The Best National Park Webcams and Live Streams

mauna loa snow webcam
Snow in Hawaii! As seen on the Mauna Loa webcam in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in March.

The best national park webcams and live streams can transport visitors from their phones right to the edge of the Grand Canyon, the volcanoes of Hawaii, Alaskan streams full of bears, and the gator-infested waters of the Everglades.

The 63 official entities in the U.S. national park system have so much to offer those looking for nature and wildlife.

I had planned to make this the ultimate list of every national park webcam in existence. But then I went to view some of those webcams, and realized that a lot of them simply do not work anymore.

Whether it’s due to budget cuts or lack of staffing, the national parks don’t make their webcams a priority, so when they go down, they typically aren’t fixed very fast.

As a result, this list is shorter than it could be. But by the same token, it’s an up-to-date collection of webcams that are functioning as of 2023.

So instead of going on a wild goose chase by clicking random links on the NPS’s official list of webcams, just scroll down to see links to the NPS webcams that are working properly. Come along on this virtual tour of live national park streams!

National Park Webcams: Wildlife & Park Views

This first section lists the webcams that provide the most exciting views of wildlife and other park features. These are the best NPS webcams in our estimation.

Most of these are live streams, but a few of the national park webcams are time-lapse cams that display one photo every 30 seconds, rather than a continuous live stream.

Katmai National Park (Brooks Falls)

Katmai webcam: https://explore.org/livecams/brown-bears/brown-bear-salmon-cam-brooks-falls

katmai bears best national park webcams
A view from the Katmai National Park live stream webcam with lots of bears!

Brooks Falls is where bears gather to eat salmon in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. More than 100 bears descend on this one-mile stretch of river.

On a recent Saturday, I tuned in and watched no fewer than eight bears in the water waiting patiently for a fish feast. A couple snagged fish in their mouths as the video continued. For seeing live wildlife action, this webcam is one of your best bets.

Important note: The Katmai webcam is solar-powered, which means that it usually doesn’t run in winter. When the cam is not functional, the stream instead shows a highlight video of bears seen last summer.

Yellowstone Webcam (Old Faithful)

Yellowstone Old Faithful webcam: http://www.nps.gov/features/yell/live/live4.htm

Watch the famous Old Faithful geyser blow its top every 91 minutes. Don’t expect a front row seat, because the webcam is way off in the distance. However, this cam actually appears to have a human behind it, because the view will periodically move and zoom to focus in on other geothermal activity in the area.

The Old Faithful webcam is a live stream, so you’ll see exactly what is happening there right now. The other 8 webcams in Yellowstone are static, meaning they refresh with a new picture every 30 seconds.

There are 8 other webcams in Yellowstone, though they also show still images refreshed every 30 seconds, rather than live streams. The other cams include Roosevelt Arch and the southern view from my favorite Yellowstone hiking spot, Mount Washburn.

Channel Islands (Underwater)

Channel Islands webcam: https://www.nps.gov/chis/learn/photosmultimedia/ocean-webcam.htm

This overlooked national park off the California coast near Los Angeles consists of islands and ocean water. Channel Islands offers a really cool underwater webcam in the middle of a kelp forest!

Sadly, as of this writing the webcam is down for technical difficulties. But maybe it will be operational again once you read this.

Channel Islands (Bald Eagles)

Channel Islands eagle webcams: https://www.nps.gov/chis/learn/photosmultimedia/bald-eagle-webcam.htm

channel islands bald eagle national park webcam live stream

Here’s another Channel Islands live stream cam. In fact, there are two webcams at this link, both situated right next to bald eagle nests!

So you can watch eagle families come and go above Sauces Canyon and Fraser Point. How cool! These are two of my favorite webcams in the entire national park system, because you can see the eagles from such close range.

Yosemite (Yosemite Falls)

Yosemite Falls webcam: http://www.yosemiteconservancy.org/webcams/yosemite-falls

Check out the tallest waterfall in North America! This webcam shows the steady flow of water at Upper Yosemite Falls. It’s an impressive sight to behold.

Yosemite actually has a lot of awesome webcams. You can see many of the park’s most iconic spots from the comfort of your own couch! See the webcams for other notable spots in Yosemite: El Capitan, Half Dome, and High Sierra. The Yosemite Falls webcam is a live stream, while the others refresh once every 30 seconds.

Capital Reef National Park Webcam

Capital Reef webcam: http://timecam.tv/view_archive.aspx?C=56FDAFMIE35A

capital reef NPS webcams
A glimpse from the Capital Reef National Park webcam.

I like to think I’m knowledgeable about all the national parks, but I know little about Capital Reef. It gets overshadowed by those other famous parks in Utah.

But when it comes to webcams, Capital Reef has one of the best. It takes a still image every 10 minutes, but the real fun comes when you press Play and see all the images from the past hour, day, week or month (your choice) played back in time-lapse fashion.

Everglades Webcam (Anhinga Trail)

Everglades webcam: http://www.video-monitoring.com/everglades/royalpalm/

The Anhinga Trail is perhaps the best place to see alligators in the Everglades. The NPS smartly set up a webcam right on the trail so you can see it right from your phone.

This webcam is not a live stream, and instead sends out still images about once every 30 minutes. Not too exciting, but you might see some gators if you’re lucky. They also post 30-second video clips from time to time.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Mauna Loa & Kilauea)

Mauna Loa webcam: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/cams/panorama.php?cam=MLcam
Kilauea webcam: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/cams/panorama.php?cam=KIcam

The webcams in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park provide panoramic views that gives viewers a wider range of sight than most of the other NPS webcams.

Still, unless there’s an active eruption, there’s not a lot going on at the summits of these volcanoes. You may witness an occasional belch of thermal steam. Mauna Loa sometimes gets snow in the winter months, though, so that’s something to look forward to.

