There are loads of fantastic smartphone apps out there to help make your next National Parks adventure your most fabulous adventure yet. Here are Tracks & Trails’ five favorite national park apps. Check them out!
Chimani is all about the lover of National Parks. They offer free mobile apps to help users discover all 417 National Park Service units, including historical parks, seashores, preserves and lakeshores. Users can then download detailed guides, including GPS-enabled maps and maps that can be used while offline, for each of the 59 National Parks, like Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. Choose your interests and the app provides instant recommendations for each park.
Just Ahead is not entirely free, but it’s one of the best audio guides of our National Parks that we’ve seen. The app has a built-in GPS, just like some of the others, but what we like about the Just Ahead app is that it automatically begins narration as you drive by colored markers on the map so you can learn about the beautiful sights and scenic views as you pass them. Even better, the app intersperses interesting stories with facts on park history and geology. The full guide for Big Bend National Park in Texas is free, but guides for 16 other popular National Parks start at $14.99 each.
National Parks Service provides travelers with 25 guide apps for National Parks and trails across the country. Each app also provides additional information on where to sleep and eat, making your trip as seamless as possible. You’ll also discover live data, events in the area, and road closures along with geyser predictions if you’re at Yellowstone.
Hikers will love this mobile app since it features trail data and hike descriptions for hikes all across our National Parks. Search for hikes using the map within the app or check out “best of” lists for each National Park that are curated by app users. As a bonus, no cell signal is needed to use the app; the maps and data are all available offline. The expert-crafted list of Family Friendly Hikes and Gems, or most beautiful features of each park, are also worth exploring before you go.
Download this free app to your smartphone to find the nearest parks and recreation areas with the activities you want to do anytime from wherever you are. Beyond National Parks, this app also includes state parks, national forests and wildlife refuges. Choose from 20 different activity categories, like hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, RVing and boating. You can also get directions, phone numbers and websites right from the mobile app.