Whether you are stuck at home, daydreaming, or trip planning, there is an exciting new way to explore the National Parks without leaving your couch.
As part of the US National Park’s 100th birthday celebration, Google and the National Park Service have teamed up to bring an interactive documentary-style tour option of some of America’s natural treasures.
Using Virtual Reality and 360-degree video technology, Google Arts and Culture has created an online option for exploring different National Parks to get a sense of what the wonders and natural environment of each park is like.
Each tour experience is lead by a knowledgeable park ranger. The tour allows you to see the park in a way you wouldn’t otherwise be able to—like exploring a hidden room in a cavern, climbing down a glacial crevasse, and flying over active volcanoes.
Park rangers know where to look, what to see, and how to better explore their park systems. Interactive buttons and menus lead virtual visitors to areas that interest them and unique information about the park.
Guided tours of Kenai Fjords (Alaska), Hawaii Volcanoes (Hawaii), Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico), Bryce Canyon (Utah) and Dry Tortugas (Florida) National Parks are currently offered. Virtual 360-degree views of over 113 National Parks, Monuments, Historic Sites and Museums are also offered as an unguided option.
While nothing beats the real thing, these virtual tours are a great way to get a feel for a park, get some insider information, and to learn more about the environments and natural aspects of some of the most beautiful natural areas in the US. Hopefully, additional tours will be available in the future.