Best National Parks to Photograph

October 22, 2015

Sometimes Mother Nature does all the work.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer, or have the most expensive equipment, in order to take great pictures of the outdoors. Some places are just so naturally beautiful that it would be difficult to take a bad photo. Sure, some photography skills and knowledge would come in handy, but those tips are for a different article.

Today, I want to go over the most photogenic National Parks. These are the places where bad photos rarely occur and where you have to remind yourself to actually snap a picture as you take in the beauty of the stunning views. I’m all for experiencing the views without being behind a viewfinder or camera lens, but you’ll be glad you have a few photos to remember your trip and to remind yourself to get back out there as soon as possible!


Badlands National Park, South Dakota

When most people imagine taking a great nature photo, their minds may go right to snow-capped mountain peaks or sunny meadows. However, beauty can be found everywhere in nature and that includes Badlands National Park in South Dakota. The almost alien looking land formations and the stunning colors of both the rocks and the ever-changing sky will make any landscape photographer drool. Add in the herds of bison that roam the area and you have the makings of some of the best photography of any National Park in the country.


Arches National Park, Utah

Double O Arches National Park

For even more amazing land formations to photograph, Arches National Park is one of the best. The incredible stone arches and their stunning red color are truly a sight to behold (and take pictures of!). For photographers who love taking pictures of the night sky, Arches simply cannot be beat.


The lack of city lights in the area means that the stars and other celestial bodies show up in astounding numbers and clarity. Use one of the stone arch formations as a natural frame for your photo and you’ll be impressed with the results.

Everglades National Park, Florida

Everglades National Park in the swamps of Florida is an absolute mecca for bird and wildlife photographers. This park may not immediately seem like a great place for photography, but one snapshot of an alligator’s head poking above the surface of the water near a tree heavy with Spanish moss as the morning fog dissipates in the growing heat of the day will have you convinced. The abundance of interesting bird species that are fairly easy to approach for pictures in the park are also a great reason to pack your camera and head for Florida. Manatees also inhabit the area and there are several parks in the region that could give you a glimpse of the gentle marine giants.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

For the classic alpine scenery, Grand Teton National Park is tough to beat. Sheltered pine forests surrounding crystal clear alpine lakes are common along with a great abundance of interesting wildlife to add to the ambiance. Nearly every picture you take will include some of the Teton Range in the background which stretch skyward to imposing heights of up to 7,000 feet. Plan to take you landscape shots in the morning and then take advantage of the afternoon light to capture wildflowers, forest views, and any wildlife that you are lucky enough to spot.

Truth be told, just about every National Park in the country offers a wonderful opportunity to take amazing pictures with everything from the phone on your camera to the latest high-tech digital camera with a telescopic lens. However, the parks I mentioned above just seem to rise to the top and really stand out. This is nowhere near a complete list, but there are simply too many photogenic National Parks to mention them all.


Writer. For Roadtrippers. For KOA. For sanity. Catcher of fish. Baseball fanatic. Proud to call Ohio home.Brian Belko

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