Top U.S National Parks virtual tours you can experience from home

View from North Bubble, in Acadia National Park, Maine
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Being outside in nature is necessary to maintain our quality of life. Breathing in the crisp, fresh air while taking in the sights and sounds of the natural scenery unfolding right in front of us. It’s almost therapeutic. However, given the state of the world, exploring the outdoors is hardly an option. Countries have instigated lockdowns and closures to help control the spread of the coronavirus. Staying at home and social distancing is the responsible thing to do in these times.

This doesn’t mean we need to lose touch with nature. With the great advances in technology, we can connect to the world’s natural wonders virtually. Virtual tours, now more than ever, give respite from the monotony of daily life indoors.

The U.S National Parks system, known for its breathtaking natural wonders, is one of the prime destinations to explore virtually. There are extensive efforts to capture and document the natural wonders of the national parks for online viewing.

The National Parks Service has partnered with Google Earth to create virtual tours of 31 of America’s most scenic national parks. Captivating images of the many treasures of the wonderland that is the US National Parks system were produced using satellites and state-of-the-art camera technology.

National Parks of the United States

National Parks of the United States | Google Earth

The 360-degree guided virtual tours offer an immersive glimpse of the parks’ attractions. The tours highlight the awe-inspiring landscapes and wildlife. The best thing about it is that there are no troves of tourists competing with you for the best view. You have the gorgeous, 360-degree view all to yourself, and you can explore at your leisure.

See the towering sequoia trees and granite cliffs of the Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park. Watch the Old Faithful explode or the colorful Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. Explore the Olympic National Park, UNESCO designated International Biosphere Reserve, and see the Pacific coastline and snowy mountains.


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Half Dome Trail View, Yosemite National Park, California | things to do in yosemite

Half Dome Trail View, Yosemite National Park, California | Shutterstock


It may not evoke the same feelings as seeing these places in real life. However, it’s a wonderful alternative and amazing use of technology.

These sights and many more are available through Google Earth. You can access Google Earth’s virtual tours of the national parks through the app or through this link.

Once clicked, each US National Park will appear as a bubble on the earth and in a thumbnail list on the sidebar. Clicking the bubble or thumbnail to start the virtual tour and guide you to the chosen park’s “stories”. Each story features one of the park’s popular attraction and clicking it takes you right to it.

Exploring U.S National Parks | Tripdolist via YouTube


Seeing these attractions online may even help you plan your future travels better. Being able to explore these places ahead of your trip gives you insight and helps you make better decisions in planning.

When you simulate going on a trek you’ve always planned to go on, it gives you an idea of the terrain to expect and what gear you need to prepare for it. When you get a preview of the attraction’s offering, it helps gauge your interest in them. This makes it easier to decide on your destinations as you plan your trip itinerary. All this also builds anticipation for future adventures. It gives you something to look forward to every day in these trying times.

Alternatively, you can simply appreciate and marvel at the beauty of the outside world at your fingertips. You can zoom to your heart’s content. You can even make a game of it by trying to spot as many wild animals as you can or the stray tourists on the trail.

Below is the full list of National Parks covered by the program:
Acadia National Park in Maine
Arches National Park in Utah
Badlands National Park in South Dakota
Big Bend National Park in Texas
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado
Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah
Canyonlands National Park in Utah
Channel Islands National Park in California
Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio
Death Valley National Park in California-Nevada
Denali National Park in Alaska
Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida
Everglades National Park in Florida
Glacier National Park in Montana
Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona
Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming
Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas
Joshua Tree National Park in California
Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado
Mount Rainier National Park in Washington
Olympic National Park in Washington
Redwood National and State Parks in California
Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado
Sequoia National Park in California
Shenandoah National Park in Virginia
Virgin Islands National Park in the United States Virgin Islands
Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota
Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming
Yosemite National Park in California
Zion National Park in Utah

Google also offers journeys to the more remote national parks in its exhibit and the interactive documentary “The Hidden Worlds of The National Park”.


The video experience allows you to follow a real local ranger who guides you through the national park. With 16:9 video, 360-degree footage and ambisonic audio, you can intimately explore the places most people never set foot on. It showcases each park’s uniqueness and features the geographic diversity of the US National Parks.

One highlight is the night-time exploration of Bryce Canyon, which has one of the darkest night skies in the country. You can also learn about constellations through the mythology of a local Native American tribe.

The exhibit can be accessed through the Google Arts & Culture app. The virtual experience lasts for about twenty-five minutes. However, you can spend much more than that by exploring each facet of the exhibit. This exhibit features the following national parks:

Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in Hawai’i
Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico
Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah
Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida

While at home, discover your next wild adventure through the magic of technology.

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