Best Nature and Wildlife Photography Spots In California

Last Updated on April 7, 2021

California offers some of the most spectacular nature and wildlife photography, so it’s no surprise that many photographers flock to this state to try to capture the stunning and breathtaking images. So, for those who can’t live without the serene and tranquil beauty of nature and wildlife, we’ve put together a list of spots you can visit to take the best possible pictures.

Where To Go For Wildlife and Nature Photographers In California

Cabrillo National Monument california

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite is the world’s third-oldest national park after Yellowstone in Wyoming and Mackinac Island in Michigan. It was established on October 1st, 1890 with what was once called Yosemite Valley referred to as the Yosemite National Park. The park covers almost half a million acres of mountains, waterfalls, meadows, and forests. One of the world’s tallest waterfalls is the Vernal Falls while the highest point in the park is Mt. Lyell at 10,802 feet (3248 meters). The Two-Pound Lake in Tuolumne Meadows is a popular destination for anglers and hikers. The Donohue Pass Ski Area is located here along with the Merced River Canyon.

Channel Islands National Park

The Channel Islands are part of two national parks, Channel Islands and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. It is located off the coast of Southern California, ranging from Santa Barbara in Ventura County to San Diego in San Diego County. The islands are famous for their natural beauty as well as their abundant wildlife, which includes endemic species such as Catalina Island foxes and bald eagles. The islands are also home to several species of seals, sea lions, and otters. One of the most popular activities in the island is diving with its wide variety of marine life such as abalone octopus, bat rays, blue whales, orcas, and white sharks.

Cabrillo National Monument

This national monument is located in San Diego County along the coast where generations of explorers such as Cabrillo have seen the fertile sand dunes and harbor areas that make this place so unique. The National Marine Sanctuary here is home to the Pacific lamprey, a once-extinct species. Also, the Point Loma lighthouse is a popular site for tourists and photographers. Hiking and biking are also popular at Cabrillo Coastal National Monument.

Hidden Valley Wildlife Area

Hidden Valley Wildlife Area is a 10,000-acre wildlife refuge in Southern California that is located approximately 2 hours south of San Francisco. The area is home to several species of plants and animals which include native grasslands, herbaceous plants, freshwater marsh, coastal scrub plant communities, and pine woodlands. The wildlife here include bobcats, deer, coyotes, mountain lions and many more. This wildlife area is perfect for hiking and birdwatching since it’s just about an hour away from the scenic Big Sur coastline with gorgeous beaches.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Situated in Northern California, this forest is home to more than 2,000 sequoia trees. Most of them are over 2000 years old. The redwood forest also has more than 500 other species of trees, including firs and birches. There are 14 hiking trails in Humboldt Redwoods State Park which start at a stone house that was built by the first European settlers.


Because of its breathtaking beauty and rich wildlife, California is home to some of the best photography spots. Visiting one of these locations could be the perfect opportunity for photographers who want to add a touch of nature and wildlife in their photographs.