2014 Countdown: 20 Favorite Landscape Photos

In the long and proud tradition of year-end countdowns, I thought I’d mark the end of 2014 with a few of my own. This second series is “20 Favorite Landscape Photos.” Out of all the scenery I managed to photograph this year, I like these the best.

#20: Au Sable River
Location: Westgate Overlook in Huron National Forest, Michigan
Date: October 10, 2014
Michigan’s eclectic mix of hardwood forests make it an ideal place to enjoy autumn color. Our abundant waters and temperamental skies often enhance any scene with both serenity and tension.


Au Sable River from Westgate Overlook. Photographed 10/10/2014 at Huron National Forest, Michigan.

#19: Meadow in Paradise Park
Location: Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Date: August 15, 2014
The alpine glaciers of Mount Rainier feed numerous cascades and lush greenery for hundreds of square miles.  Colorful wildflowers and abundant wildlife make this place feel like it’s out of a fairy tale.


Small creek and lush meadow near Paradise Park. Photographed 08/15/2014 at Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.

#18: Badlands and Prairie
Location: Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Date: August 18, 2014
Although the colorful weathered rocks of the South Dakota badlands are beautiful, the grassy prairies surrounding them harbor many animals including bison, pronghorn, and prairie dogs. This photo shows a bit of both landscapes.


Hills photographed 08/18/2014 at Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

#17: Little Missouri River
Location: Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
Date: August 8, 2014
North Dakota’s badlands and prairies may seem dry, but several significant sources of water breathe life into this arid environment.


Little Missouri River near Wind Canyon. Photographed 08/08/2014 at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota.

#16: Devils Tower
Location: Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming
Date: August 17, 2014
Against the rolling hills of northeast Wyoming, the volcanic remains of Devils Tower stand like a sentinel watching over the plain.


Devils Tower photographed 08/17/2014 at Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming.

#15: Waterpocket Fold
Location: Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Date: April 11, 2014
One of the most gorgeous locations in the American west, the red rocks of the Waterpocket Fold stand in stark contrast to the green foliage and blue skies.


View along the Waterpocket Fold from Panorama Point. Photographed 04/11/2014 at Capitol Reef National Park, Utah.

#14: Northern Rockies Waterfall
Location: Glacier National Park, Montana
Date: August 9, 2014
Ice and snow persist in the northern Rocky Mountains even in late summer, where melt water feeds spectacular waterfalls, verdant foliage, and abundant wildlife.


Mountain view photographed 08/09/2014 at Glacier National Park, Montana.

#13: Sunset Through The Window
Location: Big Bend National Park, Texas
Date: February 9, 2014
The focal point of the Chisos Basin is “The Window,” a gap in the mountains that provides a view down on the Chihuahuan Desert below. Although fit to gaze through any time of day, sunset is particularly satisfying.


Sunset through The Window of the Chisos Basin. Photographed 02/09/2014 at Big Bend National Park, Texas.

#12: Cliff Palace
Location: Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Date: April 14, 2014
Of all the ancient Native American ruins to be found at Mesa Verde, Cliff Palace is among the most impressive. This shot captures the scale of the quaint stone village against the surrounding landscape.


Cliff Palace photographed 04/14/2014 at Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado.

#11: Avalanche Lake
Location: Glacier National Park, Montana
Date: August 9, 2014
Although it involves a bit of a hike, the reflective glory of Avalanche Lake is worth the time. Tucked into the mountains of Glacier National Park, this hideaway provides a quiet escape from the busier locations.


Avalanche Lake photographed 08/09/2014 at Glacier National Park, Montana.

#10: Bayou Sunrise
Location: Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana
Date: November 1, 2014
Even though it’s situated within the city limits of New Orleans, Bayou Sauvage offers a sampling of more expansive southern swamps. This natural amuse-bouche harbors fascinating subtropical plants, abundant wildlife, and spectacular Gulf Coast scenery.


Morning light over a bayou. Photographed 11/01/2014 at Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge near New Orleans, Louisiana.

#9: Landscape Arch
Location: Arches National Park, Utah
Date: April 15, 2014
Of the over 2,000 natural stone arches to be found at Arches National Park, Landscape Arch is among the most impressive. The short hike among red rocks, green plants, and blue skies is well worth the time.


Landscape Arch photographed 04/15/2014 at Arches National Park, Utah.

