such as the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, climb formations like Clingmans Dome, choose from a variety of camping options, and even take in the historic sites and education exhibits to be found.

Open all year round, the Fall season and October, in particular, is considered the best time to visit when the brilliant foliage is on full display.

Other parks and sites to visit alongside Great Smoky Mountains National Park are Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Carl Sandburg National Historic Site, and Obed Wild and Scenic River.

According to RentData.org, an independent organization that publishes fair market rent (FMR) data, in 2022, FMR in the state of Tennessee ranges from $717 for a studio apartment to $1,512 for a 4-bedroom house while in North Carolina, it ranges from $619 to $1,208 for the same.

Some of the best performing towns for Airbnb in the vicinity are:

Gatlinburg, TN

Known as the ‘Gateway to the Smokies’, Gatlinburg is more than just the host of an entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Visitors can enjoy the rustic beauty of a mountain wilderness as well as all that a Dixie town can offer. A tourist town, Gatlinburg has built a reputation for knowing how to cater to travelers all year round.

The nearest airport on the Tennessee side is McGhee-Tyson Airport which is approximately 45 miles west of the Gatlinburg entrance to the park.

According to AirDNA data for 2021, in Gatlinburg:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $312 (December)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 94% (July)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $6,620 (July)

Meanwhile, according to Redfin, the median property price in Gatlinburg in February 2022, across property types of single-family homes, townhouses, and condos/co-ops, is $707,500.

Pigeon Forge, TN

A popular Smokies town, Pigeon Forge is known for more than its pancakes. From award-winning musical shows and fun museums to alpine coasters, Dollywood, Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud as well as the Titanic Museum attraction. The city is also one of the favorite shopping spots in the South and is generally less crowded than Gatlinburg.

According to AirDNA data for 2021, in Pigeon Forge:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $292 (July)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 94% (July)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $6,348 (July)

Meanwhile, according to Redfin, the median property price in Pigeon Forge in February 2022 is $428,000.

Townsend, TN

Home to the second entrance to the park in the state of Tennessee, the town of Townsend is known for housing a great biodiversity of flora and fauna as well as preserving Southern Appalachian culture. Lying on the side of the park known as the Peaceful Side of the Smokies, Townsend also imposes a higher tax on cabins than Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in Townsend:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $213 (December)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 95% (June)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $5,235 (October)

Meanwhile, according to Redfin, the median property price in Townsend in February 2022 is $375,000.

Cherokee, NC

Brimming with history and full of outdoor activities, Cherokee offers attractions for the whole family. Sequoyah National Golf Club, 200ft Mingo Falls, Oconaluftee Indian village, and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino are popular visits among travelers. It is also the entrance to Blue Ridge Parkway.

The Asheville Regional Airport, the closest airport on the North Carolina side, is about 60 miles east of the Cherokee entrance to the park.

According to AirDNA data, in Cherokee:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $187 (February 2022)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 93% (July 2021)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $4,000 (June 2021)

Bryson City, NC

A mountain town bordering the Smokies, Bryson City is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking through the Nantahala National Forest to whitewater rafting down Nantahala River, paddle boarding across Fontana Lake, riding the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, or creek tubing, Bryson City has plenty to offer.

According to AirDNA data for July 2021, in Pigeon Forge:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $218
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 90%
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $4,700

Meanwhile, according to Redfin, the median property price in Bryson City in February 2022 is $388,000.

Top 10 US National Park Markets for Airbnb Vacation Rentals

2. Zion National Park, UT

  • Number of visits in 2021 – 5 million
  • Number of visits in 2020 – 3.6 million

The most popular national park in the state of Utah and the second most visited in the US, Zion National Park is the most crowded park considering its relatively smaller size. Named after the 15-mile long Zion Canyon, Zion National Park features immense sandstone cliffs, narrow slot canyons, and a plethora of wildlife including over 270 species of birds. A particular favorite of extreme sports enthusiasts, Zion offers hikers and climbers hikes such as The Subway which includes rappelling, white water rafting along the rapids of the Virgin River, or scaling the rust-red walls of its narrow slot canyons and waterfalls.

