Help couple Europeans to decide on USA landscape trip. Please

Little background. We are couple hobby photographers from Europe, we work all summer in Minnesota and want to do a nice two weeks trip around for some landscape photography. Trip will be somewhere between Sep 20 and Oct 8.

We are debating between.

Big road trip starting from Minnesota>north Dakota>Montana>Wyoming>Colorado>Nebraska and back to minnesota

We haven’t look for exact road but obviously Yellowstone will be the main event with stop at bad lands and im sure million more places on he way.

Second option so far looks to be flight to Las Vegas and just explore around.

That will include Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Zion, Arches national park and im sure there is few more. They are all 2-4h drive from Las Vegas.

We do not really have 3rd option as for now but we are open to suggestions.

We have no idea about the weather and which places will be better to visit at the end of September to early October. If there is someone with more experience with us willing to share some info we will be forever grateful. We are trying to do research on the internet but so far we just cant seem to make up our mind.

Thanks for reading and eventually helping out in advance.

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7 Comments

Geoff Thompson's picture

I hope people will help you here.I live in Australia so could give you good advice if you ever decide to come here. geoff

Kenneth Jordan's picture

I think for that time of year I'd definitely do the Vegas trip.

Shawn Mahan's picture

east coast would be nice around that time. Acadia in Maine, along the coast and down through the Hamptons. White Mountains in NH. If you go a little later the leaf color change would make for a great trip.

Cindy Lawson DeVore's picture

If you're going to visit Yellowstone, then visit Glacier National Park as well. For photos, Glacier is just amazing. Having said that, another choice I highly recommend visiting is the Pacific Northwest. Portland, Oregon sits between some truly incredible photo opportunities in the Mount Hood National Forest to the east, and the Oregon Coast to the west. I promise, you won't be disappointed.

Sietske Barnes's picture

I think the first route you have planned out is pretty good! One thing to look out for is to make sure you have water and protein bars and blankets in your car. Some of those places have long stretches of road between rest stops and spotty cell phone service.

John Dee's picture

Congrats! Your post brought me out of lurking and made me register lol

Those dates of September 20th - October 8th. Why are you even looking anywhere else than my state of Colorado? Seriously, that's fall and there is nothing else like autumn in Colorado for us photographers. NOTHING.

You are talking prime time for some of the most epic fall colors that are the things landscape photographers dream of. The 20th is a bit early. The prime viewing would be the week of Sept 27th - Oct 4th.

Earlier than the 27th I'd hit Rocky Mountain National Park as the elk rut will be in full swing. It's an amazing experience with elk bugling and the valley looks like something out of the Serengeti with elk doing battle. Just make sure you're there at first light as it gets filled past 9am with lots of people.

After that I would be looking to spend at least a few days around the Crested Butte area in order to hit up Kebler Pass, the largest living organism on earth resides there; its Aspen forest. I spend a week there every autumn and it is out of this world. Add lots of the side roads to your list while there like Gothic Road and Washington Gulch. This is an area that is very famous for images.

Lastly I would look at spending some time down around Telluride for the last leg of your trip. The colors down here happen the latest. Places like Last Dollar Road and The Dallas Divide are the stuff that you see in magazines.

Just be ready to be blown away because you will be.

Nathan Klein's picture

I would do the second option. Death Valley is a photography playground and Zion may be in autumn colours around then.