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33 Most Instagrammable Places in the National Parks

33 Most Instagrammable Places in the National Parks
33 Most Instagrammable Places in the National Parks
It's hard to take a bad picture when visiting any one of the 59 U.S. National Parks. Those rugged mountains, wild expanses, and reflective lakes have been inspiring artists for hundreds of years, and because of the Parks Service, they remain stunning today—just try to take fewer than a bajillion pictures next time you visit.

We’ve rounded up the most Instagrammable parts of the National Parks—believe us, it was tough to choose. We refuse to pick favorites, but for whatever your Insta-style, these are the best spots. 

Photo by @reginatravels
By Maggie Fuller, AFAR Staff
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    33 Most Instagrammable Places in the National Parks
    33 Most Instagrammable Places in the National Parks
    It's hard to take a bad picture when visiting any one of the 59 U.S. National Parks. Those rugged mountains, wild expanses, and reflective lakes have been inspiring artists for hundreds of years, and because of the Parks Service, they remain stunning today—just try to take fewer than a bajillion pictures next time you visit. We’ve rounded up the most Instagrammable parts of the National Parks—believe us, it was tough to choose. We refuse to pick favorites, but for whatever your Insta-style, these are the best spots.

    Photo by @reginatravels
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    For Steady-Handed Spelunkers
    For Steady-Handed Spelunkers
    Carlsbad Cavern National Park, New Mexico

    It may be a bit easier to capture the grandeur of Carlsbad Caverns with a tripod and a little time, but if you stand REALLY still and use just the right filter, you'll be able to capture some stunning shots of this undeniably cool underground world.

    Photo by @uncontainedlife
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    If You Want to Glimpse a Gator
    If You Want to Glimpse a Gator
    Everglade National Park, Florida

    Go ahead, brag! After all, a gator-spotting cruise through Everglades National Park brought you close enough to a modern dinosaur to snap a pic using just your phone. Impressive? Absolutely.

    Photo by @sand_roose
  • 4 / 35
    For the Rugged Coastlines
    For the Rugged Coastlines
    Acadia National Park, Maine

    Is there anything more poignant than a lone figure at the edge of the water along the Eastern Seaboard? That moody Maine weather makes Acadia National Park is the perfect place to capture a pensive moment. And even on the clear and sunny days, there's just something about that landscape that feels wistful. And Acadia gets bonus points for having a beautiful #lighthouse.

    Photo by @reginatravels
  • 5 / 35
    If You Want To Feel Small
    If You Want To Feel Small
    Redwood National Park, California

    No tilt-shift required to miniaturize the people in a photo of the Redwood giants at Redwood National Park. 

    Photo by @eachplacearhapsody
  • 6 / 35
    If Red Is Your Favorite Color
    If Red Is Your Favorite Color
    Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

    It's hard to pick just one spot from the red-hued landscape of Capitol Reef National Park, but this classic view of Castle Rock is a sure contender. 

    Photo by @ms.minx
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    For Those OMG Mountains
    For Those OMG Mountains
    Glacier National Park, Montana

    A drive through Glacier National Park is usually accompanied by outbursts of "OMG!" around every bend. These peaks are the very definition of picturesque and will elicit that same "OMG" during an Instagram scroll. 

    Photo by @drewinboise
  • 8 / 35
    For Standing Very Very Still
    For Standing Very Very Still

    Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

    If you're looking to come face-to-face with a grizzly bear, Alaska is home to over 30,000 of them. While not guaranteed, a trip to Denali National Park and Preserve is a great chance to snap the most unique and impressive wildlife shot in your feed. Just remember: No sudden movements!

    Photo by @chrisburkhard

  • 9 / 35
    For Design Lovers
    For Design Lovers
    Zion National Park, Utah

    Zion National Park is gorgeous, no doubt about it. Pick a spot, any spot, within the park and you'll likely find some fascinating geometric geology in breathtaking rosy hues. Those stripes are inspirational.

    Photo by @nomadic_habit
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    If You're Feeling Reflective
    If You're Feeling Reflective
    Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

    You've seen the photos but nothing can really prepare you for the utter perfection of Crater Lake's deep blue calm. There are no streams or rivers feeding into or out of the lake, so on a good day, the surface is mirror-like, making for an easy top post. 

    Photo by @veggietravelgal
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    If You Want to Walk on Mars
    If You Want to Walk on Mars
    Devil's Golf Course, Death Valley National Park, California

    Aspiring astronauts, the Devil's Golf Course in Death Valley National Park is calling you. While we can't say whether or not it really looks like the surface of a different planet, there's no denying that it's other-worldly. 

