If you can’t get away to a national park like Yosemite this summer you may want to go for the next best thing: a Google Street View virtual trip.
Google Street View, the on-the-ground technology of Google Maps, sent its roving cars on a road trip through five of California’s national parks, meaning you can experience them visually–almost as if you were there.
“We’ve recently added 360-degree panoramic imagery for five of California’s national parks—including Yosemite—to Google Maps,” according to the blog announcement. “In addition, we’ve refreshed Street View imagery across most of the state. You can now take a virtual road trip across practically the entire stretch of California from north to south.”
You can even take a stroll through Redwood National Park, located at the California-Oregon border. In the Street View mode of Google Maps, try toggling the camera upward; it’ll give you the illusion that you’re peering up to the treetops.
Here’s what the blog had to say about the points of interest in Yosemeite:
“You can visit historic Inspiration Point, the site famously photographed by Ansel Adams in “Clearing Winter Storm”. Panning right from the same vantage point, you can see the cliffs of El Capitan and the picturesque Bridalveil Fall waterfall flanking iconic Half Dome, a granite rock formation almost 5,000 feet tall. You can also use Street View to venture into the valley, overlook Glacier Point (visited by John Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903), explore the more remote upcountry along Tioga Pass road and see the Giant Sequoias in Mariposa Grove.”
The other California parks that can now be viewed in 360 mode from Street View are Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, Death Valley National Park, and Joshua Tree National Park.