Landscapes of the United States are incredibly diverse. In the American West photography locations abound and they are busy year-round with tourists drawn to the unique ecosystems, national parks, and stunning geographic formations. Here are a few of our favorites on the West Coast:
The Oregon Coast Trail is a great way to holistically experience the Oregon coast. It stretches from northern Oregon and the mouth of the Columbia River 380 miles down to the California border. The coast boasts multiple state parks, the famous shipwreck at Fort Stevens State Park, the Devil’s Churn, incredible rock formations, expansive sand dunes and amazingly fresh seafood to please your palate and fill your stomach.
The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area spans nearly 3,000 acres across Washington and Oregon. It runs approximately 80 miles long carving deeply through the picturesque mountains of the Cascade Range. The Gorge runs nearly 4000 feet deep at some points, with many side canyons and numerous waterfalls crashing across the eroded basalt formations in some areas, especially closer to Portland. The most famous of these is Multnomah Falls, the largest waterfall in Oregon at 620 feet.
Big Sur is a major draw for people interested in American West photography locations. It is home to the southern limit of Redwood trees, and features a long rocky ridge that abruptly drops off into the Pacific. Dramatic clouds due to precipitation and picturesque sea stacks make it a must-see location. Be aware that due to heavy rains and resulting landslides this past winter that the main road, Cal Hwy 1, is still not yet open and may not be for several more months.
The Redwood trees are surreal in their size and beauty. Redwood National and State Parks during the summertime are particularly mesmerizing as the fog builds up and billows across the terrain. The trees, fog, and streams make for magical landscape photos.
The famous Olympic National Park is an ideal shooting location for landscape photographers as it encompasses some of the most diverse terrain in the National Park system. The park includes beaches, meadows, mountains, and part of the Pacific coastline. It also includes the only temperate rain forests in the United States. A visit here from May-September will reward the photographer with unlimited opportunities.
Located only 65 miles southeast of Seattle, the 236,381 acres of Mt. Rainier National Park offer a dazzling array of opportunities for the photographer. With its vast sub-alpine meadows, old growth forests, more than 25 glaciers and extensive network of hiking trails it is impossible not to create wonderful images, unless of course, everything is shrouded in the famous Rainier fog (sometimes, rain, sleet, snow, etc.)
Interested in visiting any of these amazing American West photography locations? Steinberg Photography offers workshops and tours to help photographers improve their skills. These sessions are suitable for everyone from beginners to professionals. Visit our website to learn more!