The iPhone is quickly becoming an indispensable travel tool, replacing the need to carry several gadgets every time you go on a trip. On the Travel Gear Blog we’re going to outline some of the ways you can turn your iPhone into the ideal piece of travel gear.
Getting reacquainted with nature in one of the U.S. National Parks may seem like the ideal time to put away the iPhone and pretend electricity hasn’t been invented yet – but when the iPhone has cool National Parks guides available as apps, you might want to reconsider. You can turn off the phone if you want to stay disconnected, but with a few of these National Parks iPhone apps you can get all your parks information and go green, too, with paperless guides.
National Parks Apps for the iPhone
National Parks Companion
The National Parks Companion app contains information on every National Park Service attraction in the U.S. – including parks, monuments, battlefields, and historic sites. You’ll get park location (with GPS coordinates), contact info, fees and registration info, and a link to the official park website – and you can keep track of all the National Parks you’ve visited with the app, too. Data is stored on your phone, so unless you want to use Google maps to locate your position in relation to the park entrance or access the park’s website, you won’t even need an internet connection or phone signal to get to the information.
Frequent National Parks visitors will be familiar with the National Park Passport that you can buy and collect stamps for to show which parks you’ve been to. The National Park app can – if you want – replace that passport. This app isn’t a travel guide to the parks, but it includes nearly 500 National Parks Service locations in it – you can read a brief description and look at pictures of each, but mainly the app is meant to let you check off the parks as you visit them.
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National Parks USA
If you want to get a preview of what you’ll see at the National Parks, or you just like a little nature-ific eye-candy on your iPhone, then download the National Parks USA app. It has 100+ photos taken in National Parks all over the country – you can zoom, pan, and rotate any photo. It’s pretty and it’s free – what more could you ask for?
iYellowstone, iGrandCanyon etc.
If the all-encompassing National Parks Companion app listed above isn’t detailed enough for you, there are some other apps for individual parks that you might consider. Some of them are – let’s just say “less good” – than others, but the iYellowstone, iGrandCanyon, iYosemite, iDeathValley, and iJoshuaTree apps are pretty nice. With all the lists, descriptions, and photos of the wildlife found in the parks, I think these would be particularly fun for kids eager to spot various animals, plants, and bugs. There’s also information about camping, hiking, and tours of the parks.
>> Download iYellowstone through the iTunes Store
>> Download iGrandCanyon through the iTunes Store
>> Download iYosemite through the iTunes Store
>> Download iDeathValley through the iTunes Store
>> Download iJoshuaTree through the iTunes Store
Moab, Arches & Canyonlands
Written by Travel Gear Blog’s own Amiee Maxwell, the Moab, Arches & Canyonlands iPhone Guide is a pretty comprehensive guide to the Moab, Arches and Canyonlands National Park areas of Southern Utah. The guide includes hiking trails, scenic viewpoints, and visitor center information as well as where to dine, shop, hike, and mountain bike outside the parks. With a Google map, photo slideshow, one-click website, phone number interface, and author generated text for each entry, the Moab guide makes a great travel guide as well as a pre-trip planning tool.
Notescast National Parks apps
As the apps store develops, some app families seem incomplete – take the “Notescast” apps, for instance. There are only two in the family that are National Parks related – there’s a Yosemite Valley Hikes Notescast and a Great Smoky Mountains Notescast – but if you’re headed for one of those parks, then you’re in luck. The Yosemite app is all about 10 hikes in the park, with distance, hike times, and ratings for the top 10 hikes in Yosemite Valley. The Great Smoky Mountains app is more of a complete guide to the park, with general information, hikes, camping info, history, fees & reservations, visitor center info, and more. Both apps work completely offline.