Glacier National Park Webcam (Lake McDonald)

Glacier webcam: https://www.nps.gov/customcf/webcam/dsp_webcam_image.cfm?id=81B4690A-1DD8-B71B-0B2D069E1CB02E6A

For national park webcam excitement, Glacier National Park may be the very best. The park has a whopping 19 NPS webcams as of this writing, showing everything from Going-to-the-Sun Road to Logan pass to Many Glacier. Click here to see the entire list of Glacier streams.

The Lake McDonald webcam linked above is one of my favorites from the park. It shows the lake in the foreground and the mountains in the distance. Viewing this cam reminds me of the time I went kayaking in the lake!

Isle Royale Webcam (Mott Island)

Isle Royale Mott Island webcam: https://www.nps.gov/customcf/webcam/dsp_webcam_image.cfm?id=81B46B25-1DD8-B71B-0B8518C0DCFC4473

The awesome island national park in Michigan called Isle Royale used to have two webcams, but now they have five! The cams are placed at Mott Island, Tobin Harbor, Greenstone Ridge, Windigo, and Rock Harbor. See the full list here.

Both aren’t truly webcams because they don’t provide live streams. Instead, they send out still images. But only when there’s enough sunlight for the solar-powered cam to function!

Mt. Rainier Webcams

Mt. Rainier webcams: https://www.nps.gov/mora/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm

mt rainier webcam camp muir
A glimpse from the Camp Muir webcam at 10,000 feet on the side of Mt. Rainier.

One of the tallest mountains in America (it’s actually an active volcano!), Mt. Rainier in Washington state stands more than 14,000 feet tall. And it’s got more webcams than just about any other national park in the country.

So many, in fact, that I won’t even bother trying to list them all. Just check out the NPS’s page (link above) and choose which of the dozen or so cams you want to glance at. I particularly enjoy the Camp Muir, Mountain, and Paradise webcams.

NPS Webcams: Air Quality / Scenic Webcams

The majority of national park webcams are known as “Air Quality” webcams. These are cams that show distant shots of scenery in parks. They’re mainly used to monitor air quality and determine whether a park is foggy or smoky.

You can’t really see much with these webcams, but we’re listing them here for the sake of completeness and because some of them do have decent views.

Grand Canyon (Yavapai Point)

Grand Canyon webcam: https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm

This one shows you the beauty of the Grand Canyon, although it presents refreshed still images rather than a constant national park live stream.

On the plus side, the webcam provides detailed info such as air temperature, visibility, winds, air pollution levels, and more. It’s situated at the Yavapai Museum of Geology on the South Rim, so you’ll see landscape images more than wildlife.

There’s also a great Grand Canyon webcam here with still images from the Bright Angel Trail, one of the park’s most popular hikes.

Acadia National Park Webcam (McFarland Hill)

Acadia webcam: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/air/webcams.htm?site=acad

acadia nps webcam
Recent view from the Acadia National Park webcam in Maine.

Acadia National Park sits along the rocky coastline of Maine. This small webcam provides a view from McFarland Hill looking east.

By the way, if you ever travel to the northeast, I recommend doing a road trip from Boston to Acadia NP. It’s one of the best ways to explore these northeastern states.

Smoky Mountains Webcam (Purchase Knob)

Smoky Mountains webcam: https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm

Like the Grand Canyon cam, the Great Smoky Mountains webcam does not provide streaming video but instead simply updates with new still photos every few minutes.

So it’s probably not the best webcam to follow, unless you love staring endlessly at pics of green forests. But hey, the Smokies are the most-visited national park in America, so it’s understandable that the public would want to take a peek at the camera from time to time.

Joshua Tree Webcam

Joshua Tree webcam: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/air/webcams.htm?site=jotr

Joshua Tree has some incredible things to see and do, but you wouldn’t know it from this still cam, which only provides a distant shot of the mountains.

This is an “air quality” webcam, so it’s just meant to show the visibility of the sky. On a sunny day, you can see well into the distance at several different desert peaks.

Theodore Roosevelt NP (Painted Canyon)

Theodore Roosevelt webcam: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/air/webcams.htm?site=thro

roosevelt np web cam stream
A view into Roosevelt National Park’s Painted Canyon.

North Dakota’s only national park has a webcam showing the impressive view of Painted Canyon. Roosevelt National Park actually has some of the coolest wildlife in the national park system, including horses, bison, prairie dogs, turkeys, and much more.

You won’t see those animals in this distant cam, but you will see a nice view of the park’s scenic canyon area.

Denali NP Webcam (Wonder Lake)

Denali webcam: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/air/webcams.htm?site=dena

Alaska’a Denali NP ranks as the third largest national park in the USA. This webcam is cool because during the summer, it stays light in Alaska until very late at night.

So even past midnight on the east coast, there’s plenty of daylight left to see the view from Wonder Lake on this cam. Denali is one of the best national parks for backcountry camping and wildlife viewing.

Shenandoah NP Webcam

Shenandoah webcam: https://www.nps.gov/media/webcam/view.htm?id=81B46B99-1DD8-B71B-0B124A40CC3384CE

Many people forget there’s a national park in Virginia. Shenandoah NP is known for its forests, hiking trails, and waterfalls. This particular webcam isn’t located in the most scenic area – it’s looking across a road at Big Meadows. I’m hopeful the park will add some new Shenandoah webcams in the future.

Do you ever watch national park webcams or live streams? If you have a favorite national park cam that we haven’t listed, leave a comment and let us know!

6 thoughts on “The Best National Park Webcams and Live Streams”

  1. I’ve never been to any of these National Parks (for shame, I know!), so its pretty neat getting a sneak peek. I especially like the Capital Reef time lapse – really cool to watch! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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