The park is open all year round and Spring and Fall are considered to be the shoulder season though October and November are considered the best time to visit when the park glows with autumnal colors and crowds are smaller. Many travelers chose to combine a trip to Zion national park with a visit to Bryce Canyon National Park which is only 78 miles away. There are also a number of national forests nearby well worth visiting such as Dixie National Forest.

The best performing town for Airbnb in the vicinity of Zion National Park is:

Springdale, UT

Springdale may be home to only 500 people but it hosts thousands of visitors each year. Located just outside of the park, it is more than just the gateway to everything the park has to offer. Downtown Springdale is well worth a stroll with delightful restaurants, art galleries, and theaters. Visitors can also enjoy tubing down the Virgin River, visiting Grafton Ghost Town, or cycling Gooseberry Mesa.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in Springdale:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $396 (October)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 97% (May)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $10,500 (July)

According to RentData.org, 2022 FMR in the state of Utah ranges from $517 for a studio apartment to $1,204 for a 4-bedroom house.

Meanwhile, according to Redfin, the median property price in Springdale in February 2022 is $1.27M.

10 Best US National Park Markets for Airbnb Vacation Rentals

3. Yellowstone National Park, MT, WY, ID

  • Number of visits in 2021 – 4.9 million
  • Number of visits in 2020 – 3.8 million

One of the best known US national parks in the world, Yellowstone National Park boasts over 2 million acres of unique geological features such as colorful hot springs, massive waterfalls, geysers capable of attracting large crowds, the largest high elevation lake in North America, mud pots, fumaroles, canyons, rivers, and all-American wildlife like bison, wolves and grizzly bears. Sitting on top of one of the largest active supervolcanoes on the continent, Yellowstone National Park is a 2 million-year-old, unique, and diverse landscape. It also has a reputation for being the Disneyland of national parks complete with food courts, souvenir shops, resort villages, etc.

Open all year round, Yellowstone offers the visitor something new every month of the year. June, July, and August are the busiest months at the park while winter restricts access to oversnow travel across the park interior.

According to RentData.org, 2022 FMR in the state of Montana ranges from $541 for a studio apartment to $1,296 for a 4-bedroom house. In Idaho, it ranges from $783 to $1,841 for the same while in Wyoming it ranges from $600 to $1,402.

Some of the best performing towns for Airbnb in the vicinity of Yellowstone National Park are:

West Yellowstone, MT

The gateway to the west entrance to the park, West Yellowstone provides outdoor enthusiasts activities all year round from cross country skiing to water sports at Hebgen Lake and mountain biking at the Lionhead. It also contains the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, Wild West Yellowstone Rodeo, and the Playmill Theater which has entertained families for over 5 decades.

According to AirDNA data for July 2021, in West Yellowstone:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $410
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 97%
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $9,453

Gardiner, MT

A census-designated place in Park County, Gardiner is the only entrance to the park that remains open to wheeled-vehicle use year-round. Situated in the gorgeous Paradise Valley, it provides the quintessential home-on-the-range experience. Also home to the historic Roosevelt Arch and lovely dining options such as the Yellowstone Grill.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in Gardiner:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $336 (June)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 100% (June)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $7,801 (July)

Silver Gate, MT

The best performing town on the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park, Silver Gate is an alpine village surrounded by the Beartooth Mountains. An ideal mountain getaway, it is also close to the Custer Gallatin National Forest and Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness and offers visitors outdoor recreation year-round.

According to AirDNA data, in Silver Gate:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $425 (February 2022)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 100% (April 2021)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $10,800 (July 2021)

Cooke City, MT

Brimming with rustic beauty and small-town charm, the alpine village of Cooke City is a tiny outpost to the park that is also only a few hours away from larger cities. Situated next to Silver Gate, it also provides access to the legendary Lamar Valley and multiple scenic drives including the Beartooth Highway.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in Cooke City:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $329 (November)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 97% (July)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $6,500 (August)

Jackson, WY

Jackson is a year-round destination that acts as a gateway to both Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. It is also home to the National Elk Refuge, three major ski areas, and the point of access to Bridger-Teton National Forest.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in Jackson:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $769 (July)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 86% (July)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $9,701 (August)

