It’s a long trip from New York City to Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska — about 4,500 miles. But Kenai Fjords and four other national parks just got a little closer thanks to a series of virtual reality tours released by Google for the centennial of the national park system.
Google has created 360-degree guided tours of five parks to celebrate the birthday of the National Park Service, which was established 100 years ago Thursday. The service was founded on Aug. 25, 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson with the goal of preserving the nation’s natural and historic wonders for future generations.
In addition to Kenai Fjords, viewers can marvel at Hawaii’s volcanoes, descend into the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, traverse Bryce Canyon in Utah, and dive into the waters of the Dry Tortugas in Florida.
Click here to explore the five parks. The guided tours are viewable on desktops, phones and in virtual reality with the VR headset Google Cardboard.
And if you're looking to get out in nature this weekend, all national parks and monuments that normally have an admission fee are free from Aug. 25 to Aug. 28 in honor of the centennial.
Head to the National Park Service website to search national parks by state.