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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.


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.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

San Luis Valley, Colorado

Surrounded by 14,000-foot peaks, Colorado’s San Luis Valley is the largest and highest inhabited alpine valley in the world. Though settled, it’s home to relatively few inhabitants; in fact,a mere 47,000 people live in the basin, a Rocky Mountain wonder tucked between the San Juan Mountains to the west and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east.

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Red Rock Canyon State Park, California

A mere two hours north of Los Angeles in the Mojave Desert is the 25,000-acre Red Rock Canyon State Park. The exposed geology is stunning where the Sierra Nevadas link up with the El Paso Mountains. Shades of pink, red, brown and white eroded volcanic and sedimentary layers provide a fascinating vista. Softer sediments have been worn away into a variety of cuts and channels capped by harder volcanic material. For thousands of years, native peoples used the unique tributaries as trade routes and as part-time homes. Later, prospectors and emigrants seeking a new life plied through on the way west.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife And Fish Refuge, Mississippi

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge protects more than 240,000 acres in four states and is the longest wildlife refuge in the contiguous 48 states, stretching 261 miles along the Mississippi River from the Chippewa River in Wisconsin almost to Rock Island, Ill. Steep bluffs, interesting islands, ancient burial mounds, unusual flowers and migrating birds are just some of the photographic subjects waiting to be discovered. The Great River Road, a National Scenic Byway, runs along both sides of the refuge, providing easy access to the refuge and adjacent public lands. Many public boat landings offer photographers with watercraft more options for exploring the area.

Monday, May 1, 2006

El Yunque Tropical Rain Forest, Puerto Rico

The Caribbean National Forest, locally known as El Yunque (the anvil), is located about an hour’s drive east of San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital. Established in 1903 as the Luquillo Forest Reserve, El Yunque is the only tropical rain forest in the National Forest System. Relatively small at 28,000 acres, the forest’s highest elevations (about 3,500 feet above sea level) can receive more than 250 inches of rain per year.

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