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NPS

The National Parks Service Launches a Game-Changing New App

SmarterTravel

Planning a trip to visit a national park is now easier than ever, thanks to the National Parks Service’s (NPS) new app. This free app can be downloaded from the Apple or Google store and is full of helpful information and tips for exploring the national parks.

The app is like having a ranger in your pocketthe guides and tips featured are sourced directly from park rangers who know the sites the best. 

Planning a multi-park adventure? You don’t have to download a bunch of different apps, as this one includes information on all 423 NPS sites. Each park features a detailed map with points of interest, roads, trails, and other important informationand these helpful details can be downloaded and saved offline in case you don’t have cell service on your adventure. 

The app offers self-guided tours along popular destinations within parks, as well as secret spots you’d need help finding—plus fun tours that are unique to each park, like a Star Wars filming location guide to Death Valley National Park

You’ll be able to quickly and easily look up amenities (so you can find the nearest restrooms, food, gift shop, or shuttle), accessibility information (including audio descriptions of exhibits), passport stamp locations, park entrance fees, visitor center hours, and things to do.

Sign up for alerts on the app for selected parks, and get notified of news and events happening in the park that you’re visiting. 

There are plenty of fun activities you can use the app for—like creating and sharing virtual postcards you can send from the park, finding the best sunrise/sunset-watching locations, and discovering the most scenic viewpoints. 

The NPS does warn that the app is a work in progress, so if you don’t find all the details for your favorite park in the app, give them time.

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