How to Develop Travel & Local App Like National Park Service?

Updated on Dec 18th, 2023


There are a plethora of wonderful smartphone apps available to assist you in making your next National Parks journey much more excellent and exciting yet. Visitors to the park will no again need to download separate applications for each area. The National Park Service launched an app to let tourists virtually connect to the outdoors both online and in-person when the epidemic began, closing the gap between the two realms.

Want to build a similar app like the National park service? Then, you are in the right space. As a prominent mobile app development company, we’ve decided to give you comprehensive details on how to develop an app like the National Park Service!

National Park Service

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Before discussing the crucial steps to build an app, let’s quickly discuss,

The National Park Service in the United States has provided mobile apps for several of its national parks, although having a different app for each park or site was certainly not the wisest decision. That’s why the National Park Service (NPS) has released a single app for all of its locations, allowing users to explore and monitor hundreds of locations in one spot. The smartphone app, simply titled ‘National Park Service,’ gives users access to data on every single maintained site. You can also save maps and details about each park for offline use, check for latest news, and create lists of parks. If you are planning to develop an app like National Park service then this blog is for you.

What is the National Park Service?

Staff from the National Park Service—people who know their way around national parks—created the application that asssit you to get the most out of your visit. With all of these parks and a whole new app, developing content for each park will take a bit of time.

Visitors may download applications for National Parks and trails all throughout the country from the National Park Service. The app also includes additional information on where to stay and eat, ensuring that your trip runs smoothly. You’ll also get live data, local events, and road closures. Visitors can create bespoke journeys and tours for every park in the United States using the National Park Service app, which takes into account accessibility needs.

Accessibility information, accommodation bookings, trail suggestions, audio tours, restaurant hours, and, probably most importantly, maps available for download for offline use are all included in the National Park Service app, which is available for free on Android and Apple.

How does the National Park Service App Work? 

To begin, users must first download the application. Then press the “Find a Park” button to look for parks in their area by state, name, activity, or theme. Users can also look for local parks by tapping “parks around me.” When they’ve found a park they wish to visit, hit the start button on the park page to add it to their favorites list. Users may also store the park for offline use from there. Users will be able to utilize all of the park information, featuring self-guided tours and maps, wherever you are once it’s downloaded. Users can also make lists with the National Park Service app, which is a nice function. Users could construct one for their summer road trip, one for nearby parks, and one for places on their bucket list—whatever they desire.

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Apart from the app’s offerings, there are some features that make the national park service app more exciting to use.

Let’s move forward and discuss some of the,

Top Features that You Need to Include in Your App, Like the National Park Service!

Concentrate solely on one main feature in your app.

Finally, while making your own app is exciting, if you believe it will be the only app you will ever need, you may be putting too much pressure on it. The most effective applications are those that concentrate on a single component of a problem or job and use only one or two critical characteristics. And getting real user input is the only way to figure out which one it is.  

Here’s a quick rundown of some most exciting features: 

park tours
Park Tours

Self-guided excursions introduce visitors to some of the park's most interesting locations. Discover both well-known and off-the-beaten-path destinations. It's like having a guide accompany everyone on their journey, advising everyone on where to go, how to get at place, and what to do once you get there. This function is similar to ``having a ranger by their side to lead the trip, including suggestions for places to visit, routes to get there, and activities to do once they arrive.``

Offline Mode
Offline Mode

What if you don't have internet access? It's no worry! Users may download entire parks' worth of content to utilize offline. It's especially useful if you're visiting isolated regions of parks or have data restrictions. Knowing that phone coverage is spotty in most parks, the app's creators include the capability to download maps and many other content for offline use—a potentially life-saving feature.


Users can utilize a super-detailed interactive map for each national park. It features attractions, trails, and anything else they will need to make every trip a success. This feature can indeed be a game-changer for your custom mobile app, such as the National Park Service.


Individuals may feel hindered when traveling to a foreign site owing to the language barrier, given the cultural diversity in the tourism sector. The reason behind this is that when tourists are out enjoying their trip, they do not want to run many programs for different purposes at the same time. However, visiting somewhere with the app's translation tool will be a lifesaver, especially when reading street signs, maps, or other directions.


A feature that gives the app's user a sense of trustworthiness. When it comes to designing lifesaving solutions, this implies that the developer is not just technically talented but also client-centric. While incorporating a function that displays the phone numbers of all emergency agencies can be quite useful, especially for travelers who are embarking on an extreme adventure or a potentially risky journey.

