Who needs 1053 free National Park maps? You do.
Maps are awesome.
And free maps are more awesomer.
So when I found out about the map site maintained by National Park Ranger Matt Holly, it was a very good day. Matt, already famous for the cutest stick story ever, is now becoming even more famous for uploading over 1000 National Park Service maps in PDF format for easy online access.
Seriously. How cool is that?
Simply titled National Park Maps, the site features 1053 high-resolution maps that can be downloaded for free. They cover all 59 of the national parks. Many of them are the same maps that are provided by National Parks staff at park entrances. Many were previously only available by visiting the website of each national park. There’s even a single national park map that shows the entire system of U.S. national parks, including Alaska and other outlying areas.
And Matt continues to add maps to the site.
I created this site because I love visiting national parks and planning trips by poring over a classic national park map. However, I’ve always found it time-consuming to visit each park’s web page and use an embedded map viewer or muddle through the website to find a nice printable map.
So I’ve done the dirty work for you and collected maps of each park and hosted them here. I’ll be continually updating this site over time, adding more parks and including as many free public domain maps as I can find. I’ll post new pages in the Latest Updates section as I add more.
You can search by state or specific park name. And once you select a specific park, Matt sends you to a site dedicated to that park with multiple maps that included official maps as well as things such third party hiking trail maps, biking trails, and maps of monuments. He also includes direct links to that park’s official NPS site.
This should become one of your go-to sites for connecting historical content with place, for providing context for primary sources, and for practicing map skills. Use it together with Google Cardboard and the StreetView app. Develop lessons that encourage historical thinking skills and align student learning to state and NCSS standards such as:
- Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions, and changes in their environmental characteristics.
- Use paper based and electronic mapping and graphing techniques to represent and analyze spatial patterns of different environmental and cultural characteristics.
So whether you’re planning a personal trip or using the maps as part of your instructional designs, one thing we can all agree on is that Matt is awesome.