5 Tips to Find the Best App for Exploring National Parks

Plan the perfect vacation with answers to all your questions

A national park is, by definition, a reserve of land which aims to conserve the natural habitat and the characteristics of animal and plant species present in the area. In an increasingly polluted world bent on deforestation and industrialisation, they are becoming a tiny oasis of peace and natural equilibrium that people may enjoy. Do you want head out to the nearest national park and recharge your batteries? Then follow our advice on how to pick the best app for the job and you'll be there in no time!

If you are just starting out on your adventure and still know very little on the topic, first pick an app that will let you learn more about national parks in general or your favourite park in particular. Once you decide which one you wish to visit, it may be good to also look for an app that will inform you on the means of transportation available and the ways in which you can book them.

In case you are wondering how to plan a vacation, how to get the best service and indulge in all your favourite activities, and how many days to spend camping - be sure to search for an app aimed at beginner tourists and novice campers that will walk you through the basics and give you advice on everything that you need to know, do, have and bring.

A piece of warning is in order. Sometimes, the weather can get particularly tricky, especially in wide open areas so prevalent in national parks. This is why a good weather app is handy to have, especially if it is able to alert you of severe weather conditions approaching. You wouldn't want your trip to be ruined by torrential rain or, worse still, a hurricane.

Easily explore the national parks with helpful tools

Today, our smartphones are as indispensable to us as a Swiss army knife is to a true camper. We can pack them with as many useful features as we like, and make our lives so much easier. Visiting a national park is an occasion on which this can prove particularly handy. If, for example, your main goal is to hike through as many national parks as you possibly can and truly experience them first-hand, you should make sure you download apps that cater to true adventurers and offer as much practical information and advice as possible.

If, on the other hand, you prefer a lighter experience, wish to visit with the kids and stay cozy at all times, your first instinct may be to look to rent a good SUV. Selecting a good car rental app will prove an answer to your prayers.

Depending on whether you wish to rely on restaurants for food or want to bring your own, you should plan accordingly and maintain your checklist in order. By selecting a good trip planning app, you will be able to keep track of all that you may need (often in form of a printable list in PDF format), all that ought to be done, and all the places on the map you should visit. Soon, you will be enjoying the sights of the most diverse wildlife, the most lush forests, or perhaps the most unique rock formations in the world.

Stay well equipped on your trip with access to park stores

Contrary to what some tourists lacking in experience may believe, national parks are by no means untamed wilderness with no convenience of modern civilization in sight. Quite the contrary! They are often equipped with a park store or two where you can obtain all that you may need for your journey. If you are a complete novice, you may want to download an app that will give you insight on each store, service and amenity available in the national parks near you.

If, on the other hand, you are a more seasoned camper and know your way around the wonderful natural resources the US has to offer, you may want to raise the bar somewhat higher and only look for parks that have the type of services that suit your needs. This is where only the most thoroughly detailed apps will do the trick. Don't be afraid to be picky.

In case you have a subscription to a good monthly publication such as the National Park Journal Magazine, you might already be familiar with some of the perks available to those with a yearly pass to their favorite national park. In case you are not, you might want to find an app that will update you on all the benefits of such a deal.

Find parks nearby & worldwide by searching parks by location

Yosemite, Yellowstone, Acadia or Denali may be the most famous national parks out there but often it is the less well known locations that will offer the most interesting views to the truly curious explorer. There are some parks out there that you will never seen on a poster or in the newspapers but that are still well worth visiting. You may want to consult the National Park Service but, with some of the apps out there, that probably won't be necessary. Your first step should be finding an app that will allow you to search parks by location. This can be done in two different ways.

Your first option is to get an app that is specifically focused on national parks and see what you can come up with. Regardless of whether you are in Utah or Colorado, California, Virginia or Pennsylvania, or located anywhere across the midwest, southeast and southwest - you are guaranteed to find an interesting spot to explore close by. Even if you are travelling across the pond, you can still rely on them to lead you to an interesting natural oasis. Just download an app that focuses on European parks, those in India, or any other part of the world you are headed to!

The second option you have is to find a well designed map app that will not only cover national parks but places of interest in general, allowing you to plan a trip that will include not only a visit to the national park of your choice but also perhaps a sight-seeing tour of old monuments, ex battlefields, interesting cities or theme parks!

Show your love for nature by learning about conservation

It is no secret that our planet and its natural resources are in danger. Humans have done plenty to contribute to this and now it is our responsibility to fix this before it is too late. National parks are perhaps the best places to look for information on how you can help. If you wish to join the effort, focus on finding the apps that will get you in touch with your local ecological organizations and wildlife sanctuaries.

A good app will offer you a thorough list of such non-profits out there, providing you with their office location, working hours, contact information and all the ways in which you can help. Always be sure to know what you're looking for as some apps will solely list regional or national organizations while others will have a broader scope and cover the international scene.

The National Park Foundation, Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary and the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) are just some of the many non-profits dealing with the issues that over-industrialization and destruction of wildlife habitat has caused. In case you wish to help - and don't consider a visit to a national park a mere opportunity to take a cool selfie - be sure to get a few apps that will keep you up to date on what these organizations are up to and on how you can actively participate in their mission to save our planet.

After reading our 5 Tips to Find the Best App for Exploring National Parks, you are now ready to explore the Best 10 National Parks Apps and start your exciting new adventure!