As most of North America practices social distancing or is in self-quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be itching to go outside and embark on your first RV adventure of the season. But, while that may not be possible, you can instead see some of the most stunning US National Parks via a virtual tour. Google Arts and Culture has a wonderful collaboration going on with the US National Parks system that makes it super easy to explore five special destinations from the comfort of your own home.
1. Redwood National and State Parks
For many RVers, a trip to the Redwoods in California is the ideal vacation destination to kick off the RV season. Redwood is home to the tallest trees found on planet Earth and the parks here have been attracting thousands of annual visitors for decades. And while the parks remain open on a modified schedule right now, the safest way to visit the trees, vast prairies, wild river-ways, and rugged coastline is via a virtual tour.
2. Yellowstone National Park
Perhaps the most well known of all the US national parks, Yellowstone is home to many unique geologic and hydrothermal wonders. Additionally, the park houses a wide range of wildlife including migrating birds, bears, bison, wolves, moose, and more. For the virtual tours, cameras have been placed throughout the expansive park in many of the most popular lookout spots like the Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, Mount Washburn, and some of the park entrances as well.
3. Yosemite National Park
If you’ve yet to experience the grandeur of the US National Parks in person yet, you may find that it’s easy to mix up Yellowstone and Yosemite, but the latter is located in California not spread across the states of Wyoming and Montana like Yellowstone. However, the difference in location doesn’t mean that Yosemite is any less spectacular. Here, virtual travellers will find fantastic views that include waterfalls, glaciers, grand meadows, deep valleys, ancient sequoias, mountains of granite, and so much more.
4. Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Departing from the beautiful Pacific state of California and the big open skies of Wyoming and Montanan, our next US National Park is located in the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico. Featuring more than 100 different caves, in the Carlsbad Cavern virtual guests can explore underground chambers that are home to a landscape of stalactites and stalagmites, as well as above-ground attractions like sprawling desert views, desert wetlands, Rattlesnake springs, and the interesting wildlife that calls this area home.
5. Zion National Park
Nestled in the rocky terrain of southwest Utah, Zion National Park is known for its jaw-dropping views, unique red rocks, great hiking, and varied wildlife. During the virtual tour, you’ll quickly find yourself in awe of the views that feature huge sandstone cliffs with blending colours of red, pink, and cream. While virtual visitors don’t have the option of taking the scenic route along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, they can explore the deep cuts through the red cliffs, many forest trails, and the emerald pools of the Virgin River from the safety of their own homes during self-isolation.
Learn More with Google Arts and Culture
While you’ll may need to put a pin in your IRL travel plans for at least the next several months, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn more about the world around you—both near and far—with the help of Google Arts and Culture. Whether you’re interested in some of their available guided tours of natural history or you simply want to check out local real estate with Google’s street view option, there are a ton of cool features just waiting for you to explore.