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Virtual "Couch Tours"of the National Parks

When the world is on lock down there are still ways to explore some of the most beautiful places on Earth. Even from our couches! Many of us recently had to cancel or postpone a trip to the great outdoors. It stinks right? My family had a very special vacation planned next month to Rocky Mountain National Park but the stay-at-home order must be taken seriously…so we had to cancel.

If this sounds all-too-familiar then I have fun news to share! Google Arts & Culture partnered with the National Parks Service to produce an immersive virtual journey into the outdoors. They’re calling it “The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks”. It's is an exciting new look at some of the best parks in the nation - a fresh take on a classic concept.

Visiting each park starts with a specially narrated video and then places you there with a park ranger at your side, offering you many different ways to interact with your environment. It allows you to truly get lost in nature for hours – without ever having to leave your house. Some highlights include stargazing in Bryce Canyon, rappelling into a crevasse in Kenai Fjords, and walking through a lava tube in Hawaii Volcanoes. And if you're a fan of the Everybody's National Parks podcast (like we are!) then you'll recognize one of the rangers, Ranger Shelton Johnson from Yosemite!

The sounds are incredible and they rotate as the camera pans around, making you feel as though you’re standing there, turning your head, looking and listening to the landscape.

“Hidden Worlds” combines high-def sound with 360-degree videos and photos, as well as in-frame interactions where you can learn about the natural features, wildlife, and more. Here are the five featured parks!

As a true National Parks lover I highly recommend these “couch tours”. They have really brightened our time spent at home. Start your adventure exploring the Hidden Worlds of the National Parks.

Never stop exploring!


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