The ratings are out, and let’s see what National parks are rated the best for Photographers:

There is still time this summer to go to the closest place to take some amazing photos of the National Park closest to you.   The Popular Photo Magazine has put together their pick of the best National parks for 2018, and we bring this to you now:


Tunnel view in Yosemite National Park

Naris Visitsin via Getty Images




The Grand Prismatic in the spring time

Daniel Viñé Garcia via Getty Images

Established in 1872, Yellowstone is the world’s oldest National Park and spans Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. The 3,500 square ft of wilderness features a variety of landscapes for photographers to capture, but its an underground supervolcano that creates some of the most well-known natural wonders of the park such as Old Faithful geyser and the Grand Prismatic Spring pictured above. At 370 feet wide it’s the third largest hot spring in the world. Its vibrant colors are a result of microbial mats which make the water appear orange and red in summer and dark green in winter.





Golden glow at Gates Of The Valley in Yosemite National Park

A K Potts Photography via Getty Images

Yosemite National Park was the star of many of Ansel Adams famous black and white photos.  So it’s no surprise that photographers continue to flock back here to take photos here.  Photographers should check out the iconic viewpoints of Tunnel View (as made famous by Ansel Adams) where you can see El Capitan, Half Dome, and Bridal Veil Falls.  Gates of the Valley offer a great alternative.


Grand Canyon:


woman stands on brown surface at daytime

Photo by Pete Johnson on Pexels.com


Considered one of the 7 wonders of the world, certainly is breathtaking when you first see this.  A canyon that is so deep it takes your breath away.  The colors are also so beautiful if  you catch during the golden hours even.  A photographers dream.


Monument Valley:

brown rock formation mountain over blue clear sky during daytime

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

On the border of Arizona and Utah, these great steeples of rock have been in more western movies than any other mountains.  A symbol of the wild, wild west.  This barren country is so colorful, yet these spires simply seem to be a symbol of what the opposite is of the Grand Canyon, all in the same state.



grand canyon

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Arches National Park in Utah is another one that you will stand there in awe, wondering how that happened.  The more amazing thing is this park has hundreds of Arches.  The Rainbow arch, of course, is the most popular, but, the park has so many more arches that it will just boggle your mind.   This is a desert area, so it is hot in the summer, but we are going into the cooler time of the year now, so enjoy the picture taking opportunities.


Joshua Tree:

two trees under purple sky

Photo by Pete Johnson on Pexels.com

Joshua Tree, of course is the name for the large Cactus found in this particular area of Arizona.  There is a huge amount of these Cacti in this area and you almost feel like you are in a forest.  But, you are in a forest of tall cacti.  It is an amazing feeling.  These are very beautiful cacti, and late afternoon, or evening,  you can catch the most beautiful photos of this area.


Bryce Canyon National Park

grand canyon during golden hour

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Bryce Canyon National Park is not actually a canyon but a giant amphitheater.  Also located in Southern Utah this brings a lot of visitors as well.  It is amazing to see this beautiful color all in one area.  The tallest of the rock formations is called:  Thor’s Hammer and stands 150 feet tall.  It is the most well known of all the rock structures there.  A lot of photographers have captured this colorful canyon in the winter.  What a beautiful contrast to see this colorful canyon tipped with snow.


Redwood National State Parks:


Redwood National park service

Some of the tallest trees in the world, and some of the oldest trees in the world.  It will amaze almost anyone when you stand next to one and look up.  These trees, literally must be hundreds of years old.  Maybe thousands.  But, for Photographers, the morning is usually the most delightful time to take photos, as the morning mist and fog is still on the forest.  It just amazes most people to see this fog and mist roll through this magnificent forest and most people miss this part.  Good photographers won’t.


The Badlands:


The layered badlands of South Dakota

These badlands of South Dakota are certainly not as busy as the other ones mentioned so far, but, there is a lot of fun you can have here.  There is a 35 mile scenic loop through the area that is certainly worth the drive, plus 15 overlooks and 8 hikes that you can take to explore along the way.


Capital Reef:


capitol reef

Capital Reef:  Temple of the Sun

Located also in Southern Utah.  This park features the worlds oldest exposed monocline (an S-shaped geological formation that shows off some of the oldest layers of the earth).  There are several formations in this park that are famous here as well that make this a National park.


Glacier National Park:

Glacier National Park has over 1 million acres and is located in Montana.  There are over 130 lakes in this huge park, and all are located in beautiful areas just like the above photo.  Because it is so big, you can probably count on some hiking to capture some of these rare photos.


Great Sand Dunes:

adventure arid barren coast

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This is located in South Central Colorado, and is a relatively new park.  Established in 2004 has some incredible sand dunes that are as tall as 750 feet.   When taking photos of these sand dunes, make sure you put the human element in to this to give it some perspective.


Calsbad Caverns:


Some of nature’s most awe-inspiring landscapes lie hidden underground, such as the Chandelier Ballroom in Lechuguilla Cave.NPS/Gavin Newman

There are a lot of caves in the area, but Carlsbad Cavern is the most popular because of it’s size.  You can actually take an elevator, or hike into this cave.  As you can imagine, as a photographer, there will be the need to take some rather low light photography in this place.


Mesa Verde:

Mesa verde

Mesa Verde National Park Foundation

The Mesa Verde National Park is located in Colorado and is well known for it’s large archaeological find of ancient Pueblo-an  cliff dwellers.  If you want to get up close to these artifacts, you will have to have a park ranger take you there.  Hey!  How about a telephoto lens?   You can see some of these ancient dwellings from the road.


Grand Tetons:

Oh my, one of the most beautiful photos I’ve seen of the Grand Tetons.  I don’t live that far from there, and honestly, it’s not the mountains alone that make these so beautiful, it is the surrounding scenery.  Just 50 miles or so from Yellowstone, which is already one of the most beautiful places in the world, is this gorgeous chunk of mountains.  Like you see above, if you can capture it in the fall, after it’s first snow fall, with the fall colors in the valley, you will have the most beautiful photos ever.  If God put his signature on this earth, in the finality of the Creation, this had to be the place.  Really.  Last the best of all the places.   Located in Wyoming, USA.  This National park, not only has this gorgeous array of mountains but the wildlife to go with it.  Many of the wildlife from Yellowstone just happen to wander on down here, so, it’s not uncommon to find a moose in your photos as well.  So, be prepared for the best happenings here.  Sometimes, early in the morning, a mist over the waters will add nothing but more beauty to these mountains.


This concludes this article of the best National Parks in the US for Photographs.  It was chosen by Popular photography, but, this article was written by :  Lanny Cottrell for 123Photogo.  



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