Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Wednesday 04 August |
Saint of the Day: St. John Vianney
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Google Maps offers virtual tours of closed National Parks

Yosemite National Park

Mikhail Kolesnikov | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 03/27/20

Enjoy the Great Outdoors from the safety of your isolation.

With so many people stuck at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, lots of us have been introduced to a few new enemies of mental and physical health: boredom, lethargy, and stagnation. This troubling trio can wreak havoc on one’s positive outlook in these trying times, but thanks to Google you now have a way to enjoy the “Great Outdoors” without ever leaving your home!

America’s National Parks are certainly large enough to allow visitors to keep a safe social distance from one another, but because of the risk of spreading coronavirus, several parks have already closed. Many more are canceling events and activities, as well as shuttering their guest amenities like visitor centers and camp sites, which every year attract more than 300,000 nature enthusiasts.

While all the nation’s wildlife reserves are shutting down to the public, Google Maps has launched a series of virtual tours of America’s greatest National Parks. They have highlighted some of the most beautiful landscapes from sea to shining sea, with 360-degree views of God’s glorious creations.

They currently have 31 tours available through Google Maps. Pick from a list that includes California’s Redwood National Park, Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, the Everglades, and even Death Valley. Each tour will take the virtual guest through a new and interesting biome, filled with gorgeous natural scenery and even the occasional animal caught on camera.

In the Redwood National Park tour, visitors can follow an actual footpath, with another full 360- degree view at each step. It may not be quite the same as walking through Star Wars’ Endor, but it’s an excellent simulation. To make it even better, we suggest opening a window or utilizing some porch space, that is, if your wifi reaches that far.

Let’s take a look at some of the wonderful tours of National Parks that Google Maps is offering.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Saint Mary of the Angels
Bret Thoman, OFS
All your sins will be forgiven if you go to a Franciscan church o...
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
Philip Kosloski
Most priests can’t absolve these sins
Ary Waldir Ramos Diaz
1st Feast of Our Lady of Silence is August 1
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.