From the start of Parks Madness it seemed inevitable that Yosemite and Yellowstone would meet in the Final Four, and now the dream matchup is happening. The winner will face a member of Utah’s Mighty Five – either Zion or Arches – for the 2024 National Park Championship. The ballot below will be live until midnight ET on April 12. Enter now to be eligible for our raffle!

Three of the four Elite 8 matchups proved very close calls, and online voters were clearly conflicted. “Glacier and Yellowstone was a gut-wrenching match for this born and raised hardcore MT girl,” said voter Gina Mahoney, who ended up choosing Yellowstone “for her diversity.”

But Glacier did not melt without a fight. “Yellowstone has great wildlife and good scenery, but not quite as good as Glacier,” voter Brad Davis argued. “This should have been the final, rather than Elite 8 matchup. No other park offers the variety that these offer.” Despite Glacier’s passionate fan base, Yellowstone skated to the win, 53-47%.

No. 1 seed Yosemite faced a historically deep competitor in No. 3 Grand Canyon, which also drew more 2023 visitors, 4.73 million to 3.89 million, according to the National Park Service. Still, the home to El Capitan and the annual “Firefall” phenomenon rope-climbed to victory, 54-46%.

As by far the most visited U.S. national park, No. 2 seed Great Smoky Mountain seemed well-provisioned to trek past No. 1 seed Zion. Park fan Thomas Grady even laid out the statistics: “The Great Smoky Mountain National Park: (a) is the most biologically diverse national park; (b) is the most visited national park and (c) has 150 official hiking trails covering approximately 900 miles, including 72 miles (1/30th) of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.” But like a flash flood in the Virgin River Narrows, Zion’s fans swept it to a convincing win, 62-38%.

The first place to see sunrise in America and last competitor from the East Coast, No. 1 seed Acadia, hoped to keep its Parks Madness run going but ran into a steep ascent against No. 3 seed Arches. The red-rock wonderland outpolled the rocky Maine coastline, 53-47%.

The Parks Channel tournament is down to its Final Four: Yellowstone vs. Yosemite and Zion vs. Arches, a contest with a staggering variety of natural features, wild inhabitants and outdoor activities to explore. Voters face more tough choices, although they sound up for the challenge. “I’m loving Parks Madness!” said Jessica Goodfellow. “My husband and I have enjoyed debating the relative merits of different parks and ‘trash-talking’ some of the parks too!”

Another voter, Shannon Woodring, validated the whole point of the tournament: “I like Parks Madness better than basketball because after researching the parks, it makes me want to visit them!”

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Key Stats on Your Final Four Competitors

Featured photo by rorozoa – Freepik; Parks Madness logo by Drake Poe; badges by Anderson Design Group; Parks Madness brackets by Darius Nabors.

GRAND TETON - pick and photo by Shane Sprowl
ZION - pick and photo by Isabel Berry
YOSEMITE - pick and photo by Rose Buch
ARCHES - pick and photo by Grover Robinson
YELLOWSTONE - pick and photo by Dawn Lonczak
ZION - pick and photo by Jourdan Rogers

More of your comments

I really love them all so I’m just picking a horse and riding it but – actual glaciers played a part in forming so many of the other parks, so Glacier deserves the nod! It’s also repping for the cold weather parks. And mostly – wolverines and lynx! Parks Madness is so great, I love seeing other peoples’ thoughts and passions and I love any excuse to celebrate the parks.

This was the worst 😭

Great Idea. Yosemite was awesome.

Yellowstone is the OG of them all!

This Parks Madness has been a ton of fun!!

Yellowstone has it all. Beautiful scenery, amazing features like geysers and waterfalls, abundance of wildlife; bison, moose elk, bears!! It’s easy to drive as my husband has mobility issues. Parks madness is great! We were lucky enough to visit 9 different parks this last September many of which I had never been to. I am a senior and I have the wonderful lifetime senior pass. We are looking forward to visiting many more and getting my passport book stamped.

I love Park Madness! This has been fun! And certainly makes me want to visit the ones I have not already been to! Debbie Woods

I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and spent a few days at Phantom Ranch with 3 friends. This was just a spectacular experience and one of the most memorable things I have ever done in my lifetime.

parks madness has been the MOST fun thanks so much!!!

Glacier has the best combination of scenery and wildlife. Yellowstone has great wildlife and good scenery, but not quite as good as Glacier. This should have been the final, rather than Elite 8 matchup. No other park offers the variety that these offer.

we got ARCHes in ARCHES ? !!!!!!

Glacier’s beauty spoke to me when I was teen in the ’70s, and now as an adult, I am saddened to see the glaciers melting because of man’s ignorant choices with our planet. Glacier deserves to be recognized for the beauty it still provides, the wildlife that roams, and the last vestiges of glaciers that are hanging on to remind us what once was.

Olympic. I like the Lord’s work you’re doing.

Yellowstone has it all – beautiful landscapes, wildlife, geothermal features.

Yellowstone is unlike ANY other park anywhere. Completely unique! Loving this fun.
I love Parks Madness! Such a clever idea and fun to ‘compete’ for the “best”! My favorite is still Chaco Canyon and that wasn’t even in the tournament! Sleep Bear National Lakeshore is also awesome and needs to be in the competition next year.

Arches has so many different landscapes to explore and even the most novice hiker can still see amazing things! I like Parks Madness better than basketball, it makes me research the different parks, which then makes me want to visit them!

Yellowstone has an abundance of wildlife and nature to enjoy.

My favorite park is in my backyard. Such beauty and uniqueness in the Great Smokies but I’m also partial because it’s home. I love visiting other parks, but that rugged, misty horizon is always a welcome sight. Park Madness has been really fun. The only thing that I would improve is that in the very first round have a short little bio about each park- like a baseball card- of statistics or “best known fors”

The Virgin River and slot canyons of zion make it so unique.

Zion is stunningly beautiful in every season and has amazing hiking!

Yellowstone has a little bit of everything. Not to mention amazing wildlife and geysers!
It was the most amazing family trip I’ve had in my lifetime (just sorry it took me so long to get there!). I hope to add many more to my bucket list. Thank you for this Madness (sooo hard to choose)!

Parks madness is far more fun than March madness

It’s less traveled than others, just as beautiful as others. Maybe not as recognized as the rest. Parks Madness is Fun!

Acadia! I’ve enjoyed playing and have learned about some parks that I wasn’t aware of.
Park Madness is very fun, even though I’m mostly voting on my knowledge of Anderson Design Group designs since I’ve been to very few of the parks in real life but own a lot of their postcards.

So much fun!

I love all of these parks, but Glacier is my favorite park, hands down! I’m loving Parks Madness! My husband and I have enjoyed debating relative merits of different parks and “trash-talking” some of the parks, too!

I’m sad for Grand Teton being gone
It’s unique and nature at it’s best.

Glacier and Yellowstone was a gut wrenching match for this born and raised hardcore MT girl- and my final vote had to be for Yellowstone for her diversity….. Parks madness was so much fun and I’m grateful for all the work you put into this! Polite request: PLEASE always give photo cred if you use someone’s pic (one of my Glacier pics was used and no cred) Editor’s note: FIXED! Sorry about that!

Yellowstone is unlike ANY other park anywhere. Completely unique! Loving this fun.

Arches isn’t even the best park in its own state! Acadia is the best park in ANY state East of the Mississippi… Acadia all the way!

You guys have put fun back into bracketology.

This is the toughest round by far! All of these are winners… but Yosemite will always be my fave!

Cataclysmic match- Glacier vs Yellowstone!

Good job