Home to an amazing lot of stunning sights and sceneries, the United States of America is a true photographer’s haven. From canyons, rock formations, glaciers, lakes, and other varied views and terrains, there’s never running out of spots to capture and share with the world.
If you’re curious where to photograph these gorgeous landscapes in the USA, don’t fret! In this article, we’ll take you to the most visually stunning and most photographed locations in the country. Sharpen your skills, prepare your equipment, and be filled with awe in every shot of all the beauty that will unfold unto you.
The Grand Canyon
Easily one of the most popular attractions in the USA, the Grand Canyon offers majestic views characterized by remarkable earthy tones, dramatic lines, and incredible cliff faces be it in the North and South Rim. To get a better perspective and a wider array of angles, hike down one of its trails and steer away from the main viewpoints. Visit early in the early or early afternoon and be rewarded with impressive vistas of this historic natural formation. It’s simply a must on a photographer’s bucket list.
Believed to have existed 12,300 years ago, the massive and powerful Niagara Falls is a wonder of nature that’s unlike any other. As such, it’s no wonder that it never gets old among photography enthusiasts.
You can view it from the edge of the falls on the American side in New York and take amazing photos. Otherwise, you can join a tour boat below for a more immersive experience and get more interesting pictures.
While visiting the falls is fun throughout the year, the ice and snow during the winter provide it a different look. If you can, visit it during the night and take some good snaps of the beautiful falls when it’s lit up in different vibrant colors.
Yosemite National Park
Many photographers are enticed to visit the Yosemite National Park drawn by their inspiration from the breathtaking works of Ansel Adams. Accessible from San Jose and San Francisco, California, the 761,266-acre national park offers a long list of iconic attractions just waiting for you to photograph. Some of the best subjects you shouldn’t miss out on include the big walls of El Capitan and Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Falls, and the Tunnel View. Go on a hiking trip to avoid the crowds and explore the other amazing scenes and vantage points.
Situated at the tip of Disenchantment Bay in Alaska, the Hubbard Glacier is the northern hemisphere’s largest tidewater glacier, running 75 miles (120 kilometers) long and spanning 7 miles (11 kilometers) wide. Seeing it in person is already a surreal experience, but capturing all in photos preserves the memories of witnessing this striking geological formation. Ride a cruise ship for the best viewing and shooting opportunities, but don’t be surprised to get dwarfed as you get in safe distance from this very impressive glacier.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone, the oldest national park in the country, draws nearly 5 million visitors a year, including photographers’ who are blessed with many amazing landscapes to capture. One of its main attractions is the Grand Prismatic Spring, which displays vibrant colors of blue, yellow, green, and orange. Another absolute must-photograph in the park is the Old Faithful Geyser, just ready your best Nikon camera and bring some extra patience as you wait for its eruptions. Lastly, check out Lamar Valley and take plenty of photos of Yellowstone’s amazing wildlife amidst the beautiful natural backdrop.
Death Valley National Park
Renowned for its salt flats and desert canyons, the Death Valley boasts a different feel as it’s not abounding with life, appearing like a desolate wasteland at first glance. Yet, spending some time here reveals its true beauty, with rainbow-colored mountains, wondrous sailing stones, shifting sand dunes, twisting canyons, and desert oasis providing the best opportunities for stunning photos. Stay until night as it’s also an excellent site for night landscape photography including taking stellar photos of the Milky Way.
Acadia National Park
With its vast, beguiling skies, rich dense forests, and charming seascapes, the Acadia National Park in Maine serves as another retreat for the shutterbugs. Some of its popular draws include Eagle Lake, Jordan Pond, Hadlock Falls, and the Bass Harbor Lighthouse. Explore its wilderness by hiking and discover more spots to take intense and dramatic imageries. Wherever you pan your camera, there’s just something lovely to capture here.
Situated on the border of Nevada and California, Lake Tahoe is North America’s largest alpine lake that’s simply picture-perfect. It offers crystal-blue waters and majestic peaks – no surprise that thousands of people visit it every year to witness its extraordinary beauty. Take photos of some of its 72-mile coastline with forest green trees and surrounding rocks accentuating the view. A few of its landmarks that you shouldn’t miss include Emerald Bay, Chimney Beach, and Secret Cove. Be sure to visit early as these areas fill up quickly!
Everglades National Park
Home to a great ensemble of habitats, ranging from cypress swamps to pinelands, mangrove forests, coastal lowlands, freshwater slough, and hardwood hammocks, Everglades National Park presents some of the most dynamic landscapes in the world. Just visit the park and immerse yourself in the mystery and wonder that will surround you whilst taking photos of this ravishing natural refuge.
White Sands National Monument
Capture heaven on Earth right in New Mexico by the White Sands National Monument, the globe’s largest gypsum sand dunes. Spanning 145,762 acres, this sea of sand and its distinct vegetation make for some interesting pictures, especially during the sparkling sunrise or the dramatic sunset where the shadows bring alluring contrasts. If you’re a wildlife lover as well, the gypsum dunes are also home to roadrunners, toads, coyotes, lizards, and 600 species of invertebrates – take some good photos if you’re blessed enough to spot them!
Situated about 90 minutes from Rapid City, South Dakota, the Badlands is a marvelous sight to see, featuring vast layered rock formations, towering spires, and beautiful canyons that boast 65 million years of rich geological history. You’ll have a wide array of subjects to shoot as all parts of the park are certified scenic lookouts!
Zion National Park
Capping this list is Utah’s Zion National Park, a relatively smaller park compared to the other more popular parks yet touts many attractions for landscape photography. Explore it in detail and see its highlights like the Weeping Rock, a dripping stone that hangs over a steep cliff, the Checkerboard Mesa, the beautiful rock formation named for its distinct markings, and the Angels Landing, a sharp fin-like mountain formation that stands at the heart of the main canyon. All in all, its stunning imagery will make you feel like you’re in another world.
With a total size of 3,796,742 square miles (9,833,520 kilometers), the USA has lots of other glorious landscapes. Start with the ones on this and continue discovering and capturing all the awe-inspiring sights this country has to offer.