Beautiful National Parks: Reader Photos
Check out these beautiful photos of snowcapped peaks, rugged canyons, and wildlife in America’s national parks.
When you see a beautiful landscape, the natural impulse is
to whip out your camera to capture it immediately and forever. This rings true
especially among the pristine wilderness of 58 national parks scattered
across 52 million acres of the United States. After all, this is where Ansel
Adams got his start at age 14, in 1916, exploring Yosemite with a Box Brownie
Countless photographers have followed in Adams’s footsteps,
including many nature-loving members of Travel + Leisure’s community who
uploaded their photos of national parks—and inspired us to present the most beautiful.
The results are a reminder of the diversity of our national park system; you’re
bound to find a landscape that appeals to you, from the Great Smoky Mountains
to Death Valley.
Looking to get lost in a lush world of greenery? Head to Acadia National Park
in Bar Harbor, ME. The first of the national parks east of the Mississippi is thriving
with plants and animals, all of which are protected by law. Become one with
nature by biking along historic carriage roads, hiking to the top of one of the
many granite peaks, or just sitting back and taking in the breathtaking
If you’re in the mood for a more rugged retreat, set your sights on Hawaii
Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, part of the Hawaiian island chain
created, once upon a time, by underwater volcanoes. You’ll get to witness
firsthand two of the most active volcanoes in the world—and come back with
dramatic photographic proof.
Up for taking the heat, but looking for something a little less…fiery? Colorado’s
Great Sand Dunes might be the place for you. Enjoy the contrasting landscape of
desert sand dunes against a backdrop of snowcapped mountains. Need to cool off
a bit? There are even a few oases to rinse off in.
But let’s be real: when it comes to these national parks, we can describe their
natural features and vivid colors until we’re blue in the face, but that still
won’t do them justice. To get the full effect, you need to see them firsthand, starting
with these beautiful photographs.