Those traveling to North America’s national parks between April 21-29 will enjoy free admission and special events, as it’s National Park Week here in the States. Further enhance the experience with your iPhone. There are several apps available to help you get the most out of our national parks. Here are some of my favorites.
1. National Parks by National Geographic (free). This app is absolutely beautiful, and provides information on 20 parks, from Acadia in Maine to Zion in Utah (unfortunately my local Cape Cod National Seashore is not represented). Each listing presents the current weather as well as stats like the number of visitors in 2010, the size of the park, local time and date established. Download a park’s full guide for unique photo hints, park “secrets” like tips to enhance your trip and details on what to see and do. It’s all presented beautifully. This is a must-have for those traveling to a national park with an iPhone.
2. Chimani Guides (free during National Parks Week). There are 10 Chimani guides available. Each provides a huge amount of information on the park it covers. You’ll find much of what you’d expect, like visitor information, maps and scheduled events, but that’s just the beginning. Explore park-specific details like a tide chart, museum hours and information, sunrise/sunset hours and lots of photos. These apps are comprehensive and useful. I recommend them highly.
3. Fotopedia National Parks (free during National Parks Week). Here’s another app that’s long on looks. Fotopedia National Parks contains over 3,000 photos of some of the most beautiful scenery in the continental United States. You’ll also find detailed planning information like parking shuttle schedules (very nice), points of interest and the very handy “smart suggestions,” which notices where in the park you’re standing and suggests the best of what’s nearby.
You’ll also find park-specific apps in the App Store, so I recommend conducting a search to see what you come up with. The three I’ve listed are suggestions, and very good ones at that. Then, go and experience some of America’s most beautiful scenery with iPhone in hand.