Lonely Planet Writer

Google reveals the hidden worlds of America’s national parks in 360-degree videos

America’s national parks stretch across the country from Hawaii to Alaska, making it a challenge for even the most prolific travellers to visit them all. But with the National Parks Service celebrating its 100th anniversary on 25 August, Google has released online tours of five parks to show off their “hidden worlds” to anyone not planning a US trip this year.

 

Google notes on its blog that while America’s national parks are “full of wonders,” most people don’t get to actually visit them. But a combination of Google’s virtual tours and 360-degree videos mean that people can view five of the country’s parks from the comfort of their homes.

national parks
Bryce Canyon in Utah. Image by Google

Google’s The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks brings viewers to remote places in Kenai Fjords in Alaska, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, Bryce Canyon in Utah and Dry Tortugas park in Florida.

national parks
Dry Tortugas park in Florida. Image by Google

The tours are short video segments that lead into 360-degree scenes at the parks’ most interesting sites. They feature local park rangers who show off places most people won’t travel to, letting visitors discover the parks in a completely new way.

 

That includes “spelunking through ancient caves at Carlsbad Caverns, flying above active volcanoes in Hawaii, and swimming through the coral reefs of the Dry Tortugas in Florida”.

See the full project here.