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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.

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.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Merrymeeting Marsh, New Hampshire

Among the many rivers, ponds and swamps in southern New Hampshire, the Merrymeeting Marsh in New Durham is a standout for photographers who have discovered the fun of shooting from a kayak. The Merrymeeting River flows out of Merrymeeting Lake and into Lake Winnipesaukee, opening up into a marshy expanse on the west side of Route 11, about 90 miles north of Boston. The parking lot and the easy put-in are just past the junction of Route 11 West and Ridge Road.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Trona Pinnacles National Natural Landmark, California

The out-of-this-world formations of the Trona Pinnacles National Natural Landmark have been used as a backdrop in a number of science-fiction films. There are about 500 towers of various shapes that reach as high as 140 feet above the base. The formations are the weathered remnants of tufa (a form of calcium carbonate) towers created under water between 10,000 and 80,000 years ago in an ancient lake that’s now dry.

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Unalaska, Alaska

Start with a lush volcanic island on the edge of the Bering Sea, add a dash of red foxes, a sprinkling of bald eagles and a healthy helping of emerald hillsides, and you can begin to picture the natural beauty of the Aleutian Island of Unalaska.

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah

Cedar Breaks National Monument is loosely sandwiched between two southwestern Utah national parks—Zion and Bryce Canyon. It towers 2,000 and 4,000 feet above these parks, respectively. The monument lies 22 miles west of Cedar City, Utah, about 60 miles east of Bryce Canyon, and about 80 miles north of Zion.

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