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Thread: Suggestions for April LF photo trips?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Fairbanks, Alaska

    Suggestions for April LF photo trips?

    I have a plane ticket for which I can't get a refund, but can switch to pretty much any destination in the U.S. or Canada, as long as I travel the week of April 15.
    I have a nice lightweight 5x7/4x5 to take along.

    I'm mainly interested in landscapes and nature, and I really appreciate "subtle grandeur" more than super dramatic "wonders of the world." Not much for cityscapes, bridges, feats of engineering, and such. I shoot mostly B&W, but have a box of 4x5 portra I'll probably take along.

    I'm not opposed to hiking a few miles in reasonable terrain, but not up for "prove you're a man" type trails. I'm not opposed to the southwest, but I've done a few trips there before (Sedona, Grand Canyon, Santa Fe). The east coast intimidates me because I have the perception that you can't go anywhere there without trespassing on private property, but I'm sure there are state parks and such so I'm open to suggestions along those lines. I've kind of been thinking of something like rural coastlines or small waterfalls, but don't have any particular place in mind for that. The only suggestion I've had so far is the Oregon coast, so I'm looking into that, but would love to hear other ideas.

    I've lived in Alaska for 31 years, so really not looking for suggestions here. Thanks in advance for any ideas!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Collinsville, CT USA

    Re: Suggestions for April LF photo trips?

    Joshua Tree National Park...

    Since I used to rock climb, always had a hard time deciding how to spend my days.... Photography or Rock Climb.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Seattle, WA

    Re: Suggestions for April LF photo trips?

    PNW offers 1/2 lifetime of you have huge amounts to pick from. Despite living here, I still like SW very much (my fave area). So, you can't go wrong with either....and I'm terrible with sales .

    You can start with Canada as a destination....tons of things to see/visit. My last serious visit there was to Cortes Island, and it took 3 ferrys to get there (all good). But, I could easily spend a week + on Vancouver Island alone. Then you have all the pristine lakes, Jasper-Banff and several spots in between. And no, none of it resembles AK in any way. I can say that, since I worked there and visited on reg. basis...from Skagway to Homer.....even to Prudhoe.

    There is an avalanche of things to do in Washington (just look at Austin's photos). Then there is OR Coast along with Columbia River and many many waterfalls, Crater Lake and it would be super convenient to dip to Calif - Redwoods Natl Pk area. Personally, prefer places with less footprints.

    SW requires a book or more - it's special. I'd go to places like Joshua or DV, but it heats up (?) already in that part I'd avoid. Some places like Bryce or Cedar Breaks may still have snow (over 8000' elevation). One of the spots could be good to check out is Great Basin Natl PK, probably since I never had a chance to see. Also, if you're in this area I'd keep an eye on North Rim and if/when it opens up....way nicer and more secluded than the South Rim. Yos, Sequoia and Kings Cyn are always nice, tho for me there are just too many tourists in the Valley.

    Good luck and hope you find something special.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Newbury, Vermont

    Re: Suggestions for April LF photo trips?

    April is perfect for some southwest locations...and if you've already been to Sedona, Santa Fe, and the Grand Canyon, then I might suggest you fly into Las Vegas and either head northeast for Zion/Bryce/Kodachrome Basin/Capitol Reef/Goblin Valley/Moab...or head west for Death Valley then either down to Joshua Tree or over to Yosemite, or perhaps northwest then north from Death Valley to Alabama Hills/Mono Lake/Bodie/Ancient Bristlecone Pines/Pyramid Lake (north of Reno, Nevada). I've never been to Oregon cannot comment. You could also fly into San Fransisco or Oakland...then either head down to Monterey and take coastal Rt. 1 down to Weston Beach/Carmel/Point Lobos and end up at Big Sur. The highway is truly spectacular and the fog rolling in can be awesome! Or head north from San Fran to Point Reys then up towards Arcata and the big Redwoods. Have fun!

    Edit: While my neck of the woods Vermont, near the New Hampshire border) offers some great access to waterfalls and mountains, both in Vermont and New Hampshire...we've had so much snow this year that it we probably won't see any significant bare ground until late April. Might just remind you too much of home!

  5. #5
    jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Re: Suggestions for April LF photo trips?

    If you visit Maine, there is a Bold Coast trail in Cutler which I have been by on the water but not hiked. South of that is Acadia National Park with the Schoodic peninsula with a lot of Maine character and not much popularity. I'm in the Penobscot Bay area with many state parks and non-profit preserves for public access. This time of year the summer people are gone and it mostly doesnt matter if you are trespassing. Monhegan is a beautiful place but it's off limits till about mid-may as the lodging places open up for the season then. South of there, Reid state park area has nice shoreline frequented by the east coast pictorialists and early moderinsts... Lots of other famous artist locations if you're into more than photography. The coast will likely be thawed out, but plenty of snow will be inland.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Central Illinois

    Re: Suggestions for April LF photo trips?

    I would like to spend some time in northwest Arkansas before the heat of summer. Lots of waterfalls and streams and structure. Buffalo River National Waterway is also there and looks accessible. Spent a couple days in Siloam Springs and there was an abundance of scenery, minus the grandeur of the west. People are friendly, seems inexpensive to visit.

  7. #7
    Pieter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018

    Re: Suggestions for April LF photo trips?

    If you end up in Oregon, the Columbia River Gorge is a must.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Massachusetts USA

    Re: Suggestions for April LF photo trips?

    If you prefer subtle grandeur and you're traveling in the USA in April, why not find somewhere off the beaten track where you won't be shooting in someone else's tripod holes ?

    For example, how about a state park or national park in some state like Iowa, Oklahoma, Missouri or Kentucky etc. where it will warm enough but not too hot ? If you find a comparatively obscure location you can have the place to yourself and can really open yourself up creatively.

  9. #9
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: Suggestions for April LF photo trips?

    Get every picture book and postcard possible, look at all the scenic websites, identify all the popular places, then avoid them like the plague. Take every other road instead, ones that nobody has heard about. That's always worked for me!

  10. #10
    Vaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Humboldt County, CA

    Re: Suggestions for April LF photo trips?

    Continue down the Oregon coast to the redwoods right across the border in California. Some incredible places without many people/tourists in April. A semi-steep 1.25 mile hike down through redwoods to Redwood Creek and the Tall Trees Grove -- get permit and gate combo from the Park visitor center. They limit the number of vehicles per day, but rarely hit the limit during the week. The Tall Trees Grove held 6 or 7 of the tallest known redwoods, until they found taller.

    Davison Road off of Hwy 101 to Fern Canyon (Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park) and the hike up into the canyon is incredible -- not many people during the week in the off season. Your feet will get wet...worth it. Your car will get wet, too as there are a couple of stream crossings right before you get to the mouth of Fern Canyon and its parking lot...anything except low-slung sports cars and such can cross the fords. Along the main road of the Park (Drury Scenic Parkway) there are lots of short to medium hikes possible thru the redwoods, along Prairie Creek, etc..

    Farther north, the Howland Hill Road (dirt, 1.5 lanes -- sometimes one lane between a redwood and a hard place) along Mill Creek thru the great redwoods of Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park (include a stop in Stout Grove) is great if it has been raining. If the road dries and traffic is heavy (summer) it is not pleasant -- everything along the road is covered with dust, flatlanders driving on a steep narrow two-way dirt road, and too many people. April should be good. You can see this (if you hike down a steep semi-trail from the road to the creek):

    Mill Creek
    4x10 carbon print
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails MillCr2017.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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