During this unprecedented time, we are all itching to head out and about – whether it’s for an aimless walk down the street, a run to the grocery store or a stroll within a nearby park. We are all trying to stay safe & healthy within our own homes under the “stay at home” orders issued by most of the states within the country. Let’s have some fun by take a virtual trip together or alone – no passport required!
Google Earth unveiled some great tech for those feeling the wanderlust – guided virtual tours of 31 national parks in the US. These tours will leave you stunned at what Mother Nature has to offer. A description of each is to follow…
This virtual tour focuses on the Precipice Trailhead which is a difficult hiking trail within this park. It has an exposed vertical climb and falcon viewing. Be warned: This might not be for you if you have a phobia of heights.
This virtual tour of the arch on the north side of the Windows looks like a sandstone fin featuring two massive, eye-shaped openings. When here, don’t forget to snap some pics of this! You won’t be sorry.
Badlands National Park, South Dakota
This virtual tour of the Big Badlands Overlook is a scenic pullout, offering sweeping vistas of the Badlands’ famously steep, jagged geologic formations.
This virtual tour of Emory Peak is reached via a hiking trail passing forests and cacti. It is the tallest summit within the park.
This virtual tour of the looped routes called Rim Rock Trail follows the parameter of a rock rim with wooden stairs leading to natural tunnels. Hence, the name Rim Rock Trail.
This virtual tour of Sunrise Point features the overlook with sweeping canyon views and russet rock formations called hoodoos. It is a very popular spot at sunrise and sunset.
This virtual tour of the Dead Horse Point State Park shows us the cliffside park which offers camping, hiking-and-biking trails, plus overlooks with views of the Colorado River.
Channel Islands National Park, California
This virtual tour of the rocky Landing Cove has a lighthouse which offers kayaking, plus sea views and possible pelican sightings.
This virtual tour of Everett Road Covered Bridge shows us the 19th-century bridge which once helped transport goods across Summit County.
This virtual tour of the Rhyolite shows us the ruins of the 1905 gold-mining town which is now a Hollywood movie set and a historic site with art installations.
This virtual tour of the Polychrome Overlook shows us this scenic vista point which overlooks colorful rocks, pristine tundra and Polychrome valley glaciers.
Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
This virtual tour of Fort Jefferson Boat Pier shows us the pier and landing site for boat tours around the island, plus picnic benches and a white sandy beach.
This virtual tour of the Otter Cave Hammock Trail is a short, 1-mile nature trail along a level footpath through tropical vegetation and across a stream. It will make you feel like you were there!
This virtual tour of Lake McDonald shows its offerings of kayaking and canoeing. This scenic alpine lake is the largest in this park.
This virtual tour of the Bright Angel Trailhead takes us thru the rugged 7.9-mile trek on the park “superhighway” which links the Colorado River and the South Rim.
This virtual tour of the Willow Flats Overlook showcases this scenic spot which has wide vistas of a flat wildlife grazing area, Jackson Lake and the jagged Teton Range.
This virtual tour of the Laurel Falls Trail is named after the mountain laurel plant that grows here. This trek passes a storied waterfall. Don’t forget to snap a few memorable pics while here!
Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
This virtual tour of the McKittrick Canyon Trailhead combines desert scrub with mountain vistas, trout streams and vintage backcountry cabins.
This virtual tour of the Barker Dam is part of a 1.5-mile loop trail. This small lake reservoir was built by ranchers in the early 1900s to store water.
This virtual tour of the Navajo Canyon View showcases the scenic overlook of the canyon housing scores of ancient cliff dwellings, including Square Tower House.
This virtual tour of the Nisqually Entrance is an official historic district with its original park entrance, a 1908 cabin and other rustic structures.
This virtual tour of the picturesque Rialto Beach dotted with rocks, driftwood and tidepools offers scheduled whale and seal viewing.
This virtual tour of the Lady Bird Johnson Grove showcases the scenic 1.4-mile trail in an upland redwood grove honors our environmentally-minded former First Lady.
This virtual tour of the Longs Peak showcases the dramatic 14,259-foot national park mountain which has a snow-covered peak and a route for intrepid climbers.
This virtual tour of the General Sherman which is just shy of 275 feet tall is a landmark in the park and among the world’s largest trees.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
This virtual tour of the Dark Hollow Falls Trailhead is a popular 1.4-mile round-trip downhill hike to scenic falls, past sitting rocks and mountain laurel.
Virgin Islands National Park
This virtual tour of the Reef Bay Trail is a 3-mile trek through tropical forest which passes sugar-plantation ruins and ancient Taino petroglyphs.
This virtual tour of the Elk Mountain Trail is 8.2 kilometer, passes a campsite and offers scenic grassland views.
This virtual tour of the Norris Geyser Basin is a geo-thermal area. It is the hottest in Yellowstone National Park, with a museum, trails and geysers.
This virtual tour of the Tunnel View is an iconic panorama of Yosemite Valley, framed by waterfalls and the granite monoliths, El Capitan and Half Dome.
This virtual tour of the Court of the Patriarchs includes three peaks, offering climbing routes and named after religious figures Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
If famous museum virtual tours are more to your liking, go here for a list of them.