The Best Locations For Forest Photography

The US is absolutely abundant in forests, and that’s largely due to the wonderful national parks that are scattered throughout.

Each of the national parks has something different to offer and you won’t find landscapes like it anywhere else.

The Best Locations for Forest Photography

When done right, forest photography is one of the most beautiful forms of photography out there. There’s something so mystical about the forest and the way it looks through the lens.

As a photographer, you want to make sure that you find the right places for whatever kind of shoot you are doing, and finding the perfect forests for forest photography can be quite a challenge. But don’t worry we are here to help!

We have put together a list of the very best locations for forest photography(see also: The Best Locations For Waterfall Photography). Each of these locations has something unique and different to offer and you are sure to find the best forest for your photoshoot.

So read on to find out more about each of these stunning forest locations.

1. Shenandoah National Park

First, on our list, we have Shenandoah National Park. With over 200,000 acres to explore, Shenandoah National Park is the perfect place to set up a forest photography shoot and there are plenty of different areas that will suit your every need.

You will be able to choose from lush forest locations and mountain peaks and you will be able to create a stunning forest shoot that will give some of the best pictures possible for your portfolio.

If you are planning on spending the whole day in the forest, make sure you bring lots of snacks and water for yourself and your models, as it can be quite remote in some areas.

2. Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is another stunning location that is absolutely perfect for forest photography.

From incredibly green foliage and trees all the way to cascading waterfalls, you will have no shortage of picturesque spots to get the shots that you need.

If you do decide to visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park, two points of interest you might want to know about include The Hidden Richie Ledges and Brandywine Falls.

The Hidden Richie Ledges is a semi-secret location that includes an actual staircase in the middle of the forest which will offer you the perfect opportunity for some fantasy-inspired shots.

The Brandywine Falls, on the other hand, is one of the most popular spots in the whole park, and when you see the spectacular falls for yourself, you won’t be able to leave without capturing them!

3. Zion National Park

Zion National Park is another great location that is incredibly unique.

It is a part of the Utah Mighty 5 parks, and it offers not only lush green forests but incredible copper mesas that will really give your forest photography a bit of a unique edge.

Zion National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the whole of the United States, and it’s no real surprise as to why. It’s known all over the world and you won’t find terrain like this anywhere else.

If you want to stick to the forest photography theme but you really want your photos to have a more unique and interesting vibe to them, check out Zion National Park and create some out-of-this-world shots that blend forests and mesas together to create something super special.

4. Glacier National Park, Montana

Whereas Zion National Park offers a “hotter” vibe to your photos, Glacier National Park in Montana has a “colder” vibe to it, but it’s just as unique and picturesque.

You will find lots of lush, fairytale forests here as well as alpine meadows and the glorious peaks of the surrounding mountains.

The park is also covered in beautiful ice-blue waters and waterfalls, so you can really get creative with your forest shoots when you visit.

In Glacier National Park, you will also find the wonderful Lake McDonald, which is a sizeable lake that will add lots of depth to your shots.

There is also plenty of wildlife in the National Park, so keep your eyes peeled for the animals that live there and try and get them in your shots!

5. Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park can be found in New England, and it is actually the only national park in the area.

Photographers especially love to flock here to take stunning pictures during the fall, but it is so mystical that you can really get good shots here all year round.

You will also find Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park and you can get some incredible sunset shots from the peak, but the forests are incredibly special.

They stretch out onto cliffs that meet the many surrounding lakes, and if you can get creative enough, your shots will look like they were taken on an alien planet!

There is also plenty of wildlife for you to capture on camera and see here, so keep your eyes out for any critters or animals nearby- they may be just what your forest shots are missing!

6. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park can be found in North Carolina and Tennessee and it is the perfect location for a forest shoot.

It is great for all photographers of all experience, regardless of if you are just starting out or if you are more experienced.

The forest in the park is incredibly lush and fertile, and there is plenty of flora and fauna for you to capture on your camera.

You can get some incredibly picturesque and unique shots when you visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and this is a location you definitely don’t want to pass up on if you get the chance to visit.

There are lots of mountains in the park as well, as the name would suggest, so you will have plenty of opportunities to take pictures of the forest from higher angles and it’s a great place to incorporate sunsets into your shots too.

7. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is one of the most well-known and popular national parks in the whole of the US and it is known worldwide for its incredible mountain peaks and stunning forests.

Two of the most well-known mountains can be found in Yosemite, and they come in the form of half dome, which is a 4,700-foot tall granite rock mountain, and, of course, El Capitan, a 3,000-foot granite mountain.

If you want to do forest photography on a grand scale, you can easily incorporate these huge formations into your shots to create a stunning piece of visual art.

Another popular location in the park is Yosemite Falls, which is also the highest waterfall in the whole of the United States!

There are so many opportunities for incredible and grand shots and if you get the chance to visit, you definitely shouldn’t pass the opportunity up!

8. Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is the oldest national park in the US and the very first national park in the whole world.

This massive park stretches over 3,400+ square miles and plenty of that area is dedicated to just forests alone.

Sure, the park is home to incredible springs, geysers, and mountain peaks, but if forest photography is what you want, you will have an abundance of fantastic trees that stretch as far as the eye can see!

Waterfalls can also be found throughout the park and the forested areas, so you are sure to get the perfect forest shots that you want.

Yellowstone is also home to lots of wildlife, some of which include grizzly bears (see also “How To Photograph Bears“), black bears, gray wolves, elk, moose, bison, and bighorn sheep, so you will have lots of opportunities to include them in your forest shots.

9. Denali National Park

Denali National Park can be found in Alaska and the whole park actually covers more than 6 million acres!

Some areas of the park are extremely difficult to get to, but the more accessible areas are incredibly picturesque.

You will find lots of beautiful conifer forests in the park with a fantastic view of Mount McKinley in the background.

The mountains here are always snow-covered, and they will add some depth to your forest shots.

10. Grand Teton National Park

Located in Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park has a very diverse landscape, so you will find a little bit of everything here.

Whether you want stunning views of the local mountains, or you want beautiful conifer forests, Grand Teton has it all!

There are over 200 miles of accessible hiking trails, so you can find the perfect spot to take your forest shots and the mountains and glaciers in the area will add more depth to your photos.


There are plenty of wonderful forest locations all over the US, but we really recommend each of the places on this list for your shoots.

National parks have so much to offer, and you are sure to find the perfect location for your forest photography (see also: The Best Locations For Waterfall Photography)here!

Laura McNeill
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