Love to Travel - National Parks Bucket List
If you love US National Parks as much as we do, you probably have a bucket list of your own. We have chosen to highlight 6 of our favorite National Parks that we have collectively visited.
As a gallery working with professional landscape photographers, we are exposed to stunning photographic images of beautiful locations all over the world, but we must admit there is something nostalgic and special about our own National Parks. We have so many natural treasures here in our country, worthy of planning your next road trip to check off one of these locations from your bucket list!
Each National Park print below is available in various sizes and media from our fine art photography collections.
Yosemite National Park, California
Half Dome's Glow Fine Art Print
Growing up in Southern California, we made the 7 hour road trip from San Diego to Yosemite once a year to camp, hike Half Dome, upper and lower Yosemite Falls, and float down the Tuolumne River. Carved by glaciers some 250,000 years ago during the Ice Age, the impressive valley has drawn visitors near and far to marvel at the sheer granite peaks, flowing waterfalls, and lush forest.
After an expedition with John Muir in 1903, Theodore Roosevelt was inspired to take action to federally protect Yosemite and a majority of the National Parks in our country. Since then, this special place bewitched Ansel Adams and countless other famous photographers, artists, writers and conservationists.
2. Death Valley, California
Superbloom 2016 Fine Art Print
On the eastern border of California and Arizona, lies another special National Park with a foreboding name - Death Valley. Known as the land of extremes and the hottest place on Earth, summer temperatures regularly reach a deadly 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Add in sudden summer monsoons, flash floods and dust storms, it is easy to understand why caution is advised year round.
Despite those conditions, there is something magically alluring about this barren landscape that draws adventurers, photographers, and solace seekers from all over. Ghost towns, historic mining areas, and the mysterious “sailing stones” have their draw, but the quiet expanse of the desert seems to be the true calling and reason for the journey.
Under perfect conditions in the spring, Death Valley is anything but barren. It transforms into a spectacular display of color with gold, yellow, purple, pink and white wildflowers stretching miles in every direction.
3. Crater Lake, Oregon
Dawn at Crater Lake Fine Art Print
Located in southern Oregon in the Cascade Mountain Range, Crater Lake inspires awe in all who gaze into its deep sparkling blue waters. Rain and snow feed this basin of pristine water, almost 2,000 ft. above sea level. 1,943 ft. makes Crater Lake the deepest in the country.
You will enjoy a stunning view hiking around the lake in the warmer months or cross-country skiing in the winter. The sight of these picturesque waters offers a therapeutic experience any time of day, any time of year.
4. Canyonlands, Utah
Winding Roads of Canyonlands Fine Art Print
Neighboring Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park may be less visited but has so much to offer. Carved by the Colorado River, the dramatic landscape has eroded into hundreds of canyons, buttes, mesas and arches. Running rivers divide and define the vast expanse into 4 distinct areas: the Needles, the Maze, Island in the Sky and the rivers themselves.
The first stop when visiting Canyonlands is always recommended to be the Island in the Sky, offering a sweeping panoramic view from the giant flat mesa. Also on the list would be hiking to the towering rock pinnacles called the Needles, exploring the remote canyonlands of the Maze, and rafting down the whitewater rapids in Cataract Canyon.
5. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Summer Sunset Grand Fine Art Print
Only those who have stood on the rim of the Grand Canyon can understand its significance. There is just no way to describe its grandeur and vastness in words. The canyon plummets 1 mile deep and stretches 18 miles wide. The National Park spans over 1.2 million acres.
Whether you hike or ride a mule into it, raft through it, or simply stand in awe and wonder at the brink, this natural wonder must have its place on the bucket list. We recommend staying to witness a sunrise or sunset for a breathtaking experience.
6. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Gibbon Falls Fine Art Print
The very first National Park in the US, Yellowstone has a lot to offer - vast canyons, waterfalls, forests, hot springs and the most active concentration of geysers in the world. You are all but guaranteed to see wild animals such as herds of free roaming bison, wolves, grizzly and black bears, elk, and wild horses to name a few.
Perhaps the most famous reason to visit Yellowstone would be to witness the Old Faithful Geyser and Grand Prismatic Spring. Named for its predictable schedule of erupting once every 1 to 2 hours, it has erupted over 1 million times since its discovery in 1870. The 204 degree water reaches heights of 100 to 180 ft. about 20 times per day.
We hope that you got some inspiration from our National Parks bucket list and perhaps you will add some of these remarkable destinations to your own list. Happy travels!