    Photo by @damselinsf
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    For Unexpected Art
    For Unexpected Art
    Great Basin National Park, Nevada

    Whoa is right! We love landscape photography as much as anyone but Great Basin's "Whoa" sign is so out-of-the-blue, and so literally sums up the surrounding area, that it almost feels made for Instagram. 

    Photo by @chriswinklephotography
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    If You Wish You Were Ansel Adams
    If You Wish You Were Ansel Adams
    Artist Point, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
     
    If you're planning an artist-themed trip through the U.S. National Parks, we wouldn't blame you—just be sure to stop at Artist Point for a shot of Yellowstone Falls. The view from the spot, named for Thomas Moran's famous 1872 sketch of the falls and photographed by Ansel Adams in 1941, is a truly artistic angle.

    Photo by @jendegtjarewsky
  • 14 / 35
    For the Flower Children
    For the Flower Children
    Death Valley National Park, California

    Death Valley National Park is one of the best places to see the wildflower blooms every spring. The blossoms carpet the desert floor with a sea of color that we could frolic in all day. 

    Photo by @mindfulexplorer
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    For the Geothermically-Inclined
    For the Geothermically-Inclined
    Grand Prismatic SpringYellowstone National Park, Wyoming

    Who says you need rain to see a rainbow? The explosion of color of Yellowstone's Grand Prismatic Spring, if you can catch it just right, is eminently Instagrammable.

    Photo by @pogschampion
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    If You Like Chasing Waterfalls
    If You Like Chasing Waterfalls
    Horsetail Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

    Horsetail Falls, Bridalveil Falls... Yosemite really knows how to do waterfalls. But what makes this spot extra special is that, if you make your way to Horsetail Falls on the 2nd or 3rd of February, under the right conditions the light of the setting sun will catch the falls and sets them aglow. Special, unique, and stunning—this is Instagram gold. 

    Photo by @burbs2abroad
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    If You Think "Boulder" Is a Verb
    If You Think "Boulder" Is a Verb
    Joshua Tree National Park, California

    The climbing community just can't get enough of Joshua Tree National Park. Those gorgeous boulders are just begging to be climbed. And even if you prefer to keep both feet on the ground, there's just something so likeable about the way the light hits the rocks of Joshua Tree. 

    Photo by @natalienphoto
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    For Nature Lovers
    For Nature Lovers
    Redwood National Park, California

    We've all seen the photo of the car passing through a Redwood tree in Northern California, and if you love the idea of living harmoniously with the natural world, Rewood National Park is the place for you. The park system works around felled and living trees to leave as little of the environment disturbed as possible—so rather than clear away an entire felled tree, they merely cut out a small portion along the trail. The fact that it's the perfect setting for your next profile pic is just a coincidence. 

    Photo by @eachplacearhapsody
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    For The Wandering Ones
    For The Wandering Ones
    Racetrack PlayaDeath Valley National Park, California

    Even if your picture is less-than-perfect, the concept of the sailing stones at the Racetrack Plays is just so cool, that you'll get the likes anyway.

    Photo by @mindfulexplorer
  • 20 / 35
    If You're Up for a Challenge
    If You're Up for a Challenge
    Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

    Don Sheldon Mountain Hut sits high above Ruth Glacier and deep within Denali National Park. It may be a grueling trek to get to one of the most remote buildings in the word, but with views like this, it's absolutely worth it.

    Photo by @chrisburkhard
  • 21 / 35
    If You Walk the Line
    If You Walk the Line
    Santa Elena Canyon, Big Bend National Park, Texas

    Johnny Cash may have lived in Tennessee, but Santa Elena Canyon is the place to be if you want to walk the line. With one wall in Mexico and one wall in the United States, the canyon is one of the most Instagrammed spots in Big Bend National Park. And if that's not impressive enough for you, the canyon is HUGE. There's a person in this picture, can you spot him?

    Photo by @ausscott
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    For Those Who Live on the Edge
    For Those Who Live on the Edge
    Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

    All along the South and North rims on the Grand Canyon are spots like this, where you can get right up to the edge and peak over into the abyss. Want to prove to your followers that you really are a thrill-seeker? This is the perfect spot to do so.

    Photo by @ryderryder_
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    For the Most Reliable
    For the Most Reliable
    Old Faithful GeyserYellowstone National Park, Wyoming

    Not only is the Old Faithful one of the most famous natural phenomenons in the United States, but it's just gorgeous. And best of all, you can actually time your visit to guarantee an awesome shot. 