10 Best US National Park Markets for Airbnb Vacation Rentals

4. Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

  • Number of visits in 2021 – 4.5 million
  • Number of visits in 2020 – 2.9 million

The legendary Grand Canyon National Park is unparalleled in producing sheer awe. With multiple viewing platforms scattered across the rim of the canyon and a variety of hiking trails available to get there, visitors can experience a diversity of breathtaking vistas. There are also mule trips leaving from both the South and North Rims for those who prefer not to walk. For a more thrilling experience, travelers can take the park’s zipline, raft through the rapids of the Colorado River or hike 24 miles from one rim of the park to the other.

The South Rim is open all year round to visitors while the North Rim is closed for winter (December to May).

According to RentData.org, 2022 FMR in the state of Arizona in February 2022 ranges from $567 for a studio apartment to $1,204 for a 4-bedroom house.

Some of the best performing towns for Airbnb in the vicinity of Grand Canyon National Park are:

Grand Canyon Village, AZ

The most popular entryway to the Grand Canyon, the village offers great Airbnb options as well as a top-rated walking tour. It also provides excellent shopping for the hiking and camping gear required for a visit to the Grand Canyon as well as authentic Indian crafts.

According to AirDNA data for Grand Canyon Village:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $289 (March 2022)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 97% (March 2022)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $6,579 (July)

Flagstaff, AZ

The gateway to the south gate of the park, Flagstaff is a certified dark-skies city that has a lively historic downtown and provides year-round outdoor activities. At an elevation of 6,900 ft, it is cooler than the warmer towns like Phoenix and Tucson and offers access to the Walnut Canyon National Monument, Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Wupatki National Monument, and the Arizona Snowbowl. It also houses the Lowell Observatory.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in Flagstaff:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $284 (December)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 90% (July)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $4,725 (December)

Meanwhile, according to Redfin, the median property price in Flagstaff in February 2022 is $610,000.

Williams, AZ

This quaint western village has come a long way from its wild west past. The final stretch of the historic Route 66 bypassed by Interstate 40, Williams is surrounded by the largest ponderosa pine forest, is home to a gas station museum while Bearizona Wildlife Park lies on its outskirts. Visitors who are not interested in driving through the park can even catch the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams which carries over 230,000 people to the park each year.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in Williams:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $203 (December)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 80% (June)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $3,701 (June)

Meanwhile, according to Redfin, the median property price in Williams in February 2022 is $555,000.

Sedona, AZ

Sedona may be nearly 2.5 hours from the park but is a stayover choice for spiritually-minded visitors. A mecca for those looking for wellness and spiritual enrichment, it also provides access to Red Rock State Park, Slide Rock State Park, Grasshopper Point, and Oak Creek Canyon. It also offers incredible night skies.

According to AirDNA data, in Sedona:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $353 (March 2022)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 93% (April 2021)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $7,361 (March 2022)

Meanwhile, according to Redfin, the median property price in Sedona in February 2022 is $446,000.

10 Best US National Park Markets for Airbnb Vacation Rentals

5. Rocky Mountains National Park, CO

  • Number of visits in 2021 – 4.4 million
  • Number of visits in 2020 – 3.3 million

The crown jewel of the American Rockies, the mountainous national park that is Rocky Mountains National Park encompasses 415 sq miles of glaciers, mountain lakes, and meadows. Offering over 300 miles of hiking trails, travelers can walk through wildflowers as they take in bighorn sheep, bulging elk, moose, pikas, and mountain lions or drive the Highway to the Sky, the highest continuous paved road in the country which goes above the treeline into Alpine tundra. The more adventurous traveler can choose the 48-mile Trail Ridge Road which leads to an elevation of 11,500 ft. Because of the direction in which rainwater flows, the western side of the park is lush and green while the east is arid and scrubby.

The park is open 24 hours a day all year round with a timed entry system in place for visits between May and October.

According to RentData.org, 2022 FMR in the state of Colorado in February 2022 ranges from $1,236 for a studio apartment to $2,501 for a 4-bedroom house.

