The national parks have often been called “America’s Best Idea” and for good reason. All across the country, everything from mountains to monuments are being preserved and cared for in the public trust. But even though thousands of people from all over the world visit these parks every year, not everyone is lucky enough to be able to experience their beauty in person. So, to celebrate its Centennial today, the National Park Service has teamed up with Google to create a unique virtual reality experience that opens up some of the country’s most spectacular wonders to everyone.
In an effort to give anyone with internet access the opportunity to see sights like Alaska’s Kenai Fjords, New Mexico’s Carlsbad Cavern, and Florida’s Dry Tortugas, NPS worked with Google to create “The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks,” a series of immersive 360-degree videos that place viewers directly inside the parks. Hosted by park rangers, the detailed videos traverse sites one might not otherwise get a chance to see, like getting a bird’s-eye-view of an active volcano or diving through a vibrant coral reef.