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View Full Version : Taking a year off of work to travel and photograph the country-where and when to go?


EricTober
28th of November 2008 (Fri), 11:27
I am most likely going to be taking a year or so off of work beginning in April and take my mini rv and travel the country and Canada. I'll have my photography equipment and my bicycles with me. Where should I visit and when to see the best wildlife? The only real definite places I want to visit are Alaska in August or Setpember and Yellowston in September or October. Everything else is negotiable. All advice is greatly appreciated. THANKS!

RandyMN
28th of November 2008 (Fri), 11:28
Answered you there already. I think double posting is frowned on here!

Tom Reichner
10th of January 2009 (Sat), 23:34
Hello, Eric! You may want to double-shot Yellowstone, as May there is tremendous. In September, the elk rut is best shot in Rocky Mountain NP in Colorado. Glacier is best visited between July 15v and September 15, as the Going To The Sun Road is only open during that brief interval, aand you'll need that road open to get up to Logan Pass, where you can find habituated mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and ptarmigan. Goat Lick down on the southern edge of Glacier NP is also great for goats in April and May. Don't miss South Dakota's Custer State Park - it is arguable the country's best place to photograph bison and pronghorn, and offers great opportunities for prarie dogs and whitetail deer, as well. Of course, if you're leaving in April and have a long lens, you may want to go straight to Klamath Falls. The Lower Klamath Basin lies over the Oregon/California border, and is perhaps the finest place in the nation for photographing waterfowl, partiucularly wild ducks and geese. The places to go there are the Lower Klamath and Tulelake National Wildlife Refuges. Each of these refuges have wonderful auto tour routes, as well as photography blinds. Good luck - sounds like the most fun year a person could possibly have! -Tom

gregpphoto
14th of January 2009 (Wed), 13:54
I have a short list of the places I plan on visiting when I become a photo tramp. *signifies a place I've been.

ALASKA
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve
Chugach Mountains
Denali NP
Gates of the Arctic NP
Glacier Bay NP
Katmai NP
Kenai Fjords NP
Lake Clark NP
Tongass National Forest
Wrangell-St. Elias NP
ARIZONA
Canyon De Chelly NM
Grand Canyon NP
ARKANSAS
Buffalo National River
CALIFORNIA
Devils Postpile NM
Kings Canyon NP
Lassen Volcanic NP
Redwoods NP
Sequoia NP
Sierra Nevada
Sierra High Route (195 mi trail)
Emigrant Wilderness
Trona Pinnacles
Yosemite NP
COLORADO
Garden of the Gods
Great Sand Dunes NP
Flatirons
Fountain Formation, Front Range
Rocky Mountain NP
Roxborough State Park
Summit Lake Park
IDAHO
Bitteroot Range
City of Rocks National Preserve
Craters of the Moon NM
Frank Church River-of-no-Return Wilderness
Hagerman Fossil Beds NM
Hells Canyon Wilderness
Nez Perce National Forest
Sawtooth Range
KENTUCKY
Pottsville Escarpment
Daniel Boone National Forest
Red Rock Gorge
MAINE
100-Mile Wilderness
Acadia NP
MINNESOTA
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
Voyageurs NP
MONTANA
Bitteroot Range
Bob Marshall Wilderness
Glacier NP
NEVADA
Black Rock Desert
Valley of Fire State Park,
NEW HAMPSHIRE
White Mountains
NEW YORK
Adirondacks*
Catskills*
OREGON
Crooked River National Grassland
Eagle Cap Wilderness
Fort Rock
Hells Canyon Wilderness
Ochoco National Forest (lava pillars)
Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
SOUTH DAKOTA
Badlands NP*
Wind Cave NP
UTAH
Arches NP
Canyonlands NP
Capital Reef NP
Goblin Valley
Grand Staircase-Escalante
Monument Valley
San Rafael Swell
Zion NP
VERMONT
Green Mountains
VIRGINIA
Shenandoah NP
WASHINGTON
North Cascades NP
Olympic NP
WYOMING
Absarokas*
Bighorn Mountains
Grand Tetons NP
Wind River Range
Yellowstone NP*
CANADA
Banff NP
Yoho NP
Jasper NP
Canadian Rockies
Mount John Laurie