Some of the best performing towns for Airbnb in the vicinity of Rocky Mountains National Park are:

Estes Park, CO

Only 70 miles from Denver, Estes Park is a big spring-summer destination where you can enjoy an aerial tram to Prospect Mountain, watch elk calves being born, see fine waterfalls, drink cold beer on a sunny patio, fly fish, and even ski early spring.

According to AirDNA data for July 2021, in Estes Park:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $347
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 94%
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $7,300

Meanwhile, according to Redfin, the median property price in Estes Park in February 2022 is $722,500.

Grand Lake, CO

Travelers can hike, enjoy water activities by the largest natural lake in Colorado or take their pick of high altitude golf courses with the Rockies as the backdrop at Grand Lake. Known as the snowmobiling capital of Colorado, Grand Lake is also a wonderful winter destination with snowshoeing and skiing trails comparable to Aspen.

According to AirDNA data for July 2021, in Grand Lake:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $327
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 94%
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $7,400

Meanwhile, according to Redfin, the median property price in Estes Park in February 2022 is 2.45M.

10 Best US National Park Markets for Airbnb Vacation Rentals

6. Acadia National Park, ME

  • Number of visits in 2021 – 4.1 million
  • Number of visits in 2020 – 2.7 million

Complete with rounded mountains including the tallest on the Atlantic coast, shimmering lakes, old forests, rugged coastlines, and old stone trails, it is no wonder that Acadia National Park is Maine’s biggest tourist attraction. While prone to unpredictable thick fog, the park provides stunning views including Somes Sound, Frenchman Bay, Jordan Pond, and Cadillac Mountain. Most of its 125 miles of hiking trails are dog friendly while campgrounds can be found by serene beaches. Families can also choose to explore the park via a scavenger hunt through Acadia Quest. Visitors can round out their trip to Maine with stops at the Saint Croix Island International Historic Site and Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.

The park is open all year round with passes also available for purchase online. Late September to early October is considered to be the best time to visit to experience the magnificent colors and elk rutting season. Summer is the most popular time for visitors however with Fall (August, September, and October) coming a close second.

According to RentData.org, 2022 FMR in the state of Maine in February 2022 ranges from $704 for a studio apartment to $1,428 for a 4-bedroom house.

Acadia National Park is surrounded by charming New England towns in Mount Desert Island which all perform well on Airbnb including Seal Cove, Bass Harbor, Tremont, and the Outer Islands. The best of them are:

Mount Desert Town, ME

Situated in the middle of Mount Desert Island and long recognized for its spectacular beauty, the town of Mount Desert consists of a number of villages including Otter Creek, Seal Harbor, Northeast Harbor, Somesville, Hall Quarry, and Pretty Marsh.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in Mount Desert Town:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $329
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 100% (June)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $7,000 (September)

Bar Harbor, ME

Founded in 1796 as Eden, Bar Harbor is located in Hancock County on Mount Desert Island. A popular tourist destination marked by gorgeous coastline and stunning lodging options, it also includes the picturesque Salsbury Cove known for loons, harbor seals, and bald eagles.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in Bar Harbor:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $330 (August)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 100% (July)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $7,700 (July)

Meanwhile, according to Redfin, the median property price in Bar Harbor in February 2022 is $480,000.

Southwest Harbor, ME

The youngest town on the island, Southwest Harbor gets its name from being the entrance to Somes Sound. Known for fine design and building of boats, it includes a museum dedicated to Wendell Gilley’s carvings and the small community of Manset with its quaint inns, Seawall picnic and camping area, and Hinckley Yacht Yard.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in Southwest Harbor:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $312 (September)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 100% (July)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $7,191 (July)

Bernard, ME

A beautiful fishing community, Bernard offers an opportunity to explore Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse and the Wonderland and Ship Harbor trails of the park. Full of character and spectacular vistas, the quieter town provides great prospects for photography.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in Bernard:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $298 (November)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 100% (July)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $6,800 (August)

10 Best US National Park Markets for Airbnb Vacation Rentals

7. Grand Teton National Park, WY

  • Number of visits in 2021 – 3.9 million
  • Number of visits in 2020 – 3.3 million

With strong management and foresight having allowed administrators to avoid overcrowding at Grand Teton National Park, the park makes for a low supply, high demand market. Grand Teton National Park encompasses the major peaks of the Teton Range and northern Jackson Hole Valley. Its 96,000-acre area includes standout hiking trails, alpine lakes, waterfalls, glaciers, and wildlife such as bear, elk, and otter. Visitors can boat across Jenny Lake to Hidden Falls or tour the winding Snake River on a raft. Fishing and white water rafting are other popular offerings. Connected to Yellowstone National Park by John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway, visitors can easily round out their trip by visiting both.

