California offers some of the best landscape photography spots in the world. From the Redwoods in northern California to the deserts of Southern California, there are tons of places where photographers can capture stunning photos. But with so many landscape photography spots, it can be hard to decide which ones are worth visiting.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best scenic sites in northern and southern California. From Death Valley National Park to Sequoia National Park, these locations offer beautiful scenery and diverse landscapes that will satisfy any photographer’s sensibilities.
Best Locations For Landscape Photographers In California
1 . Death Valley National Park
Death Valley is the largest national park in the lower 48 states and one of the hottest places on Earth. The area’s natural beauty is truly unparalleled, ranging from canyons to mountains to sand dunes. It also features a variety of wildlife such as bighorn sheep, coyotes, and kangaroo rats. The park is also known for its strange features such as salt flats and craters that were caused by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago.
2 . Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park lies in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and is home to the world’s largest living organisms: giant sequoia trees. These trees can reach up to 280 feet and stand as tall as 100 feet. The park also features many beautiful streams, waterfalls, and lakes. Be sure to photograph the water in the lakes that reflect the giant sequoias.
3. Yosemite National Park
The Sierra Nevada mountain range is home to Yosemite National Park, one of the most-visited national parks in America. And it is a must stop for the landscape photographer looking to capture some beautiful photos of the mountains and valleys. It is also the third most visited national park in the World, behind only Great Wall of China and Taj Mahal. There are tons of locations to photograph in Yosemite. The Yosemite Valley alone covers an area of 700 square miles. Many famous sites such as Half Dome, the Merced River, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls are located within this valley. If you’re lucky, you can capture a picture of some rock climbers scaling the steep cliffs overlooking these famous landmarks.
4. Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most beautiful and popular locations in southern California, and it features some of the most recognizable landscape photography spots in the United States. The park is known for its unique rock formations, desert flora such as cacti, and wildlife such as black bears. Located in the Mojave Desert, this park features wide open spaces with red rocks, which can be used to produce awesome landscape photography photos.
5. Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to several volcanic features such as Lassen Peak and Bumpass Hell. The park also features many beautiful lakes and streams that are great for landscape photography. Lassen Peak is the largest plug dome volcano in the world. It towers at 10,457 feet above sea level and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. The gentle slopes of its crater make this mountain a popular destination for hikers and photographers alike.
6. Humboldt Redwoods State Park
Humboldt Redwoods State Park is located in the temperate rainforest of northern California, and it is one of the best places for landscape photographers to capture amazing photos of the trees and to see some of the most exciting features found in a redwood forest. The park has been called “the crown jewel of North America’s protected forests,” because of its beautiful vistas and stunning views.
7. Redwood National Park
Redwood National Park is the oldest of all U.S. national parks and covers an area of 109,000 acres along California’s northern Pacific coast. It was created to protect the old-growth temperate rainforests found in the park from logging operations that were threatening to destroy them. The park is home to several different ecosystems with trees such as redwoods, Douglas firs, and Sitka spruce trees. If you want to get some awesome landscape photography of the trees towering above you, try taking photos from underneath the canopy.
8. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is a beautiful park that covers an area of 1,500 acres of rocky seashore just south of Monterey. The location is a great place for landscape photographers looking to capture striking photos with ocean and forest landscapes or coastal cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean. The park features some of the most impressive coastlines in all of California, and it is a great spot to photograph the beautiful coastline and dramatic sea stacks.
9. Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is an amazing place to photograph isolated wildflowers that bloom in the springtime. It features many different types of wildflowers such as lupine, foxtail lupine, and rabbitfoot chia that grow along the rocky hillsides. The best time of year to photograph the flowers is during the springtime when they are in full bloom. Photographing them during this time will help you capture beautiful, vibrant, and colorful photos.
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is home to other great landscape photography spots such as the Poppy Field and the Staring Rock.
10. Los Padres National Forest
Los Padres National Forest is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, and it is home to many different types of trees, such as coast live oak trees. The Los Padres National Forest features some of the most popular landscape photography spots in the United States, including a great place to photograph the dark forests and steep mountains that overlook clear blue waters. The tallest peak in California, Mount Umunhum at 3,047 feet above sea level, is located within this park.
Californian landscapes are some of the most amazing and beautiful landscapes found anywhere in the world. They could even be some of the best places to become a landscape photographer.
The 10 places listed above provide you with some great photography opportunities. Whether you’re looking for a place to capture stunning sunset photos, or you want to photograph beautiful boulders, and any type of nature and wildlife, you can find it here. Just remember that you should always respect your surroundings when taking photos; and don’t get out of control as you’re searching for that perfect shot.