National Geographic has launched a new app offering extensive guides to twenty of the most visited national parks in the US to mark National Park Week, which is running from April 21-29. During this week, all of America’s 397 national parks are offering free admission.

National Geographic has grown to become one of the most recognizable publishing brands around geography, science, history and culture since it first went to print way back in 1888. And it hasn’t been slow to embrace the digital revolution either.

Last year National Geographic partnered with app developer Fotopedia to launch a new iOS app called Dreams of Burma, a visual feast packed with more than 1,000 photographs of Burma. This was followed the month after by Above France, an app providing a bird’s eye view of France’s beauty with more than 2,000 photographs taken by helicopter pilot and professional photographer Frank Mulliez. And earlier this year, AllTrails partnered with National Geographic Maps to build a comprehensive online platform for outdoors enthusiasts.

Now, National Parks by National Geographic, will let users plan their next park vacation. Whilst the app itself is free, most of the individual guides are available for in-app purchase, covering the likes of Death Valley and Hawaii Volcanoes. You will, however, get the first one for free.

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The app was developed and designed in conjunction with Rally Interactive, and whilst it currently features guides to only twenty parks, it plans to roll out more in the future.

For each park, the app provides general park information, including travel tips, contact and entry information, park rules, recent related tweets, current weather and special advisories. There are also photo galleries for each park, which are compiled both from National Geographic’s archives and user-submitted images.

Photo tips from Michael Melford, who has previously photographed many national park stories for National Geographic magazine, advises users on how to shoot like a pro.

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In the user hub, travelers will find picks from National Geographic editors of their favorite hikes and activities, park news and related events.

Detailed maps also allow users to locate park points of interest, filter them by activity and seasonality, get directions from their current location, add them to a customized park itinerary or a list of favorites, or share the information on their social networks.

National Parks by National Geographic