2015 Countdown: 20 Favorite Landscape Photos

In the long and proud tradition of year-end countdowns, I thought I’d mark the end of 2015 with one of my own. This series is “20 Favorite Landscape Photos.” Out of all the scenery I managed to photograph this year, I like these shots the best. Some of these places I haven’t written about on here yet, so consider them teasers for future content.

#20: Mount Hood
Location: Looking outside a Southwest Airlines plane on approach to Portland International Airport, Oregon
Date: April 17, 2015
I’ve flown in and out of Portland a number of times but it was always too cloudy, foggy, and rainy to see anything from the plane. On a trip into the city back in April, I was stunned to suddenly see a crystal-clear Mount Hood just outside my window. I scrambled to dig my camera out and get this photo.


Mount Hood on approach to PDX airport. Photographed 04/17/2015 near Portland, Oregon.

#19: Palouse Falls
Location: Palouse Falls State Park near Washtucna, Washington
Date: March 4, 2015
In a relatively unvisited corner of southeast Washington, the Palouse River has cut its way through the surrounding volcanic rock. My business partner and I went out here on a tip from a local customer, and we were glad we visited.


Palouse Falls photographed 03/04/2015 at Palouse Falls State Park, Washington.

#18: Rio Ara
Location: Route N-260 near Ainsa, Spain
Date: September 12, 2015
On our way to spend a few relaxing days at a casa rurale in the countryside of Spain, my wife and I drove along the Rio Ara where it had carved a magnificent gorge through the Pyrenees Mountains. The one-lane road bearing two-way traffic was almost as heart-stopping as the scenery.


Rio Ara photographed 09/12/2015 near Ainsa, Spain.

#17: Devils Homestead Lava Flow
Location: Lava Beds National Monument near Tulelake, California
Date: July 26, 2015
On paper Lava Beds doesn’t seem particularly appealing, but once you’ve spent a day exploring the expansive lava flows, volcanoes, and caverns formed from lava tubes you realize this is one of the best-kept secrets in America.


Devils Homestead lava flow. Photographed 07/26/2015 at Lava Beds National Monument, California.

#16: White Mountains of New Hampshire
Location: Looking eastward from near St. Johnsbury, Vermont
Date: October 28, 2015
As you’re driving along a given stretch of highway, sometimes it pays to look behind you. While heading west out of New Hampshire and into Vermont, I glanced over my shoulder to see this amazing view of the White Mountains. I pulled over almost immediately to take it in.


White Mountains of New Hampshire photographed near St. Johnsbury, Vermont, 10/28/2015.

#15: Mount Shasta
Location: US Route 97 near Carrick, California
Date: July 27, 2015
Mount Shasta is one of the most impressive peaks in California, and one of the most impressive volcanoes in the Cascade Range. My wife and I had a great view of it from all angles as we drove south on our way from Klamath Falls, OR to Sacramento, CA.


Mount Shasta photographed 07/27/2015 from US Route 97 near Carrick, California.

#14: Wizard Island and Crater Lake
Location: Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Date: July 26, 2015
Wizard Island, a small lava dome in the larger Crater Lake volcano, is probably the most-photographed spot in this national park. Regardless, seeing it in person is a sight to behold.


Wizard Island and Crater Lake. Photographed 07/26/2015 at Crater Lake National Park, Oregon.

#13: Multnomah Falls
Location: Along I-84 near Dodson, Oregon
Date: November 19, 2015
Attracting over two million visitors annually, this second-highest year-round waterfall in the United States is definitely worth a visit if you’re ever near Portland, Oregon.


Multnomah Falls east of Portland, Oregon.  Photographed 11/19/2015.

#12: Sand Beach
Location: Acadia National Park, Maine
Date: October 27, 2015
While Maine’s rugged coastline is mostly dominated by rocky shores, in some places unique geology gives rise to small stretches of sandy beaches.


Sand Beach photographed 10/27/2015 at Acadia National Park, Maine.

#11: Rio Vero Canyon
Location: Parque Natural de la Sierra y Cañones de Guara (Natural Park of the Mountains and Canyons of Guara) near Asque, Spain
Date: September 13, 2015
A visit to Spain’s Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park proved to be a bust earlier in the day for my wife and I. Undaunted we drove around the countryside until we found another impressive natural feature. Rio Vero Canyon did not disappoint.


Rio Vero Canyon near Asque, Spain. Photographed 09/13/2015 in the Parque Natural de la Sierra y Cañones de Guara (Natural Park of the Mountains and Canyons of Guara).