Mike55
14th of January 2009 (Wed), 16:07
I am most likely going to be taking a year or so off of work beginning in April and take my mini rv and travel the country and Canada. I'll have my photography equipment and my bicycles with me. Where should I visit and when to see the best wildlife? The only real definite places I want to visit are Alaska in August or Setpember and Yellowston in September or October. Everything else is negotiable. All advice is greatly appreciated. THANKS!


Yellowstone
Glacier
Grand Teton

If your goal is big game, those have no peer in the lower 48. You tend to see more bear in Yellowstone and Glacier in spring and fall. The elk and moose rut in Grand Teton and Yellowstone are awesome in September (especially Grand Teton for moose). What's nice is there you get a lot of water interaction shots due to all the rivers up there. Those are also the only places left in the lower 48 with viable populations of grizzly bears. Grand Teton is only six miles south of Yellowstone so that's a plus as well.

EveryMilesAMemory
14th of January 2009 (Wed), 19:35
My wife and I sold EVERYTHING and bought a 25' Travel Trailer and have been on the road since the end of 2006 doing exactly what you're planning on doing.

I'll give you one bit of advise, You'll NEVER go back to work! The lure of the road and seeing new things is just too powerful and if you do have to settle back down, you'll go insane! Just warning you.

Check out the link in my signature and it should give you a few days worth of reading material on locations and ideas. We've blogged daily about our travels and you get both sides of the story - Both me and my wifes which can sometimes be pretty funny when she sees things completely different than I do.

Good luck, and make sure to start a site or blog so we can all follow along. Also check out Expedition Portal (http://www.expeditionportal.com/) which is a pretty sweet forum specifically on Overland Travel around the Globe.

EricTober
14th of January 2009 (Wed), 21:49
Thanks to everyone for the advice and suggestions! I have not even left yet and am already trying to figure out a way to extend it a second year! I'll be sure to start a blog. I would also like to meet many of you who have the same passion for photography as I do. As I update my blog, if any of you would like to join me, just let me know. I'll have a free place for you to stay on the road - not great accomidations, but close to the action!

Eric

Canonswhitelensesrule
16th of January 2009 (Fri), 20:55
A couple of places in Arizona that you might consider could be the:

Slot Canyons of Page, Arizona. (Upper and Lower Antelope are the two most famous), and I think it's called, Saguaro National Momument, which is home to hundreds, (if not thousands) of incredible Saguaro cacti. You should get some incredibly colourful sunsets, silhouettes, rim lit shots there.

Just a suggestion.

There are so many places that I would love to travel to and photograph.

mrso
18th of January 2009 (Sun), 00:10
If you are going through NE Wyoming you might want to go to Devils Tower. Pretty amazing.

russ_hillis
26th of January 2009 (Mon), 20:03
well since you want to do Alaska & Yellowstone at about the same time. I would say travelling up along the foothills in western Alberta is pretty much a given. There's a number of good parks along the divide starting with Waterton National Park (AKA International Peace Park), Banff, then Jasper. There's also some quite pretty places along the BC side of the divide that will be worth the trip.

Don't forget about the unique photo opportunities that the great plains can offer you. Everything from unique wildlife to abondoned farmsteads. I can only speak for Saskatchewan & Alberta really but there are some spectacular photo's waiting for the creative soul.

Any way, good luck and good shooting.

soxfan356
28th of January 2009 (Wed), 15:52
Yosemite.
Starved Rock is pretty cool too. Not anywhere near as cool as yellowstone, glacier, alaska, but you do what you can right?

