30 Most Photogenic National Parks in America

Yellowstone National Park. (photo via Kevin Carden/Dreamstime.com)
Patrick Clarke
by Patrick Clarke
Last updated: 6:00 PM ET, Tue April 9, 2019

Picturesque Parks

U.S. national parks attract millions of visitors every year as Americans and visitors from abroad are regularly drawn to the country's most coveted preserved nature, wildlife and culture. If you're planning a visit during 2019 National Park Week (April 20-28) to take advantage of waived entrance fees on April 20 and participate in special programs and events or still seeking inspiration, consider one of these 30 picturesque national parks. Dreamstime-the world's largest stock photo community-has captured each in all of their respective glory.

Big Bend National Park, Texas

The highlight of Texas' Big Bend National Park are the Chisos Mountains, which boast the distinction of being the only mountain range totally contained within one national park. Among the highlights are the limestone cliffs of Santa Elena Canyon.

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Home to one of the world's richest fossil beds, Badlands National Park in South Dakota spans over 240,000 rugged acres, providing visitors with plenty of opportunities to capture stunning shots of bison and other wildlife in addition to eye-popping natural formations such as Vampire Peak.

Acadia National Park, Maine

Stunning landscapes await visitors to Maine's Acadia National Park, which encompasses the highest rocky headlands along the U.S.'s Atlantic coastline. The summer months from June to September are peak season so consider arriving early or later in the day to avoid huge crowds and congestion.

Everglades National Park, Florida

Everglades National Park in South Florida will reward photographers with amazing opportunities to capture wild animals, including a slew of fascinating birds. National Park Week is the ideal time to visit as the mild and pleasant dry season runs through April.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina

Straddling the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the country's most-visited, drawing well over 11 million visitors last year. The park is a popular stop for fall foliage but offers fantastic photo-ops year-round, whether you're seeking landscapes, wildlife or even a seminal selfie.

Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park in eastern Utah is nothing short of mesmerizing as the more than 2,000 red, natural stone arches contrast beautifully with the blue sky background. You'll have a hard time taking a bad photo here.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Touring the Grand Canyon doesn't get any better than the Toroweap Overlook. The dramatic viewpoint 3,000 feet above the Colorado River is the perfect setting for photographers looking to capture otherworldly shots of the famous natural wonder. The less-traveled Yaki Point is equally rewarding.

Death Valley National Park, California and Nevada

Death Valley National Park spans two states and has the distinction of being the country's hottest, driest and lowest national park. Nonetheless, the remarkable diversity makes it one of the most thrilling to photograph, especially during a coveted wildflower bloom.

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

While Mount Rainier-an active volcano and the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.-is the star attraction of this national park outside of Seattle, visitors will encounter colorful wildflower meadows, rivers and countless wildlife as well.

Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Home to North America's tallest peak, Denali National Park and Preserve offers a whopping six million acres of photo possibilities. Summertime visitors can drive the first 15 miles of Denali Park Road following the Alaska Range and capture some exhilarating shots along the way.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho

The nation's first national park reaches across three states and is home to the largest hot spring in the U.S. in the Grand Prismatic Spring. Meanwhile, park visitors will also want to make plans to see the iconic Old Faithful, which is guaranteed to provide some excellent photos thanks to its consistent eruptions.

Yosemite National Park, California

Easily one of the country's most picturesque national parks, Yosemite is highlighted by ancient giant sequoias and dramatic granite cliffs. Iconic Tunnel View is perhaps the most coveted photo-op in the entire park as it showcases El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall rising from Yosemite Valley.

Olympic National Park, Washington

There's no shortage of beauty to capture in Washington's Olympic National Park, from the spellbinding Hoh Rainforest inland to Ruby Beach on the coastline. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore this expansive and diverse park.

Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

Another massive national park and preserve in Alaska, Glacier Bay is chock-full of photogenic sites, including awe-inspiring glaciers, dramatic mountains and fascinating wildlife.

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Visitors to Utah's Bryce Canyon National Park will spend a lot of their time photographing the park's hoodoos-the astonishing spire-shaped rock formations. While they exist all over the world, Bryce Canyon boasts the largest concentration anywhere on Earth.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Spanning the Continental Divide, Rocky Mountain National Park is among the easiest to navigate and photograph thanks to Trail Ridge Road, a no-brainer for summer road trippers. The highest paved through road in Colorado provides visitors with uninterrupted views of mountains, forests, wildlife and much more.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Located just a few miles south of Yellowstone and just north of Jackson, Grand Teton National Park is about as camera-ready as destinations come. Capture stunning summer wildflowers or point and shoot as you float down the Snake River.

Glacier National Park, Montana

Not to be confused with Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park, this protected land in Montana features more than 700 miles of hiking trails as well as the scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road. The screensaver-worthy Hidden Lake is also a must-see.

Zion National Park, Utah

There might not be a prettier landscape than the view of Zion Canyon at sunset from Angels Landing and there's only one place you'll find it, Zion National Park. Located in southwestern Utah near the charming small town of Springdale, this park is oozing with color and texture certain to stand out in your photos.

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Formed thousands of years ago, Crater Lake is the deepest in the U.S. and also one of the purest as its fed by rain and snow. It's beautiful blue color jumps out like no other natural attraction so take your time and find an excellent viewpoint like Watchman Overlook to get the ideal photo.

Sequoia National Park, California

Sequoia National Park is side by side with Kings Canyon National Park so you might as well experience them both in one trip. Visitors will find the General Sherman tree-the largest known living single stem tree on Earth-in Sequoia's Giant Forest while the equally-impressive General Grant tree resides in the General Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon.

Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Florida's Dry Tortugas National Park is comprised of seven small islands and mostly water. In addition to Fort Jefferson, visitors will have ample opportunities to photograph turtles, birds and stunning coral reefs.

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

Photographing Mammoth Cave National Park can be challenging as the world's longest known cave system can be quite gloomy. However, its uniqueness is unparalleled and it won't take long before you're asking yourself if you're still on planet Earth.

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Southern California's Joshua Tree National Park is known for attention-grabbing trees as well as its breathtaking night sky. Encompassing parts of two deserts, this national park's size rivals that of Rhode Island.

Saguaro National Park, Arizona

Saguaro National Park is named for the tree-like cactus species and boasts more than 160 miles of trails so you're guaranteed to get the perfect picture. Although not as popular as some other national parks on this list, Saguaro hosted nearly one million visitors in 2018.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

A beloved destination for hikers, birders and autumn leaf peepers, Virginia's Shenandoah National Park is definitely worthy of a visit if you ever find yourself in and around the nation's capital (Washington, D.C. is just 75 miles away). Take your time cruising Skyline Drive and capture some awesome shots in the process.

Haleakala National Park, Hawaii

Hawaii is renowned for its natural beauty and plenty can be found at Haleakala National Park in southeastern Maui, including otherworldly volcanic landscapes that are certain to jump off of your screen.

Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

Alaska's expansive Kenai Fjords National Park is most popular during the summer months when access to Exit Glacier and other attractions is easier. Visitors can also enjoy boat tours of the park from Seward.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is located just outside of Cleveland so it's an easy day trip from the city. Be sure to snap some shots of the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal via the Towpath Trail. Visitors can also look forward to special activities throughout the year commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Cuyahoga River Fire.

Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota is more than 40 percent water so the best way to photograph it is by watercraft such as a kayak or canoe. Tour boat reservations are also available starting April 15.

Your photo album of these remarkable protected lands is all but guaranteed to make your friends and family jealous.

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Helping leisure selling travel agents successfully manage their at-home business.

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Laurence Pinckney

Laurence Pinckney

CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

About Me