When users click on the name of the park, the app leads to a panel displaying tabs that include information on current weather; park stats (size, number of visitors, date established); park details ranging from getting there to camping and lodging to pet access; the most recent twitter updates from the park; and gorgeous, scrollable photos of the parks that users can save or share to create a park itinerary. A separate panel shows points of interest, camping and lodging, and photos with different colored pushpins and users are able to filter these pins by activity (active, camping, drive, water, snow/ice), season, and geo-location.
Even more functionality is accessible from a profile tab that lets users save itineraries, view the editors' picks, and view current and archival photos from National Geographic photographers as well as the best photos from fans of Nat Geo.
The National Parks guide by National Geographic is free, as is one first fully-featured park download, but requires in-app purchases of approximately $.099 to $1.99 each to unlock its full potential. The full guides have recommendations on what to see and do, photography tips from National Geographic expert photographers, and park secrets.
This app is truly a rich one, with the only drawback being that it works only with a WiFi or 3G connection (i.e., it may be difficult to access while actually inside a park.)
There are a few other bells and whistles, including a link to the NPCA's twitter stream for the latest updates on parks news. But until the National Park Service develops an app that includes all 397 national park areas and the plants and animals within them, this app, available for iOS and Android, is the most comprehensive for nature buffs. Also, it is free.