Whether you’re traveling to a park and want to know more about cell phone or internet access or you’re a business interested in providing broadband service, you’re in the right place. See the information below for details.
Park Visitors Planning a Trip
More than 400 national parks stretch from Guam to the Virgin Islands and from Alaska to Florida across the United States. While some parks are located in or near developed areas, others are in or near remote wilderness. The diversity in landscapes means that cell phone service varies in different parks—and even can be inconsistent within the boundaries of an individual park. Free wireless fidelity (WiFi) is available in more than 140 sites in the National Park System.
Before you head out to a park, familiarize yourself with services available in the area. Take a look at the “Basic Information” page of the park that you plan to visit (Find a Park). When possible, parks provide information about cell phone service and WiFi availability.
Cell Phone Service
Most wireless service providers offer network area coverage maps on their websites and in stores, though these maps are for general information purposes and actual coverage may vary. Please be aware that service breaks can occur even in areas that appear to be covered on the service provider’s webpage.
WiFi and Internet
The National Park Service (NPS) provides free WiFi at some visitor centers and other facilities around the country. See the list of parks and other facilities with free WiFi provided by the NPS.
In addition, many concession operations in parks, such as lodges and restaurants, provide some form of internet for visitors, either for free or for an additional charge. See the list of concession operations with internet connectivity. Please note that internet services at some lodges are only available to overnight guests. For further details, please contact the concessioner.
Businesses Interested in Providing Broadband Service
Are you a business looking to either install infrastructure across a park to reach customers outside a park or to provide service to park visitors and employees? If so, your first stop should be the NPS Right-of-Way (ROW) Permit webpage.
The NPS is acting in support of Executive Order 13821 and the Presidential Memorandum of January 8, 2018, Supporting Broadband Tower Facilities in Rural America on Federal Properties Managed by the Department of the Interior:
- NPS staff created the NPS ROW Permit webpage to provide more information for individuals and companies interested in applying for ROW permits from the NPS.
- The NPS holds a bi-annual internal training on ROW permitting process, open to all park, regional, and national staff.
- The NPS has a small national ROW permitting team and a ROW coordinator in each region to support parks in processing ROW permit applications.