A Virtual Itinerary for National Park Week

Park ranger at Joshua Tree National Park.

National Park Week is an annual celebration in April designed to highlight America’s treasured natural and cultural sites, as well as the communities and partnerships that sustain them. Each day of National Park Week centers around a theme to learn more about what makes parks such special places, places that stimulate the senses, inspire wonder, and strengthen our bonds with each other and the natural world. 

Over the past year, the Department of the Interior, the National Park Service and the many individuals and partnerships advancing these organizations’ missions have been hard at work finding new and exciting ways to explore, discover and protect our national parks. This year for National Park Week, we highlight just a few of the many virtual opportunities available to celebrate.

April 17, Park Prescription Day

Parks have long been considered founts of health, wellness, and activity. Start the week off strong, and this Park Prescription Day experience the salubrious side effects of parks firsthand, by taking the six simple steps to becoming a Park Health Ambassador.

Climber at Cyclops climbing route.

April 18, Volunteer Sunday

Parks are places for people to come together in common cause. Learn about some of the opportunities in conservation by attending a National Park Service Connected Conservation Webinar. After that, this Volunteer Sunday explore the numerous fun and exciting ways you can help seize those conservation opportunities by lending a hand and volunteering.

Delicate Arch under the night sky.

April 19, Military Monday

Our military has been involved in managing and protecting national parks since the creation of the National Park Service. Today, there are more than 100 national parks with direct links to U.S. Military history. This Military Monday, take the Virtual Tour of Gettysburg National Military Park complete with 16 stops. Then get even more immersive with 3D explorations through the park’s historic structures. After that, pick up the park’s virtual passport stamp for your collection.

Man standing next to historic photo of Charles Young; bull bison at Yellowstone National Park.

April 20, Transformation Tuesday

Just as the scientific method has transformed our understanding of the world, park laboratories are transforming the way we see the outdoors. This Transformation Tuesday ignite your curiosity and learn about the citizen science taking place in parks across the country in the series, Outside Science (inside parks)

Stunning vistas from Yellowstone, Arches, and Glacier National Park.

April 21, Wayback Wednesday

Parks serve as time capsules, preserving our history, remnants of bygone eras, and records of the processes shaping Earth. This Wayback Wednesday travel back in time by reading park rocks on this geological tour or dig in to the National Park Service’s world-class collection of park fossils.

Brown bear sitting in front of a river.

Sun shining through trees at Shenandoah, a small turtle at Dry Tortugas, and mountain vistas at Glacier National.

April 22, Earth Day

Parks conserve the wonderlands of Earth for the enjoyment and inspiration of all. This Earth Day, travel virtually across the globe and check out the views and watch wildlife from hundreds of park webcams without leaving a trace. Then pair these amazing vistas with nature’s soundscapes by exploring the park sound gallery.

Yellowstone National Park at sunset.

April 23, Friendship Friday

Parks are locations of shared experience where one can forge and foster the foundations friendship. This Friendship Friday spend some time pondering different perspectives with a park film festival.  First, push west to Nicodemus National Historic Site to understand the “myth and magic” of this park through poetry. Next, travel down to the short-grass prairie of New Mexico and walk in the footsteps of Ranger Loren Yellow Bird at Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site. Finally, sail the Pacific Ocean to hear about a man’s connection to koa, a tree endemic to Hawaii, at Haleakalā National Park.

Native dancer in cultural demonstration; junior rangers.

April 24, National Junior Ranger Day

National Junior Ranger Day is the perfect day to support the future generation of park stewards. This Junior Ranger Day connect with the young and the young at heart and complete one of the many special interest Junior Ranger programs or activity guides available online. There are even more park-specific Junior Ranger programs to explore, like the one at New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park. When you are ready to take the Junior Ranger pledge, join Interior Secretary Deb Haaland for the National Park Week Junior Ranger Celebration and Swearing-In Ceremony

April 25, BARK Ranger Day

Pets can be great companions while on your park adventure. Our furry friends are welcome in many parks across the country. Some of these friends, even work in parks. This BARK Ranger Day, meet the Canine Rangers of Denali National Park and learn about their important role in protecting Alaskan wilderness in the short film, The True Heart of Winter.

Sled dogs at Denali National Park.