Dreaming of travel? Dreaming of getting outside and escaping into nature? Visiting the National Parks is a sure way to do this, but unfortunately, the only way to do this right now is on a virtual tour.
Many people are starting to feel a little restless as we’re encouraged to stay home and all of the national and provincial parks – and even the conservation areas – are temporarily closed. I know we’re starting to feel a little restless!
So we put together this list of some National Parks where you can take a virtual tour. Yes, it’s not quite the same as being there in person, but it feels like we’re getting back to nature (in a way) and gets us dreaming and planning for our next trips, whenever that may be.
So sit back, get comfy and get ready to go on your next (virtual) adventure!
Grand Canyon National Park
One of the most famous attractions in the U.S. and one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon is 446km long and up to 29km wide. Wow! Carved by the Colorado River, the rock layers record billions of years of history. It’s absolutely awe inspiring from any of the viewpoints along the edges of the cliffs. It should be a must-see on anyone’s bucket list, but for now, take a virtual rafting trip, a virtual hike or the tour from the comfort of your own home.
Banff National Park
Established in 1885, Banff is Canada’s first National Park and the third-oldest in the world. Home to glaciers, ice fields, forests and of course, the turquoise coloured glacier lakes, Banff is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO Heritage Site. See one of the most famous lakes, Moraine Lake, with a 360 degree view or take a 4k Virtual Hike through Johnston Canyon.
Kenai Fjords National Park
Located in Alaska, this park is named for the fjords that are carved by glaciers moving down from the ice field. From the warmth of your own home, this virtual tour explores glaciers, kayaks through impressive icebergs and even climbs down into the crevasse of a fjord.
Gros Morne National Park
From fjords to forests, waterfalls and cliffs to ancient sea floors and sections of the earth’s mantle, Gros Morne is a park that can’t be missed. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in western Newfoundland, it’s the second largest National Park in Atlantic Canada. Here’s a short video highlighting the park, produced by Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a UNESCO Biosphere site, this park is definitely one of my bucket list places. It’s home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes and visited by millions of tourists each year. It’s also the most visited attracton in Hawaii and the most visited volcano in the world. Most recently it erupted in 2018 and parts of the park had just re-opened in February before the park was closed again in March 2020. You can still tour the park with this tour.
Rouge National Urban Park
I have to admit that I didn’t even know this park existed until I started researching for this post! Just northeast of Greater Toronto, this park can be accessed by public transit! Unfortunately we can’t access it right now, but you can view it virtually here and plan for a trip in the future.
Yosemite National Park
Best known for it’s waterfalls and giant sequoia trees, Yosemite is the precursor to National Parks as we know them. It’s the third oldest National Park in the United States but it’s the first place that was specifically set aside for public use and preservation. Click Here to see forest, waterfalls, and the gorgeous sequoia trees .
Algonquin Provincial Park
Although it’s often called Algonquin National Park, it’s technically a provincial park. But it’s an amazing park, so I included it in the list!
Home to moose, bears and loons, Algonquin Park is the oldest and largest provincial park in Ontario. Although many people pass through it while driving along Hwy 60, the interior of the park can only be explored by canoe or on foot. Take this opportunity to explore it virtually!
If you’re still itching to see more, here are five other American National Parks where you can take a virtual tour.
- Arches National Park
- Sequoia National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Glacier National Park
- Yellowstone National Park