3 Top Places to Shoot in Yellowstone National Park

By Kassondra Cloos ,

Our nation’s first national park is full of geologic wonder that your camera can’t resist. From the expansive Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone to the literal hot spots around Lower Geyser Basin, there’s endless mist and steam to catch the first and last lights of the day. 

We asked Ken Hubbard, field services manager for Tamron, about his favorite spots to shoot in the park. Looking for more ideas? Hubbard is co-leading our new online Night Sky Photography course, which is full of additional advice sure to improve your shots.

1. Mammoth Hot Springs

Sunrise at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone

Ken Hubbard

If you get there just as the sun is rising over the mountains, you won’t be disappointed. It lights up the steam rising off the mineral-crusted hot springs. Hubbard suggests shooting from the Canary Spring Overlook. “It’s just incredible,” Hubbard says, “with the warm light and all the colors.”

2. Lower Geyser Basin

Steam rising over Fountain Paint Pots in Yellowstone's Lower Geyser Basin

Ken Hubbard

Hubbard says he almost always ends up at Lower Geyser Basin for sunset when he can catch steam rising off the paint pots through the colorful sky. “It’s one of my favorite spots for sunset,” he says. He suggests coming here for wildlife, too—bison often gather in the grassy area of the basin. If you don’t see them after waiting for a bit, take a drive around the area. If you get stuck in a major traffic jam, you’ve probably found them.

3. Artist Point

Yellowstone River's Lower Falls as viewed from Artist Point at sunrise.

Ken Hubbard

At sunrise, head to Artist Point, along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Face toward the waterfall for stunning shots full of color. “The sunrise goes right down the valley there,” Hubbard says. Center the waterfall in your frame and capture the reflected hues in the water once the sun starts to rise.

Download a park map.

Photographer Ken Hubbard

Ken Hubbard is the field services manager for Tamron. His portrait and landscape work has appeared in galleries nationwide and he teaches enthusiasts how to take better photos at workshops across the country.

Want to improve your game on starry nights? Sign up for our online, 9-part Night Sky Photography course, taught at your own pace by professional photographers André Costantini and Ken Hubbard.