Taking photos can enrich a travel experience. It’s no wonder millions of photos are captured and shared online on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms every day. Whether you are an amateur or professional photographer, capturing nature through your lens requires patience, skills and a little bit of luck. Luck because, nature can be unpredictable and according to the National Wildlife Federation, the “distant raptors, tiny insects, quiet landscapes…all that nature has to offer takes on a new meaning when viewed as a potential photograph.”
Ready to take the best photos to showcase your work and passion? Here are five best nature photography destinations in America:
1. Denali National Park in Alaska
Denali National Park is about 272 miles (five hours) from Anchorage and about three hours by car from Fairbanks. This six-million-acre wild land is where you will find nature photography at its best.
See and photograph unspoiled taiga forest, high alpine tundra, lakes, glacial rivers, wild animals roaming in their habitat, snow-capped mountains, and Denali, the highest peak in North America.
Moose, caribou, grizzly bears, Dali Sheep and wolves are some of the wild animals in Denali National Park, but sightings are not guaranteed. In winter, sled dogs (huskies) are used for patrolling the park when motorized vehicles are prohibited.
Most people explore Denali by tour buses and shuttle buses. Renting a car and driving would give you more time to explore and photograph. However, the park only allows private vehicles from May through early September and up to the first 15 miles of the 92-mile Denali Park Road. According to NPS.gov, beyond Mile 15 only designated buses are allowed.
2. Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is America’s first national park. It was established in 1872 and has the world’s largest concentration of geysers. Photographers can look forward to photographing the Old Faithful, Great Fountain Geyser, Grand Prismatic Spring and more. The park is home to wild animals like bison, elk, wolves, grizzly bears and more.
Yellowstone National Park is spread across three states – Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. It’s open all year long. You can fly into Jackson WY, Bozeman, MT or Idaho Falls ID.
Tips for Watching Roadside Bears Safely
3. Acadia National Park in Maine
Acadia National Park is the first national park in eastern United States and the only one in Maine. This 48,000-acre wilderness spreads across Mount Desert Island, Isle au Haut and Schoodic Peninsula and offers plenty of nature for photographing.
Some animals to photograph include whales, seals, moose, foxes, peregrine falcons, herons, salamanders and toads. Acadia natural wonders include rocky coastline, mountains, forests, ponds, marshlands, and fields. According to VisitMaine.com you can explore the park’s famous historic carriage paths by foot, bicycle or horseback. For scenic areas visit Cadillac Mountain, Isle au Haut, Park Loop Road and Schoodic.
4. Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon needs no introduction and it is also difficult to photograph because of crowds. According to outdoor photography experts like OutdoorPhotographer.com, the spot you pick is important for your photos. It is all about location at Grand Canyon National Park.
The North Rim is less crowded than the South Rim and OutdoorPhotographer.com suggested the entire West Rim Drive and Yaki.
Direction to Grand Canyon West Rim
5. Emerald Bay State Park California
Designated a National Natural Landmark in 1969, Emerald Bay offers the best views of Lake Tahoe shoreline, fir trees, and underwater attractions. Its unique beauty includes Fannette Island (the only island in Lake Tahoe) and Vikingsholm, a teahouse built in Scandinavian-style on Fannette Island.
Emerald Bay State Park is located 22 miles from Tahoe City and the closest airport is Reno-Tahoe Airport in Reno Nevada.
Emerald Bay State Park
Which are your best nature photography destinations? Let us know.
Photo credit: Jordan Pond Acadia National Park photo provided by Maine Office of Tourism