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For National Parks Week, plan a trip with Google Maps
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For National Parks Week, plan a trip with Google Maps

Delicate Arch rock formation at sunset.

I’ve ticked a lot of National Parks off my travel bucket list this past year. As parks started to reopen, I planned outdoor trips instead of international ones. And at the end of last year, my boyfriend and I packed up our apartments to cruise around the Southwest in a borrowed camper van. Along the way, Google Maps helped us plan out our days. 

In Utah, we went to some of the most searched for National Parks — like Arches National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. We used Google Maps to scope out the most scenic driving routes and save campsites, viewpoints and trailheads. The best part? We could access everything even if we were in areas that had spotty service since we downloaded Maps to use when we were offline. This came in handy when we were trying to find a campground at Bryce Canyon — a total dead zone for our cells — and at Arches where we perfectly timed our day to catch sunset at Delicate Arch (the infamous arch on the state’s license plate). In New Mexico, we used popular times information on Google Maps to avoid the crowds — thanks to this intel it felt like we had White Sands National Park all to ourselves early on a weekday. 

Saturday marks the first day of National Parks Week, which I’ve deemed as a welcomed excuse to start planning your next outdoor adventure. (I’ve been eyeing Big Bend National Park). If you’re looking for some travel inspiration, Google Maps dug into data from the past year to help get you started! 

Man standing on sand dunes at White Sands National Park.


Popular times to hit the popular parks 🕒

  • The most popular time on the weekend to visit the top five National Parks is Saturday at 2:00 p.m. 

  • The most popular time on the weekdays is similar to the weekend, between 1 to 3 p.m.

  • On weekdays, the most popular time to visit the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone is Tuesday. 

All trends point to hiking trails   🥾

  • Google Maps searches for “hike” have increased 30% year over year

  • Meanwhile, Google Maps searches for “beach” have increased 27% year over year

Top 10 most searched National Parks on Google Maps ⛰️

  1. Grand Canyon National Park

  2. Yellowstone National Park

  3. Yosemite National Park

  4. Zion National Park

  5. Joshua Tree National Park

  6. Big Bend National Park

  7. Sequoia National Park

  8. Bryce Canyon National Park

  9. Glacier National Park

  10. Arches National Park

Top 10 most searched national forests on Google Maps 🌲

  1. Angeles National Forest

  2. Pisgah National Forest

  3. San Bernardino National Forest

  4. Tonto National Forest

  5. Coconino National Forest

  6. Sam Houston National Forest

  7. Sequoia National Forest

  8. Nantahala National Forest

  9. Cleveland National Forest

  10. Ozark National Forest

Top 10 most searched public beaches on Google Maps 🏖️

  1. Will Rogers State Beach

  2. Pacifica State Beach

  3. Marina Beach

  4. Seacliff State Beach

  5. Madeira Beach Access

  6. San Clemente State Beach

  7. Gray Whale Cove State Beach

  8. Manatee Public Beach

  9. Manasota Key Beach

  10. Blind Pass Beach

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