New Travel App Like Touring Death Valley with a Ranger in the Car

Imagine touring Death Valley National Park with a park ranger telling stories about what you are seeing, and pointing out things you might otherwise miss.

Thanks to a new travel app for smartphones that figuratively acts like a ride-along tour guide, road trips to Death Valley will never be the same.

Just Ahead ( has released a new audio travel guide app that makes vacationers feel like they have a national park ranger along for the ride. The Just Ahead travel app works without cell service and turns GPS-driven smartphones into an audio tour guide of the 3.4-million-acre Death Valley National Park (and many other destinations). This app recently garnered the Best Travel App award from the North American Travel Journalists Association.

Bob Howells, a contributor to Outside Magazine and National Geographic, provided the content for Just Ahead’s Death Valley audio tour guide. Howells is a three-time winner of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) Lowell Thomas Award for travel writing. He also co-authored National Geographic’s Secrets of the National Parks.

The Just Ahead app and Death Valley guide let visitors listen to hours of informative and entertaining stories while driving through the park at their own pace. Just Ahead’s hands-free driving tour covers more than 300 miles of Death Valley roads and hundreds of attractions and points of interest. Both the National Park Service and the Death Valley Natural History Association have approved the guide.

Just Ahead utilizes GPS technology to know exactly where drivers are on the road, and delivers stories and maps relevant to their location. Just Ahead also helps drivers avoid getting lost by providing helpful suggested directions. Just Ahead tells drivers why they should turn or not, what they should do after a turn, and the best direction to take if there are multiple route options.

A small sampling of the stories and sights in Just Ahead’s Death Valley Guide:

  • Darwin Falls: The World’s Least-Likely Waterfall
  • Ubehebe Crater: Mars on Earth
  • From Spartacus to Star Wars: Death Valley’s Hidden Movie Sites
  • The Scotty’s Castle Tour Everyone Should Take (But Few Do)
  • Strolling Badwater, Lowest Place in the Western Hemisphere
  • Where to Camp When It’s Too Hot to Camp
  • Panamint Valley: Death Valley’s Overlooked Twin
  • The Charcoal Kilns: Not Built By Aliens (But They Look Like It)
  • Wild Burros, Kit Foxes, Coyotes, Sidewinders, and Other Critters to Watch For

Howells has also written and compiled a series of helpful trip-planning articles that serve as a free pre-trip companion to Just Ahead’s Death Valley audio tour guide. The Death Valley trip-planning guide, posted on the Just Ahead blog, covers the best time to visit Death Valley, how much time you should spend in the park, the best way to prepare for your trip, how to get to there, where to camp—and for those who prefer a roof over their heads—the best places to stay.

“We seek to make the world a better place by educating and entertaining visitors to the most beautiful and amazing places the world has to offer,” said Just Ahead founder Gregory Morse. “We believe that people who are informed are more likely to value, preserve, and support these special places.”

As of early spring 2015, Just Ahead apps are available for the following parks: Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Zion and Cedar Breaks, Bryce Canyon, Joshua Tree, and Death Valley. An additional 12 national park guides are in production and are expected out in time for the busy summer travel season. They include Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Petrified Forest, Canyon De Chelly, Monument Valley, and Mesa Verde.

The Just Ahead app is a free download, and each destination guide is available as an in-app purchase. Guides range from $4.99 – $9.99 and include a free trial and free guide updates.

About Just Ahead
The Just Ahead mobile app turns your smartphone into a hands-free audio guide to the most beautiful places on earth by delivering professionally written and narrated audio tours to vacationers who want an informed travel experience as they drive.

Just Ahead’s award-winning audio guides work without an Internet connection or phone service and use a smartphone’s GPS to deliver hands-free, customized audio tours based on a vehicle’s location. The guides and built-in maps also provide helpful suggested directions, and offer more points of interest and stories than any other GPS audio travel apps. Ideal for families, Just Ahead’s audio guides help create shared experiences, conversations, and memories that will last a lifetime. The Just Ahead app is a free download, and each destination guide is available as an in-app purchase that includes free guide updates.

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