National Park Week starts this Saturday — and we’ve just launched our newest mobile app, “National Parks by National Geographic,” to help kickstart the celebration. You’ll get instant — and free — access to guides to the 20 most visited parks, complete with travel tips, park rules and advisories, live tweet feeds from the parks, photo galleries (with tips from National Geographic magazine photographer Michael Melford), and our editors’ picks for don’t-miss hikes, spots, and activities.

Know what else is free? All 397 parks will be waiving admission fees from April 21-29 to honor the occasion — that’s 84 million of the most beautiful acres you’ll find in the U.S. at your disposal. The National Park Foundation (the official charity of America’s parks) has a handy park-finder tool that will help you start planning your visit today.

To play into this year’s parks week theme, “Picture Yourself in a National Park,” we’re asking our readers to share photos they’ve taken at any park around the country — whether it’s a full-blown national park, a battlefield, a monument or historic site — with Traveler.

If you’ve taken amazing photos at a park (it’s hard to avoid, right?), or are planning to when you visit, let us know by using our #parkpic tag on Twitter and Instagram. We’ll be showcasing your best submissions here on the blog the first week of May!

Want to give back to America’s best idea? It’s Volunteer Day on Saturday, April 21st. Find a project near you or check out all the other National Park Week events happening all around the country (our younger readers won’t want to miss National Junior Ranger Day on Saturday, April 28th). Don’t forget to tag your photos #parkpic!


  1. [...] with Earth Day, April 21-29 is National Park Week in the U.S. and that means all 397 parks are offering free admission. – National Geographic [...]

    April 20, 2012, 3:35 pm

    I like very mutch your provided information I allwase looking television national gegurafic I very much interested goto south Africa forest may dangers for life but I want know somting I can not explained. thanks

  3. [...] with Earth Day, April 21-29 is National Park Week in the U.S. and that means all 397 parks are offering free admission. – National Geographic [...]

  4. Richard Harlos
    April 20, 2012, 7:52 pm

    Sounds like a great app! When will the Android version be available?

  5. Tim Jone
    April 21, 2012, 8:54 am

    Thats amazing…

  6. Sohail Ahmad
    April 26, 2012, 11:22 am

    I like this very much. It,s so beautiful. I am watching National Geographic daily.

  7. Willamette International Travel
    Portland, OR
    April 26, 2012, 12:45 pm

    If possible, now I’m even more excited about hiking in the parks around the NW this Spring!

  8. Tomas M
    April 26, 2012, 11:46 pm

    it is really amazing

  9. Luciano Lucci
    April 27, 2012, 4:53 am

    Definitely an excellent initiative, and so the headsets can be up to date and detailed.

  10. National Park Week 2012 | bountii
    September 3, 2012, 1:58 pm

    [...] National Geographic calls it “America’s best idea”. [...]

  11. [...] forget: National Park Week is still in full effect through Sunday, April 29, with all parks offering free admission to [...]

  12. [...] Picture Yourself in a National Park! Colorful geysers at Yellowstone. (Photo by Samuel Chamberlain, My Shot) [...]