The United States is a vastly beautiful country. The landscapes vary drastically from one region to the next, from deserts to mountains to oceans to arctic tundras. Traveling across the United States would be a photographer’s dream.

One of the many joys of nature photography is the excuse it gives you to get outside and appreciate the many natural splendors of the world. It encourages adventure whether you are stepping out into your backyard or taking a trip across the country. Here are four of the United States’ best places to not only capture nature but experience it.

Alaska

Alaska has it all, breathtaking landscapes and abundant wildlife. Alaska is one of the few states where truly wild places still exist. If you are looking for a place to capture beautiful images imaginable, this state will not disappoint. Be ready for a wild adventure, though. Alaska’s weather can be as wild as it’s landscapes.

Denali National Park spans more than six million acres. Although much of the park is not easily reached, it is a destination worth exploring. It includes Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America. You may choose to take a tour bus or hike some trails. If you are really adventurous, you can even explore off-trail.

The landscapes you will discover in Denali are genuinely breathtaking. You may have the opportunity to take photos of low-elevation taiga forest or venture to higher altitudes to capture alpine tundra and snow-capped mountains.

Animals are roaming unfenced, wild, and free. Denali is home to a diverse range of wildlife. It was one of the first national parks created with the goal to protect these native creatures. With 39 species of mammals and 169 species of birds, you are likely to find some exciting animals when you peer through your viewfinder. Alaska might not be a state that comes to mind when you consider a national vacation, but there are many things to enjoy, especially if you’re a wildlife fan.

Utah

Utah is a paradise for nature photographers. The desert is vast and stunning with sunsets that never get old. This state’s unique landscape allows you to get creative with your shots of the dramatic scenery.

Utah has a wealth of national parks to explore: Zion, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef. And those are just the national parks. There are many other iconic locals to explore with rich histories.

Although a relatively small park, Zion has some of the most fantastic scenery in the world. It has rivers, canyons, and rock formations that are sure to spark any photographer’s imagination. Zion stands in almost stark contrast to some of the surrounding desert landscape. The open landscape presents a pristine experience of the vast night sky. You will want to stay late into the night capture the utter beauty of the starry sky. Low-light photography can be tricky, so shoot in manual for best results. 

Arches National Park is another must-see when visiting Utah with your camera in hand. The natural sandstone arches are a nature photographer’s dream. The many textures and contrasting colors awe-inspiring. And when you’re done, Utah offers many activities, such as visiting lakes or attending some of their theatres.

Florida

Florida may be known for Disney World and Universal Studios, but that doesn’t mean that it’s lacking in beautiful scenery. The state is home to a variety of natural forests, beaches, and rivers that make for gorgeous pictures. If you’re working on building up a portfolio, then you could plan a roadtrip across the state to photograph different locations. Florida has a variety of state parks that can provide some spectacular views, including the Everglades National Park. This area is a great location if you would like to capture photos of eerie swamps and exotic wildlife. 

While you should give these animals plenty of space, they can be great for perfecting your long-distance shots, and you will have a great story to tell about seeing what may be your first alligator. Just be sure to store your photos in a safe place and make sure you have a digital back up of the photos. 

No matter where you go, there’s always something beautiful to take pictures of. Find something you love and take all the pictures you want.