Search Panel

If your application's navigation isn't good enough, or if useful links are difficult to find, users are likely to switch to your rival's app. You might include an in-app search to make searching simple and speedy. The usefulness of your application will be greatly enhanced by the simple navigation design, sophisticated search, and information architecture.

Virtual Tours

Virtual tours are 360-degree videos that give users a virtual tour of a site before going there in person. Virtual tours are comparable to panoramic images, but they are created with the help of special cameras (360-degree cameras), stitching technology, and 3D animations.

Chatbots Integration

The use of chatbots is becoming increasingly common among tourists. Guests or tourists can use the chatbot to get immediate answers to questions such as making a reservation, verifying routes, or arranging an itinerary.

Weather Forecast

Tourism apps are frequently used by leisure travelers to check weather forecasts for destinations they are about to visit. It enables people to pack appropriately and avoid inclement weather. A real-time weather forecast option should be included on portals. Weather information that is current and reliable will assist tourists in being informed about the weather and prevent natural disasters. However, providing meteorological elements that provide data such as wind speed, the probability of cloud formations, humidity, and more is equally important.


As we’ve discussed the features that you need to include in your app, now let’s move forward and discuss,

How to Build an App Like the National Park Service?

Few points on which you need to focus more on are:


1. Do Some Research 

Every effective mobile app satisfies a requirement. This demand could already exist, and people are looking for a solution, or they could be unaware of the need. So, either you meet the requirement, or you raise awareness about the need for your app. You may need to conduct user research for the target segment, market, and existing solutions in order to discover the demands. To gather the necessary data, you could use online resources and surveys. You should also identify and write through stories that describe the scenario in which users encounter your app’s issues like the National Park Service is attempting to solve. So, as you start working on your mobile app, do some research on your target audience. Find out why users would want to use your app or whether they will have a compelling cause to do so. Solve a serious problem in a unique way that no other mobile app can. It’s also known as the value proposition of your mobile app.

2. Make Your App Design 

The purpose of the prototyping stage is to produce rapid application prototypes and design mockups because then the application’s layout and functionality can better satisfy the needs of its end users.

The good design helps in: 

  • It facilitates a user’s learning of how to operate the app 
  • It simplifies the app’s operation
  • Using the correct triggers, the design ensures more interaction
  • The app is visually appealing
  • Along with the practical criteria placed in front of an application, the user’s psychological demands are also met 

Furthermore, in order to get a quick reply from real developers, the application development team can first design a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) for a quick market launch and then decide which features should be created next, as well as what modifications or deletions to make. This phase helps to avoid additional development roadblocks, prolonged deadlines, or any mid-build changes that can affect final product release dates or project budgets.

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3. Choose the Right Platform

For future applications, selecting a mobile development platform is critical. Each platform also specifies development tools, best practices, app-running devices, and possible users. As a result, project designers will need to choose a mobile platform during the planning stage of the mobile app development lifecycle. iOS and Android are the two most extensive mobile application platforms. Although the two systems perform similarly in terms of functionality, they differ in terms of application stores, software development kits (SDK), and tools, among other things.

4. Test the App 

Remote user testing is the most effective approach to assess mobile usability. You will be able to gather feedback from remote users after they have utilized your product. Following that, the application development team will focus on quality assurance and eliminating any ‘bugs’ they encounter. As a result, user testing is the best approach to see through your users’ eyes and experience what they do when using your application like National Park Service.

As you’ve seen, some of the steps that you need to consider during mobile app development like National Park Service. Now, let’s move forward and check

How Much will an App Like the National Park Service Development Cost in 2021 and Beyond? 

Well, it’s the most difficult to answer before knowing your exact requirements. As we all know, the cost to develop an app like National Park Service is depends on various factors like: 

There are many other aspects that may increase or decrease the mobile app development cost. If you want more in-depth quotations of mobile app development like National Park Service, then contact a top mobile app development company like Matellio.

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You should build a mobile app that encourages customers to test out your app and return to it. You should begin applying the best standards for your mobile application in order to achieve this. When creating a mobile application, keep the user’s goals in mind. You should test your mobile application as often as time permits. Your mobile application like National Park Service will be more interesting and valuable for your users if you follow these ideas. As you can see, simply creating an application does not guarantee its success. It’s a combination of several actions and long-term initiatives that transform your app into a huge hit. Contact a leading mobile app development company if you want to make your app as popular as the National Park Service’s.  

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