AzzKicker
5th of February 2009 (Thu), 09:10
I don't know why no one ever recommends Big Bend National Park in Texas. It is one of the Countries biggest parks but least visited. It is a very beautiful national park and the park pretty much allows you a lot of freedom.

itallushrt
6th of February 2009 (Fri), 15:51
I have a short list of the places I plan on visiting when I become a photo tramp. *signifies a place I've been.


KENTUCKY
Pottsville Escarpment
Daniel Boone National Forest
Red Rock Gorge


It is Red River Gorge. Beautiful place!

gregpphoto
7th of February 2009 (Sat), 11:13
It is Red River Gorge. Beautiful place!

Yes it is, thanks for the correction.

snowyowl13
8th of February 2009 (Sun), 10:48
If you want to see Wood Bison go to the MacKenzie Bison Sanctuary, NWT in early June. If you hit NWT or northern Alberta in May you just might get caribou.

D Smith
20th of February 2009 (Fri), 17:14
While you're gone, if you need someone to take over your job, let me know.

sonofjesse
23rd of February 2009 (Mon), 09:57
No mention of the great smokey mtns?

Apexer
23rd of February 2009 (Mon), 10:10
gregpphoto mentioned the Wallowa mountains in Oregon. Be sure to stop in Joseph which is a town named after Chief Joseph. Stunning Swiss like mountains, cool old west feel, and art galleries galore. There are numerous large bronze statues on many of the corners on Main St.

Tom Reichner
23rd of February 2009 (Mon), 11:16
If you want to see Wood Bison go to the MacKenzie Bison Sanctuary, NWT in early June. If you hit NWT or northern Alberta in May you just might get caribou.

I know snowyowl is speaking of Woods Bison, a subspecies. But if you just want to see Bison in general, and tire of Yellowstone's crowds, I recommend Custer State Park in South Dakota. It's nor far off of I-90 (about 45 mins south of the interstate), and also about 45 minutes fron the Wyoming border. It may be the best place for Bison photography that there is. Excellent Pronghorn Antelope opportunities, as well. Also great for Prairie Dogs, and ok for Whitetail Deer. Truly a little-known gem!

gregpphoto
23rd of February 2009 (Mon), 11:58
Custer State Park in South Dakota. It's nor far off of I-90 (about 45 mins south of the interstate), and also about 45 minutes fron the Wyoming border. It may be the best place for Bison photography that there is. Excellent Pronghorn Antelope opportunities, as well. Also great for Prairie Dogs, and ok for Whitetail Deer. Truly a little-known gem!

Yea, I've never even heard of that, and I spend half my days researching state and national parks!

wyntrsnyte
23rd of February 2009 (Mon), 12:27
You definitely want to go to Nevada in the spring or fall. I lived out there for a while and while it might be a bit cooler in the mountains than the valley, it still gets extremely hot. I love the Valley of Fire, one of my most favorite shots ever was taken there. Is there a reason you aren't visiting Mt. Charleston?

My old co-worker packed up and moved to Wyoming for awhile to pursue photography and his shots from Jackson Hole are phenomenal! He also got married in Death Valley during February and got some amazing shots there as well. Depending on where you are during the winter months, you might want to consider stopping and seeing the beauty of the desert.

Enjoy! I'm extremely jealous and wish I could do the same thing as you.

Mike55
24th of February 2009 (Tue), 01:37
I know snowyowl is speaking of Woods Bison, a subspecies. But if you just want to see Bison in general, and tire of Yellowstone's crowds, I recommend Custer State Park in South Dakota. It's nor far off of I-90 (about 45 mins south of the interstate), and also about 45 minutes fron the Wyoming border. It may be the best place for Bison photography that there is. Excellent Pronghorn Antelope opportunities, as well. Also great for Prairie Dogs, and ok for Whitetail Deer. Truly a little-known gem!


This is spot on. Don't forget Wind Cave National Park which is quite similar and borders Custer State Park:

http://www.parkcamper.com/Badlands-National-Park/Badlands-National-Park-sidetrips.htm

Also, Badlands National Park is less than 100 miles east of both places.....