Grand Teton National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. May through September make the high season for the park.

According to RentData.org, 2022 FMR in the state of Wyoming in February 2022 ranges from $600 for a studio apartment to $1,402 for a 4-bedroom house.

Some of the best performing towns for Airbnb in the vicinity of Grand Teton National Park are:

Moran, WY

Moran or Moran Junction is the main gateway to the Grand Teton National Park and is about an hour away from Jackson and Dubois. A very small town, it offers hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, floating down Snake River, etc. It also provides access to Yellowstone National Park.

According to AirDNA data, in Moran:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $695 (February 2021)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 100% (July 2021)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $12,300 (January 2022)

Teton Village, WY

Known as the Village, Visitors can ski down the Teton mountains, skate at the Village rink, paraglide over the slopes, play golf, take a hot air balloon ride, hunt for game, etc. Teton Village offers accommodations to suit different budgets making it accessible to many.

According to AirDNA data, in Teton Village:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $1,238 (December 2021)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 77% (July 2021)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $15,100 (March 2022)

Jackson, WY

A short drive from the Village, Jackson is home to one of 3 ski resorts in the area and is known for being a western town rich in art, history, culture, and fine food as well as a nightlife scene. The south entrance of Yellowstone National Park is also only 60 miles away.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in Jackson:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $769 (July)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 86% (July)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $9,701 (August)

Wilson, WY

A rustic alpine town known for year-round mountain and outdoor activities, Wilson is a prestigious address in the area. It is also home to the Teton Raptor Center, scenic drives, and charming dining options.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in Wilson:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $521 (December)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 90% (July)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $8,855 (July)

Driggs, ID

A relaxed small town, Driggs has a lot to offer: Proximity to Grand Targhee Ski Resort; boutique shopping; huckleberry jams, candles, chocolates, milkshakes, etc; high-quality restaurants; Teton brewing; floating down Teton River and so much more.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in Driggs:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $303 (December)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 97% (July)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $6,421 (July)

10 Best US National Park Markets for Airbnb Vacation Rentals

8. Yosemite National Park, CA

  • Number of visits in 2021 – 3.9 million
  • Number of visits in 2020 – 2.3 million

Roaring waterfalls, deep valleys, grand meadows, and giant ancient sequoias abound in the vast wilderness of the mountainous terrain of Sierra Nevada of California that is Yosemite National Park. The park offers fantastic hikes, amazing climbs, unbelievable stargazing, and swimming and rafting down Merced River. Yosemite National Park also includes the largest slab of granite in the world – El Capitan, the tallest waterfall in North America, Yosemite Falls, the stunning Half Dome, and scenic Glacier Point. Tunnel View provides the best panoramic view of the area. The park is also known for hosting cultural events such as the Yosemite Music Festival and Sierra Art Trails.

The low season ranges from June to August while the park is the busiest from April through October. Yosemite Valley is the main destination for most visitors. Open all year round, reservations are required to drive into the park during peak hours (6am to 4pm) from May to September.

According to RentData.org, 2022 FMR in the state of California in February 2022 ranges from $1,538 for a studio apartment to $3,578 for a 4-bedroom house.

Some of the best performing towns for Airbnb in the vicinity of Yosemite National Park are:

El Portal, CA

An alluring city along Merced River, El Portal is just 20 minutes from Yosemite Valley and is known for its bloom of California poppies in late Spring. A popular lodging option for visitors to the park, fishing, and white-water rafting are popular activities.

