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Key Takeaways: National parks are great places to enjoy blue skies, pristine surroundings and diverse wildlife. Whether they’re in desert terrains or covered in snow, these parks have mesmerised travellers for years. But what if you could enjoy the beauty of the world’s most fascinating national parks from the comfort of your home? Here’s our list of some popular virtual tours.
One of the biggest tourist attractions across North America are its spectacular national parks. We have handpicked the best virtual tours for you and these tours are perfect to take you and your family on an enchanting journey.
1. Kenai Fjords Park, Alaska
Ice age still lingers at this snowy national park in Alaska. Virtual visitors can join park ranger Fiona North in this unique tour to explore mountains, glaciers and lagoons of Alaska. This tour offers you the chance to climb down an icy crevasse, learn how the glaciers recede and kayak through the icebergs in a frozen river at this Alaskan beauty. Further, audios of icebergs underwater and videos of whales beaching steal the show. This national park truly depicts nature at its wildest.
2. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Park ranger Andrea Kaawaloa-Okita takes visitors on a humbling tour of the forests of Hawaii. Their vibrant ecosystem is filled with native plants, birds and insects. Yet surprisingly, the whole island is one of the youngest parts of the world. You will also see volcanic mountains all around, including the world’s most active volcano! This tour boasts of internal views of a lava tube and an aerial shot of an active volcano.
As visitors keep exploring, Kaawaloa-Okita explains that 500 acres of land have been added to the island over the past 30 years. The island seems never to sleep, continually growing and evolving.
3. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
This national park is famous for Fort Jefferson, a Civil War-era fort. However, the fort only makes up one percent of the park. Ninety-nine percent of this park is an underwater heaven with colourful wildlife submerged under its shimmering pristine waters. The virtual tour offers visuals of one of the most extensive coral reefs in the world - biological diverse and beautiful. While swimming through the reefs with the park dive officer Curtis Hall, visitors can spot the Windjammer shipwreck, now home to the reefs bursting with marine life.
4. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
Above the surface, this national park is covered with ancient sea ledges and deep rocky canyons and this landscape is dotted with flowering cacti. Desert wildlife are the treasures of this Chihuahuan Desert. The caverns of this park, 119 in all, are famous for their intricate designs, staggering beauty and the fact that they are all hidden under the surface. Interestingly, the caverns were formed when sulfuric acid dissolved the limestone, each one different from the next. Adorned by cave swallows during the day and Brazilian free-tailed bats at night, they burst with life.
These caverns house the past of historic American Indians. Their imprints still mark the rich diversity of the area. This virtual tour offers a walk through the caverns and secret rooms from the eyes of a bat. Once the caverns are explored, visitors end the tour in the largest single cave chamber in America. As an interactive feature, visitors can click around and find the treasures hidden caverns.
5. Bryce National Park, Utah
This unique national park is home to the largest collection of rock pillars in the world known as hoodoos. Park ranger Kevin Poe gives both day and night virtual tours.You can get stunning views of the glittering galaxy spanning across the night sky at this national park in Utah. The interface of this tour makes it even more enjoyable. It allows you to identify the constellations and planets before more information is revealed.
Apart from the night sky, the sunset is worth a watch; it looks like a giant fireball dipping below the rocks with a view of the parks at the horizon.
6. Yosemite National Park, Central California
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike” - The Yosemite by John Muir (1912)
More than 100 years later, this gigantic national park still upholds the author’s words. It’s diverse landscape and wildlife makes one want to take a pause and reflect on their life. You’ll see gigantic naturally formed granite structures and a scenic highway dotted with pines on either side. From a high vantage point of the Sierra, you can take in views of the valley, which are sure to leave you breathless even from the comfort of your couch.
7. Yellowstone Park, Western United States of America
This imposing national park is mainly in North West Wyoming and spills over to two more states, Montana and Idaho. From natural geysers to wildlife and even the odd farm field, this park is a blend of all things living and non-living. It was signed off as a national park in 1872, making it one of the oldest in the world. Be prepared for mesmerising vistas of forests, rivers and wild animals like grizzly bears, bison, wolves and elk. The most beautiful features are the multi-coloured terrain of the Grand Canyon and the largest high-altitude natural water formation, Yellowstone Lake.
All of these free interactive tours can be found at any time on artsandculture.withgoogle.com.
Final Note: You are in for a treat with these tours with stellar views of the habitats enticing and calling out to all nature lovers. Interesting facts about the history and geology of each of the parks are sprinkled in these virtual tours and they are guaranteed to educate and entertain you and your loved ones.
*Disclaimer: This article has been shared purely from an information perspective and we do not necessarily endorse any of the mentioned virtual tours.