#8: Green River Canyons
Location: Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Date: April 13, 2014
The Canyonlands of southeast Utah harbor many fascinating views of eroded rock landscapes, but one of the best sights overlooks the canyons along the Green River. The Island in the Sky lives up to its name, allowing visitors to look down upon the varied landscapes in all directions. And after looking down, you will hopefully have enough time to venture into these fascinating places.


Canyons from the Green River Overlook. Photographed 04/13/2014 at Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

#7: Teton Sunset
Location: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Date: September 4, 2014
Mountains against a sunset are beautiful. Lakes against a sunset are also beautiful. Mountains and lakes against a sunset are the most beautiful of all. Especially when said sunset finishes off a day watching bears, moose, and elk in their natural habitat.


Sunset over the Tetons and Jackson Lake from the Signal Mountain Lodge. Photographed 09/04/2014 at Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

#6: Chihuahuan Desert Mountains
Location: Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
Date: February 12, 2014
Exploring a landscape is an amazing experience, made even more amazing when you can finish by looking down on the landscape you just traversed. The arid plains and rugged canyons of the Chihuahuan Desert come into perspective when you can climb one of the mountains and look down on it all.


View south from the side of Guadalupe Peak. Photographed 02/12/2014 at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas.

#5: Horseshoe Bay Beach
Location: Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda
Date: May 22, 2014
Beaches are defined by the nexus of land and water, but the pink sand, dark rocks, turquoise water, and deep blue skies of Bermuda redefine what a beach can be.


Turquoise water, pink sand, and dark limestone photographed 05/22/2014 near Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda.

#4: Rio Grande and Santa Elena Canyon
Location: Big Bend National Park, Texas
Date: February 10, 2014
Along the border of the United States and Mexico, the Rio Grande River carves its way across thick rock mesas and parched desert scrub. Steep-walled canyons give way to the open Chihuahuan Desert, and the indelible course of the river offers a chance at life to a harsh landscape.


The Rio Grande near Santa Elena Canyon. Photographed 02/10/2014 at Big Bend National Park, Texas.

#3: Lower Yellowstone Falls
Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Date: September 5, 2014
A steep staircase leads hundreds of feet down Uncle Tom’s Trail, where the payout is an unparalleled view of Lower Yellowstone Falls. Here the mist gives rise to rainbows while the colorful walls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone frame every view with beauty. Although the trek back up the stairs is strenuous, this location is one of the best places to see at Yellowstone.


Lower Yellowstone Falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Photographed 09/05/2014 at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

#2: Oxbow Bend Reflections
Location: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Date: September 5, 2014
Jagged snow-covered peaks, dense conifer forests, and abundant wildlife all reflected against the quiet waters of the Snake River. This spot defines the American west in one amazing view. If anyone ever says “I want to see America,” take them here.


Oxbow Bend along the Snake River against the Teton Range. Photographed 09/05/2014 at Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

#1: Grand Prismatic Spring
Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Date: September 7, 2014
I was enamored with Grand Prismatic Spring the first time I saw a photo of it as a child. I simply couldn’t believe such a place existed on earth. Seeing this place in person with my own eyes was pretty moving. Although made up of nothing more than mineral-rich water from a hot spring, colorful thermophile bacteria, and the green hills and blue skies of northwest Wyoming, this little spot on the globe was the new definition of natural beauty for me.


Grand Prismatic Spring in the Midway Geyser Basin. The most beautiful thing I have ever seen in nature. Photographed 09/07/2014 at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in General, National Parks and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to 2014 Countdown: 20 Favorite Landscape Photos

  1. Mike Powell says:

    I’m impressed by the beauty of these images and the geographic scope of the subjects. Do you ever spend time at home? Best wishes for a wonderful 2015.


  2. Jet Eliot says:

    Wow, this is not only a delightful selection of landscapes, but the breadth of your travels in one year is astounding! You cover in a year what many people hope to cover in a lifetime. And your photos are awesome.


  3. Jeremy Sell says:

    Thank you for the compliments. I did get around more than usual this year. Some of it was made possible by using up a backlog of airline miles, and a couple trips were things my wife had won. Then in August my business partner and I decided to drive rather than fly to Washington state to see some customers, and we made a number of stops along the way. It all added up to more travel than I ever thought possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love it! I just featured the Badlands in my post as well.


  5. wisreader says:

    I’m just seeing these now, Jeremy, and am loving your two lists of “20 favorites,” and has also been mentioned here: the astonishing breadth of your travels this past year. Happy 2015 to You.


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