Can’t get to the Grand Canyon? Then take an unprecedented virtual tour

For those who have never been to the Grand Canyon and don’t foresee a time visiting the awesome beauty of our 15th oldest national park, Google Maps is giving you an opportunity to see it as if you were there by bringing it onto your computer screen. Or at least parts of it.

Google Maps just released a series of panoramic views of the Grand Canyon using the new Street View Trekker, a backpack system that allows accessibility to hard-to-navigate places only reachable by foot–like hiking trails in the Grand Canyon.

This inaugural gallery of 13 locations in the Grand Canyon was captured in 360-degree imagery by a team of 10 Googlers and five Trekkers. They spent three full days getting images on the main trails of Grand Canyon’s south rim. Check out a recap on YouTube:

A Trekker has 15 lenses, each angled in a different direction to allow Google Maps to stitch together a 360-degree panoramic view.

More from Google Maps on how it produced its inaugural gallery:

Two Trekker teams hiked down the Bright Angel Trail, camped overnight at Phantom Ranch, and then hiked out the next day along the South Kaibab Trail. Another three Trekker teams remained at the top of the Grand Canyon collecting imagery around the rim as well as the South Rim Trail. Our team also ventured out to collect imagery of Meteor Crater, just outside Grand Canyon National Park.

The gallery includes five views from the Bright Angel Trail, two each from the Black Bridge on the Colorado River, Phantom Ranch and Meteor Crater, and one each from the South Kaibab Trail and Arizona Trail on the Colorado River.

It might not be the same as being there, but in a virtual world, it’s not bad.