    Photo by @design.hype
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    For Those Who Do the Hoodoo
    For Those Who Do the Hoodoo
    Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

    The tall skinny spires of rock that dot the landscape of Bryce Canyon are known as hoodoos. Part-alien, part-natural castle, hoodoos are so wonderfully weird that it's impossible to scroll past a picture of them. And they look even wilder when dusted with snow. 

    Photo by @matt_b987
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    If You Really Want to Impress
    If You Really Want to Impress
    St. Mary Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana

    We know, we know, there's a lot of Glacier National Park in this list. But the park just has so many picture-perfect spots. St. Mary's lake, taken from the Going-to-the-Sun Road, is grandeur, frozen. Are you a professional photographer? Who knows! Vistas like these do the work for you. 

    Photo by @wheretowillie
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    If You Feel at Home where the Buffalo Roam
    If You Feel at Home where the Buffalo Roam
    Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

    Animal lovers, take note, Instagram loves a buffalo. Luckily, you can't visit Yellowstone National Park without going bison spotting. And while you're there, it's almost an unspoken requirement that you upload a photo of one of those gentle giants leisurely lunching along a river or a shot of stopped cars waiting for a buffalo crossing. 
     
    Photo by @hannahonearth
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    If You Want to Feel REALLY Small
    If You Want to Feel REALLY Small
    The NarrowsZion National Park, Utah

    If you go to Zion, you have to hike The Narrows. And if you hike The Narrows you have to Instagram it. Those are the rules.

    Photo by @meeshull
  • 28 / 35
    For a Little Bit of Everything
    For a Little Bit of Everything
    Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park, Montana

    If you love snapping snow-capped mountains, go to Grinnell Glacier. If you prefer lush greenery and cheerful wildflowers, go to Grinnell Glacier. Right at the heart of Glacier National Park, Grinnell has a little something for everyone. 

    Photo by @mowalk_
  • 29 / 35
    If You Want to Believe the Hype
    If You Want to Believe the Hype
    Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

    Mesa Arch's natural window on the world is an absolutely breathtaking feat of nature and the view is unbelievable. Whether you're standing under it, perched on top of it, or looking through it, Mesa Arch is always a winner. 

    Photo by @yoursoulstyle
  • 30 / 35
    For Feeling Like You're on Top of the World
    For Feeling Like You're on Top of the World
    Haleakala National Park, Hawaii

    Sure you can drive to Haleakala Peak to watch the sunrise, and the view will be spectacular. But if you choose to hike up to the "House of the Sun," crossing the black, barren, other-worldy volcanic territory, your journey—and the resulting Instagram, captioned "Made it to the top of the world!"—will be all the more impressive.

    Photo by @alannakyee
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    For Aspiring Instagram Models
    For Aspiring Instagram Models
    Joshua Tree National Park, California

    Maybe it's the colors. Maybe it's the slightly alien aspect of the landscape. Whatever it is, Joshua Tree National Park has attracted artists for decades. These days that rugged landscape and those spiky trees are a favorite backdrop for oh-so-artistic fashion shoots. Insta-like.

    Photo by @natalienphoto
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    For Using #nofilter
    For Using #nofilter
    Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

    You don't have to be a great photographer to take an amazing photo at Grand Teton National Park. In fact, it's impossible to take a bad picture of the Grand Tetons—you can try, but even on a hazy day, those rugged mountain ridges are undeniably impressive. You don't need a fancy camera, just #nofilter and watch those likes roll in. 

    Photo by @katinaphoto
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    If You Want to Look Like You Have One of the Most Crowded Parks to Yourself
    If You Want to Look Like You Have One of the Most Crowded Parks to Yourself
    Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park, California

    Yosemite National Park is one of the top three busiest national parks in the country, and the Tunnel View overlook is, hands down, one of the most iconic scenes of the entire parks system. With the big three—El Capitan, Half Dome, and Bridalveil Falls—in the background, the vista is always a winner. And as a bonus, no matter how many people stop here every day, you can somehow still manage to make it look like you're completely alone, just you and Yosemite. 

    Photo by @adriennegunde via @theexploress
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    If You Can Be Flexible
    If You Can Be Flexible
    Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Utah

    Arches National Park is full of picture-perfect photo-op spots: mazes of fiery red rock, deep gorges, and gravity-defying natural sculptures. But there's one spot that is especially stunning. Yes, you've seen that image before—it's so iconic that Utah put it on its license plates. Ideal for yoga poses, capturing the moment when you throw your arms in the air and embrace the world, or even just a stand-alone image of the famous spot itself, Delicate Arch is truly Instagram gold. 

    Photo by @reginatravels
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