Since being introduced in 1986 the Passport To Your National Parks program has been a popular one with travelers. The program encourages visitors to America’s national parks to collect “cancellation” stamps in a passport book from as many parks as they possibly can. The stamps, which feature photos taken by park employees, are issued on an annual basis and are often viewed as collectors’ items. Now those analog passport books have a digital companion in the form of a new iPhone app.
The Passport to Your National Parks app was released a few weeks back and features some excellent options for fans of the passport program and the parks in general. For instance, it contains a database of every park in the U.S. system, allowing users to search by name, state or region. Once you find the park you’re looking for, a detailed view provides visitor center addresses and phone numbers, maps, entrance fee info and a brief description of the destination. It also lists special events and attractions, provides directions and tells you where to find the park’s passport stamp.
The functionality of the app doesn’t end there, however, as it also provides space for digitally logging your visits to the various parks and allows you to make lists of those you intend to visit in the future. Users can add dates and photos to those logs and even discover which parks are nearby their current location simply by using the iPhone’s built-in GPS chip.
The new app can be downloaded for free from the App Store and will soon be released for other smartphone flavors as well. It should make an excellent companion for those planning on visiting a national park in the months ahead.