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Favorite Places

Browse articles that explore some of our favorite outdoor photography locations throughout the United States. Learn about the weather, the best time to shoot, how to get there and more, all from a photographer's perspective.


Sunday, July 1, 2007

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon

The Painted Hills Unit is just one of three units that make up the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. This unit alone contains more than 3,000 acres of unmatched beauty, unique even to Oregon. The monument gets its name from the John Day River, the longest undammed river that flows into the Columbia. The three units together combine for a total of 14,000 acres. At John Day Fossil Beds, paleontologists have been able to find fossil remains of animals and plants dating back 40 million years. The Painted Hills Unit is located about 50 miles from Prineville, Oregon. From Prineville, travel east on US 26/Ochoco Highway for about 44 miles. Turn left onto Burnt Ranch Road for about 1.5 miles. Burnt Ranch Road becomes Bridge Creek Road. You‚’ll travel about five miles on Bridge Creek Road. Use caution when driving this gravel road and be sure to gas up and get any supplies you might need in Prineville.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Candlewood Lake, Connecticut


Candlewood Lake is Connecticut’s largest lake and one of the country’s largest man-made bodies of water. Nestled in the state’s western highlands and bordered by the towns of Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford and Sherman, the lake was created in 1928 when valleys were flooded to fuel a hydroelectric plant at the northeastern tip of the lake.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Black River Wildlife Management Area, New Jersey


The Black River Wildlife Management Area (WMA), located in the township of Chester, is 12 miles west of Morristown and about one hour’s drive from New York City. This beautiful area, more than 3,000 acres in size, is easily accessible from routes 80, 206 and 513.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Great Falls National Park, Virginia

Great Falls National Park is a natural jewel situated just 14 miles northwest of our nation’s capitol. The park is part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway and covers some 900 acres on the Virginia side of the falls. On the Maryland side is the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Parkland, which stretches for 184 miles from D.C. to West Virginia. Both sides offer excellent vantage points with easy access, including wheelchair, to the falls by way of level paths and overlooks. The falls have a total vertical drop of some 76 feet in less than a mile and are comprised of several major cascades, the largest of which is 33 feet. The Potomac here is rated as a class 5 whitewater, which is considered a serious risk, and an average of seven people die every year in its powerful grip.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Glen Helen Nature Preserve, Ohio

Situated in the village of Yellow Springs about 20 miles east of Dayton in southwestern Ohio, Glen Helen Nature Preserve is an uncommonly beautiful and pristine parcel of land that’s safeguarded as a laboratory for the observation, study and enjoyment of natural ecological processes. Within it, all wildlife, vegetation and rock formations are protected. The preserve consists of approximately 1,000 acres—more than 20 miles of often challenging hiking trails through hills and valleys, two scenic creeks, an attractive waterfall known as the Cascades, several springs (including Yellow Spring, after which the village is named), an enchanting pine forest, and many limestone rock formations and ledges. This spectacular landscape was created by glacial meltwaters around 10,000 years ago.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Mount Shuksan, Washington


Mount Shuksan, WASHINGTONMount Shuksan rises in the North Cascades just south of the Canadian border. It’s easily accessible by paved road 55 miles east of Bellingham, Wash., on State Route 542, the Mount Baker Highway. The last 24 miles, from the town of Glacier, has a National Forest Scenic Byway designation. The road winds along the North Fork Nooksack River and climbs to a 5,000-foot elevation at Heather Meadows. This subalpine setting includes several small lakes, a picnic area, visitors center and well-maintained hiking trails. In the winter, it’s a popular developed ski area. From these meadows and Artist Point, a few miles farther, there are excellent views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, including Mount Baker (10,778 feet) and Mount Shuksan (9,131 feet).

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Boulder's Flatirons, Colorado

Rising more than 2,000 feet above the plains, the Flatirons rock formation is the iconic backdrop of Boulder, Colo. These iron-rich sandstone formations were tilted on-end 300 million years ago when continents collided and the ancestral Rockies were uplifted. At 5,430 feet of elevation and 28 miles from Denver, Boulder is where the Great Plains meet the foothills of the Rockies.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh

Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the best places in the world to see wild tigers. It’s located in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, an 18-hour train ride southeast of New Delhi. The journey by train is the best and easiest way to reach this remote reserve. The nearest airport is six hours away, and you should avoid the pothole-covered roads that lead to Bandhavgarh.

Friday, September 1, 2006

Crex Meadows Wildlife Area, Wisconsin

Crex Meadows is a mix of flowages, wetlands, prairies and forest located in northwest Wisconsin. About 30,000 acres in size, it has an excellent system of gravel roads that allows you to travel the edges as well as cut across the central areas of the park. The easiest way to find the park is by taking Interstate 35 north from Minneapolis, Minn., to Highway 70.

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