by Tanner Colley
There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars. ― Jack Kerouac
We’ve been stuck indoors a lot lately. Here’s a way to explore the world from your own home.
Thankfully, technology today is amazing. While parks across the country are closed during this time, U.S. National Parks offer five beautiful and inspiring virtual tours for you to explore without leaving your backyard thanks to a partnership with Google.
The collaboration, “The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks” will take you on a grand tour across the Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park in Hawai’i, Carlsbad Caverns National Parks in New Mexico, Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, and Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida.
Check out the facts below to get you excited for your next virtual adventure.
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
- Nearly 40 glaciers make up 51% of the park’s landmass
- Spans close to 700,000 acres
- Elevation spans from zero feet to 6,612 from the Atlantic Ocean to Mt. Truuli
Hawai’i Volcanoes, Hawai’i
- Home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes: Kilauea and Mauna Loa
- Kilauea most recently erupted in 2018 (while the lava flows have subsided, the virtual tour lets you see the lava, no protective gear required
- Refuge for 60 threatened and endangered species not found anywhere else in the world
Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico
- Over 119 caves lie beneath a landscape of towering ancient sea ledges, craggy canyons, massive cacti, and desert wildlife
- Preserves a section of the Capitan Reef, one of the most exposed Permian-age fossil reefs in the world
- The Chihuahuan Desert is the most biologically diverse desert in the Western Hemisphere
Bryce Canyon, Utah
- Features the largest concentration of hoodoos (irregular columns of rock) on the planet. These hoodoos can be up to 200 feet high
- Home to a series of sprawling natural amphitheaters or bowls carved into high plateaus. The most famous is Bryce Amphitheater twelve miles long, 3 miles wide, and 800 feet deep
- One of the most sought after sights for stargazing due to high air quality and remoteness from light pollution
Dry Tortugas, Florida
- Dry Tortugas is one of the most remote National Parks in the United States located 70 miles west of Key West and is only accessible by boat or seaplane
- Fort Jefferson, one of the nation’s largest 19th-century forts in the United States, is situated in the middle of the park
- The park’s coral reefs are some of the most vibrant in the Florida Keys
Bonus Tours and Livestreams
Virtual Tours are available for attractions other than United States National Parks. Explore art in museums across the world, and animals habitats in some of the country’s famous zoos.
- The Louvre, Paris
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.
- Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
- The Vatican Museum, Vatican City
- MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art), New York City