New Technology Enhancing National Park Visitor Experiences

Uncategorized By Jun 01, 2023

The National Park Service (NPS) is using advanced technology to improve visitor experiences. Virtual reality (VR) enables visitors to explore trails and encounter wildlife before arriving at the park. Augmented reality (AR) is used to provide maps and information about park locations, while drones monitor areas that are hard to reach, making national parks safer and more accessible. Mobile apps provide real-time information and multimedia content and are useful for creating itineraries. Visitors should check with NPS before bringing VR equipment to the park and note that flying recreational drones is prohibited.

New Technology Enhancing National Park Visitor Experiences

National parks have always been a fascinating place for people across the globe to visit and experience the natural beauty and wildlife. The National Park Service (NPS) has been striving to provide visitors with the best possible experience using advanced technology. The newest technological advancements have enabled NPS to cater to the needs of visitors and improve the way people interact with nature. This article discusses some of the latest technologies that are improving national park visitor experiences.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality has been among the most fascinating technological advancements of this century. This technology is now being used to provide visitors with a peek into the wilderness before they even set foot in a national park. Through VR, visitors can explore different trails and get up close and personal with animals that they might encounter on their trip. VR is also being used to provide visitors with an inside view of some of the most popular national park locations, such as Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful geyser.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented reality is being used by NPS to enhance visitor experiences in national parks. AR provides digital overlays on top of real-life environments, which can prove extremely useful when trying to find your way. The technology is also being used to provide visitors with background information on various locations within national parks. AR technology is a hands-free solution that allows visitors to learn about the landscape around them while remaining fully immersed.

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps are now being widely used to enhance national park visitor experiences. These apps offer a vast array of features, including maps, guides, up-to-date information, and multimedia content that engages visitors. One of the most significant benefits of using mobile apps in national parks is that they provide visitors with real-time information about weather, parking, and trail conditions. The apps also offer directions and allow visitors to create customized itineraries.


Many national parks have banned the use of drones due to potential harm and danger to wildlife. However, drones are being used by NPS employees to monitor specific areas of national parks, especially those that are hard to reach. Drones have been valuable in assessing damage caused by wildfires or tracking wildlife migration patterns. While drones may not necessarily enhance visitor experiences, the technology is being used behind the scenes to make national parks safer and more accessible.


Q: Can I bring my own VR headset to a national park?
A: Yes, visitors can bring their VR headsets to national parks, but it’s important to note that some locations require specific safety gear and equipment, so visitors should always check with NPS before setting up their headset.

Q: Are all national park mobile apps free?
A: No, not all national park mobile apps are free. Some apps charge a one-time access fee, while others offer premium services and charge a monthly or yearly subscription fee.

Q: Can visitors fly drones in national parks?
A: No, flying recreational drones in national parks is forbidden, and visitors can face fines and penalties if caught violating the rule.

In conclusion, advanced technology is improving national park visitor experiences by providing an interactive and informative platform. Visitors can gain an in-depth understanding of the parks’ landscapes, wildlife, and history while enjoying a more hands-free and immersive experience. The technologies mentioned in this article have enhanced visitor safety, accessibility, and convenience, and we can expect more technological advancements in the future to further improve national park experiences.