Lonely Planet Writer

Celebrate National Park Week with Google Earth guided tours

National Park Week runs in the US from April 20 to 28, and while it would be great to be off hiking or exploring any of the breathtaking landscapes in parks across the country, many of us might be stuck at work or home instead. Happily, everyone can still celebrate national parks during their special week, because Google Earth will feature guided tours through 31 different US parks from April 20, allowing users to virtually explore them.

The Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde National Park. Image: Cheri Alguire/Shutterstock

National Park Week takes place each spring to celebrate the protected spaces in American communities, and is co-ordinated by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation. From the breathtaking vistas of the Shenandoah Valley to the awe-inspiring hoodoo rocks of Bryce Canyon, national parks allow visitors and locals to truly experience the natural wonders of the US.

You can virtually check out Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Photo by Amineah/Shutterstock

Using Google Earth, you could explore the parks online, starting with the pink granite formations of Otter Cliff in Acadia National Park in Maine, and then heading west to check out the ancient Pueblo dwellings of Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. Finally, complete your journey with a virtual hike through Kanarraville Falls in Zion National Park in Utah.

Check out the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse in Acadia National Park, Maine. Photo by Sara Winter/Shutterstock

During National Park Week 2019, parks across the country will host a variety of special programs and events. All entrance fees are waived on Saturday April 20, and there are also special days during the week dedicated to highlighting the different ways national parks can be enjoyed.

Explore Zion National Park in Utah via Google Earth. Image by ©Peter Kunasz/Shutterstock

Further information on National Park Week is available here and you can check out the virtual tours of national parks here on Google Earth.