#10: Dripstone in Oregon Caves
Location: Oregon Caves National Monument near Cave Junction, Oregon
Date: July 25, 2015
I’ve seen some pretty impressive caves in the United States including Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, and Wind Cave in South Dakota. While some people seem to think all caves look the same, each has its own unique features, geology, and character. The out-of-the-way Oregon Caves held up against the competition with some stunning beauty of its own.


Dripstone photographed 07/25/2015 at Oregon Caves National Monument, Oregon.

#9: Coast Redwoods
Location: Redwood National Park near Orick, California
Date: July 25, 2015
As the tallest trees on earth, coast redwoods always leave an impression. Driving through a labyrinth of these behemoths makes one feel like they’ve shrunk to the size of an insect.


Gigantic coast redwood trees. Photographed 07/25/2015 at Redwood National Park, California.

#8: Pacific Coast of Northern California
Location: Redwood National Park near Klamath, California
Date: July 25, 2015
While the wide, sandy beaches of the east coast attract a lot of attention, in my opinion the rocky, forested shores of the Pacific Northwest are far more beautiful.


Pacific coast near Klamath. Photographed 07/25/2015 at Redwood National Park, California.

#7: Rogue River
Location: Rogue River Gorge near Prospect, Oregon
Date: July 25, 2015
The American west is so full of majestic scenery, it’s hard to drive anywhere without stumbling across something beautiful. This is just one of countless examples of scenic spots you just pass by on your way to somewhere more touristy.


Rogue River photographed 07/25/2015 near Prospect, Oregon.

#6: Jordan Pond
Location: Acadia National Park, Maine
Date: October 27, 2015
Although relatively small, Acadia National Park has a ton of hidden scenic spots tucked into its mountains and coves. Visiting in October was especially rewarding when the trees were ablaze with color.


Jordan Pond photographed 10/27/2015 at Acadia National Park, Maine.

#5: Pyrenees Mountains
Location: Driving north on A-138 near Escanilla, Spain
Date: September 13, 2015
When my wife and I visited Spain in September, our first real view of the Pyrenees Mountains came as we headed north near Escanilla. They rose from the scattered lakes on their flanks just as gorgeous as I imagined they would be.


Pyrenees Mountains and Reservoir of Grado I. Photographed 09/13/2015 near Escanilla, Spain.

#4: Sonoran Desert
Location: Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument near Ajo, Arizona
Date: June 11, 2015
The Sonoran Desert of Arizona is one of the most iconic desert landscapes in the United States. The abundant sand, scrub, mountains, and large cactuses like saguaro and organ pipes make this one of the coolest places to see.


Saguaro cactuses and chollas of the Sonoran Desert. Photographed 06/11/2015 at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona.

#3: Sol Duc Falls
Location: Olympic National Park near Forks, Washington
Date: April 19, 2015
Wanting some early-morning solitude, I headed out on what I thought was a relatively modest hike. Sol Duc Falls proved to be one of the most rewarding sights on this particular trip.


Sol Duc Falls photographed 04/19/2015 at Olympic National Park, Washington.

#2: Phantom Ship and Crater Lake
Location: Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Date: July 26, 2015
Everyone knows Wizard Island at Crater Lake, but Phantom Ship is an equally impressive formation. This hunk of rock takes on a ghostly appearance at times, especially during the abundant fog, rain, and snow that frequently covers this park.


Phantom Ship from Sun Notch. Photographed 07/26/2015 at Crater Lake National Park, Oregon.

#1: Olympic Sunset
Location: Olympic National Park, Washington
Date: April 17, 2015
Sunrise and sunset are the two best times of day for photos. This was my favorite sundowner this year, taken from near Kalaloch Lodge at Olympic National Park.


Sunset near the Kalaloch Lodge. Photographed 04/17/2015 at Olympic National Park, Washington.


About Jeremy Sell

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

3 Responses to 2015 Countdown: 20 Favorite Landscape Photos

  1. Mike Powell says:

    Wow. Your shots are amazing, Jeremy, but I am totally blown away by the fact that you captured all of these images in a single year. It seems like you squeezed a decade of travel into one year. Are you ever at home? I’ve got to start visiting some of these places! Best wishes for wonderful new year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeremy Sell says:

    Best wishes to you as well. You certainly know how to get the most out of your camera, and I always enjoy your shots.

    Most of the spots shown here were crammed into just a few trips. Regardless, being self-employed means being able to take off work indiscriminately when things are slow (but working 70-80 hours a week when things aren’t). Although this year had plenty of cool stuff, I think last year was quite a bit cooler. At least as far as photos are concerned:




  3. Miriam says:

    What a spectacular world we live in – and how wonderful to be able to capture it so brilliantly. Thanks for sharing.


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