The 5 Best National Parks for Instagram Pictures

It seems that your vacation of a lifetime nowadays isn’t complete without a picture posted to Instagram, Twitter or your favorite social media app that day.  Well all the National Parks are beautiful and have great opportunities for that perfect social media picture, but a few stand out from the rest.   Let’s see if you agree with my list.

5)  Glacier National Park:   Number 5 on our list is magnificent Glacier National Park in Montana.   This National Park has stunning glaciers, bright blue lakes, gushing waterfalls, and ample wildlife.  The opportunities for that perfect photograph are nearly endless.

23viewsAmazing view in Glacier National Park

4)   Crater Lake National Park:   Next up on our list is breathtaking Crater Lake National Park in the fine state of Oregon.   The contrasting colors of deep azure water, evergreen trees, and snowcapped volcanic caldera make for amazing photos that you won’t forget.

img_5048Wizard Island in Crater Lake National Park

3)   Arches National Park:   Sitting nicely at number 3 on our list is Utah’s Arches National Park.  The clear blue sky matched up with gravity defying arches and rock formations makes for fabulous photograph opportunities.   Your surely amp up your notifications with pictures from Arches National Park.

2016-iphone-pictures-406Broken Arch in Arches National Park

2)  Dry Tortugas National Park:  Number 2 on our list is the difficult to get to Dry Tortugas National Park.   Only accessible by boat or seaplane, this National Park is located 60 miles west of Key West, Florida.   What makes the photos so amazing here is the brick walls of Fort Jefferson and the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  You’ll get some extra likes when you post a picture from here.

img_3360View out of a Fort Jefferson “window” out onto the beach.

1)   Yellowstone National Park:  America’s first National Park is also first on this list.    The opportunities here for an iconic photo are nearly endless.   The abundant wildlife, the shockingly vibrant colors of the hot springs, and the power of the geysers make this our most photogenic National Park.   Make sure you take plenty of pictures on your next visit to Yellowstone National Park.

2017 iphone pictures 477Microbes and water temperature cause the vibrant colors in Yellowstone’s hot springs.  

*The cover photo is of the Gibbon River in Yellowstone National Park.

 

 

 

Sunday Hikes:  The Monument Geyser Basin Trail 

The Monument Geyser Basin Trail was my favorite hike during my visit to Yellowstone National Park this past week.  This trail is a little under the radar as it isn’t listed on the National Park website.  The Monument Geyser Basin is shown on the park map, but no trail or further information is given.

The trailhead is located off of the main park road, between the Norris and Madison junctions.  Right before we arrived at the trailhead we saw a grizzly bear walking along the roadway.  That really jazzed us up as we arrived at the trailhead.   It wasn’t well marked and the parking was limited to a dirt area on the side of the road that could probably only fit 2-3 vehicles.


The air was warm and the skies gray as we started the hike.  I had expected an immediate vertical hike, but was surprised as the trail blazed through the trees along the bank of the Gibbon River.  After about 1/2 a mile, the trail cut left and the steep ascent finally began.  I estimate we picked up about 600 feet in elevation over the next 1/2 mile.  The overlook views got progressively more breathtaking the higher up we went.  I especially liked seeing the Gibbon River snaking through the valley below.


At the top of the mountain lies the Monument Geyser Basin.  This geyser basin isn’t as impressive as the ones farther south in the Old Faithful area.  We saw a little spurting water and some steam but not much else.   We could hear water gurgling nearby but couldn’t locate the source.  We checked with a Park Ranger later and he wasn’t aware of large flows of water up there and promised to check it out the next time he was in the area.


As a light cool rain shower began to fall, we quickly descended down the mountain and then followed the river back to where our car was parked.

The reason I liked this trail so much was that I felt like we had it to ourselves.  Much of the Yellowstone iconic sights are very crowded so it was nice to have some space to ourselves.   At 2.4 miles round trip this is a trail where you can work up a sweat, enjoy beautiful scenery, and also complete pretty quickly.  I hope you can try this trail the next time you visit Yellowstone National Park.  rk