According to AirDNA data for July 2021, in El Portal:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $617
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 97%
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $17,500

Midpines, CA

A census-designated place, Midpines is one of 3 principal routes to the park. It includes peaceful meadows and shady forests. Having begun as a resort, it also provides access to the Sierra National Forest.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in Midpines:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $273 (August)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 94% (July)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $7,023 (July)

Meanwhile, according to Redfin, the median property price in Midpines in February 2022 is $535,000.

Mammoth Lakes, CA

Situated in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Mammoth Lake is known for Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain ski areas, Rainbow Falls, and the saltwater Mono Lake. The town also provides access to Devils Postpile National Monument.

According to AirDNA data for Mammoth Lakes:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $444 (December 2021)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 75% (July 2021)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $7,765 (January 2022)

Oakhurst, CA

Fourteen miles from the park entrance, Oakhurst lies in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, in Madera County. Formerly known as Fresno Flats, Oakhurst combines alpine living with California culture.

According to AirDNA data for July 2021, in Oakhurst:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $328
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 90%
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $7,504

Meanwhile, according to Redfin, the median property price in Oakhurst in February 2022 is $416,000.

Groveland, CA

Lying 30 minutes from the Big Oak Flat entrance to the park, Groveland is a census-designated place with a population of fewer than 600 people. A beautiful Gold Rush town, it is home to Pine Mountain Lake, Iron Door Saloon, Mountain Sage, etc.

According to AirDNA data for July 2021, in Groveland:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $323
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 87%
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $7,183

Mariposa, CA

Named after the flocks of monarch butterflies that migrated there during winter, Mariposa is a charming town and a gateway to the park. From Fire Creek Falls to Horsetail and Mariposa Museum, it offers the best of Californian beauty and history.

According to AirDNA data for Mariposa:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $290 (January 2022)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 93% (June 2021)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $6,800 (July 2021)

Meanwhile, according to Redfin, the median property price in Mariposa in February 2022 is $435,000.

10 Best US National Park Markets for Airbnb Vacation Rentals

9. Indiana Dunes National Park, IN

  • Number of visits in 2021 – 3.2 million
  • Number of visits in 2020 – 2.3 million

Covering over 15,000 acres including 15 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, Indiana Dunes achieved national park status only in 2019. The park covers a diversity of terrain including dunes, lakeshore, prairies, swamps, and marshy wetlands. It offers over 50 miles of trails and lays claim to greater biodiversity than nearly all other national parks including Yellowstone. Visitors can also relax on the lake shorefront or swim, kayak, boat, fish, and camp overnight. Indiana Dunes National Park is home to over 350 avian species including migratory birds and rare plants. During winter travelers can opt for activities like cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

The park is open all year round with fall considered the best time to visit (late September through October). Bird watching is best enjoyed during the spring and fall migrations.

Indiana Dunes National Park is free to visit. Encountering a requirement for an admission fee will mean the traveler has arrived at Indiana Dunes State Park instead.

According to RentData.org, 2022 FMR in the state of Indiana in February 2022 ranges from $515 for a studio apartment to $1,141 for a 4-bedroom house.

Some of the best performing towns for Airbnb in the vicinity of Indiana Dunes National Park are:

Michigan City, IN

The lakeside city has plenty to offer visitors, from beaches, boat trips, breweries and wineries, shopping, gambling, a zoo, and of course a national park. Michigan City also offers lovely dining options and intriguing events such as the Great Lakes Grand Prix and Lakefront Arts Festival.

According to AirDNA data for July 2021, in Michigan City:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $403
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 97%
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $8,137

Meanwhile, according to Redfin, the median property price in Michigan City in February 2022 is $165,000.

Portage, IN

A family-friendly city founded on steel production, Portage provides access to Indian Dunes as well as Lake Michigan, Miller Beach, and Ogden Dunes. It is also home to the Smithsonian-affiliated Air Zoo, an aerospace and science museum as well as an indoor amusement park.

According to AirDNA data for Portage:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $301 (December 2021)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 97% (Jan 2022)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $7,700 (Jan 2022)

Meanwhile, according to Redfin, the median property price in Portage in February 2022 is $237,000.

La Porte, IN

Half an hour from the park, La Porte is home to one of the oldest live community theater groups in the country, a number of historic displays including the Kesling Automobile Collection and several parks including Allesee, Ben Rees, Charles W. Lindewald, and Fox Memorial.

According to AirDNA data for July 2021, in La Porte:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $378
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 96%
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $7,300

Meanwhile, according to Redfin, the median property price in La Porte in February 2022 is $169,000.

Gary, IN

Located on the southern shore of Lake Michigan, Gary provides visitors with great hiking trails, camping spots, and amazing birdwatching opportunities. There’s also Gary Aquatorium, Marquette Park, casinos, and specialty museums.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in Gary:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $299 (August)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 92% (July)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $6,700 (July)

Meanwhile, according to Redfin, the median property price in Gary in February 2022 is $125,000.

10 Best US National Park Markets for Airbnb Vacation Rentals

10. Glacier National Park, MT

  • Number of visits in 2021 – 3.1 million
  • Number of visits in 2020 – 1.7 million

Home to two mountain ranges, over 130 lakes, 25 active glaciers, and an abundance of flora and fauna across 1 million acres of Montana wilderness, the gorgeous landscapes of Glacier National Park include pristine forests, alpine meadows, and rugged mountainscapes. The park offers 700 miles of trails while its 50-mile Going to the Sun Road is considered one of the most scenic drives in America. Boat tours are another way for visitors to take in the park. Glacier National Park only allows pets in developed areas such as in travelers’ vehicles, camping grounds, and parking areas as well as in boats on lakes where motorized watercraft are permitted.

The park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year though businesses and services are only open during the Summer season of late May through September. Admission passes can also be bought online while reservations for vehicles are required for visits through this high season. The best time to visit Glacier National Park is considered to be Summer and Fall.

According to RentData.org, 2022 FMR in the state of Montana in February 2022 ranges from $541 for a studio apartment to $1,296 for a 4-bedroom house.

Some of the best performing towns for Airbnb in the vicinity of Glacier National Park are:

Whitefish, MT

A highly picturesque resort town, Whitefish is a Top 10 Ski Town in the World and a year-round idyll that offers a plethora of shopping options, interesting cuisine, craft beer, ziplining, scenic horseback riding, and lake activities.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in Whitefish:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $410 (December)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 93% (July)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $8,300 (July)

West Glacier, MT

A bustling community that offers great shopping, fine dining, and a variety of outdoor activities for the whole family. Nestled in Flathead Valley, visitors can float three forks of Flathead River, visit Hungry Horse Dam, relax by Flathead Lake or take a Red Bus tour.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in West Glacier:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $431 (August)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 97% (July)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $10,500 (July)

East Glacier Park Village, MT

A small village, East Glacier Park Village provides mountain hospitality and spectacular scenery, a plethora of sporting activities from skiing and snowmobiling to hiking, hunting, and fishing. It also hosts Indian cultural events and rodeos.

According to 2021 AirDNA data, in East Glacier Park Village:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $438 (November)
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 100% (July)
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $6,800 (July)

Columbia Falls, MT

A mere 15 minutes from the west entrance to the park, Columbia Falls is a lively Montana town. It has a highly rated golf course, the Montana Vortex and House of Mystery, Bad Rock Canyon, and plenty of outdoor mountain activities in Summer and Winter.

According to AirDNA data for July 2021 in Columbia Falls:

  • the Average Daily Rate is $331
  • the average Occupancy Rate is 95%
  • the average Monthly Revenue is $7,400

Conclusion

The uptick in American visitors to US national parks, both perennially popular and emerging contenders, leading to record-setting visits, has benefited from the growing trends for travel to the great outdoors as well as sports tourism and has led to a boom for Airbnb markets that serve them. With the NPS encouraging travelers to visit a cluster of nearby parks on a single visit - for example, a trip to the Smokies can also include parks and sites in Tennessee, North Caroline as well as Alabama - the bounty could also spread to Airbnb markets nearby.

The potential risks of overcrowding and insufficient management however will have to be addressed soon if they are to not lose out on visits. However, as international travel picks up and foreign visitors return to the parks for an opportunity to experience firsthand the majestic beauty of the American wilderness, the potential for popular national park Airbnb markets is likely to hold even if there is a drop in US traveler visitation numbers.

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