The United States is one of the premier countries in the world for landscape photography. Many know about the top destinations and states that get the most attention, but this article is not for those places.

This article is meant to highlight those states that may go overlooked, but still offer some of the best views in the country for landscape photography. So here are the five most underrated states for landscape photography, which will be sure to impress and offer endless opportunities to create beautiful content in the outdoors. 

new hampshire landscape phohtography
New Hampshire. Photo by Balazs Busznyak on Unsplash 

New Hampshire

The Northeast section of the country is thrust into the spotlight in the fall season, so New Hampshire is brought up on occasion. But of all the Northeastern states, it tends to get the least amount of coverage. 

But don’t let that deter you from exploring this incredible state. While New Hampshire is smaller, it is packed with some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, that shine outside of the autumn months. From the beautiful lake region in the south to the White Mountains that extend upward into the north, you have ample opportunity for landscape photography. 

New Hampshire is also home to Mount Washington, the tallest mountain in the Northeast, which stands at 6,288 feet tall. The state is also known for its incredible state parks and quaint mountain towns and cabins, that are beautiful to photograph in their own right. New Hampshire may be small, but it is a state that will reward you with some of the best places to photograph in the United States, during every season.

north carolina landscape photography
North Carolina. Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash 

North Carolina 

For photographers on the eastern side of the United States, this state might not seem underrated or overlooked. However, many in the west have never even visited this incredible southeastern state that offers a little bit of everything for photographers.

North Carolina is especially known for its mountains in the east. The Appalachian Mountain Range and Blue Ridge Mountains run right through state, and this section happens to boast several mountains over 6,000 feet tall.

However, the pride and joy of the state is the Blue Ridge Parkway, which snakes throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains and leads up north, into Virginia. The parkway is beautiful to photograph in its own right, but also offers miles of hiking trails that lead to beautiful waterfalls, mountain overlooks, and other natural landmarks. 

But North Carolina doesn’t just offer mountains. It boasts some of the best coastline and beaches on the east coast, located at the outer banks. And with the Charlotte Douglas International Airport centrally located to these beautiful destinations, it’s not difficult to visit one of the best states in the country to photograph. 

michigan landscape photography
Michigan. Photo by Dennis Buchner on Unsplash 

Michigan 

When most people think of Michigan, they don’t necessarily think of all of the natural wonderland. They initially think of cities like Detroit or Grand Rapids. But Michigan offers some incredible places for photographers to visit, especially in the north, on the Upper Peninsula (UP). 

Michigan is obviously known for its Great Lakes and their massive size. But what many don’t know, is that the Great Lakes aren’t just big. They are pristine and beautiful. Both Lake Superior and Lake Michigan offer stunning water clarity and color, and the UP is home to some of the best shoreline in the country. Destinations like Pictured Rocks National Shoreline offer crystal clear water, sea cliffs, and rock formations, unlike anything you’ll find in the United States. 

Michigan may be known for its cities, but it should be known for its natural beauty and striking landscapes, all of which make the state an amazing destination for both outdoor enthusiasts and photographers alike. 

idaho
Idaho. Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Idaho 

Idaho is a state that is massive in size, and seems to get lost in the endless photography destinations that the Western United States offers, flying off the radar for many photographers. Idaho is wild and rugged, but also incredibly beautiful. For those who take the chance and visit this state up north, they will be rewarded with an amazing experience they won’t soon forget. 

The dramatic and jagged Sawtooth Mountains in the central part of the state offer some of the most pristine alpine lakes and landscapes in the country. The wild and rugged craters of the Moon National Monument offer landscapes that seem out of this world, as the name suggests. 

Idaho is also home to some of the best natural hot springs in the country. Some are easy to get to while others require a bit of a hike, but the reward of a soothing, natural bath with a beautiful mountain view is worth every step.

Yes, Idaho may be a bit out of the way and not as easily accessible as other states in the west, but if you make the journey to this state, it will offer some of the best opportunities for landscape photography and a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle. 

nevada
Nevada. Photo by CJ Toscano on Unsplash 

Nevada 

Nevada is normally first associated with Las Vegas. But outside the massive hotels, casinos, and neon lights on the Vegas Strip lies a state that is incredibly beautiful. If you drive an hour east outside of Las Vegas, you will reach Valley of Fire State Park, which offers some of the most photogenic and unique desert landscapes in the west. 

However, outside of the Vegas region, there is much to explore outside of the desert. Up north, you will find alpine wilderness that many don’t expect to be in the driest state in the country. There are over 150 mountain ranges in Nevada, more than any other state, and those mountains offer escape from the heat of the desert. 

If you go east, you can explore Great Basin National Park, which is home to beautiful mountains and cave systems, and if you go west to Reno, you will arrive at Lake Tahoe, one of the most beautiful lakes in the country, with crystal clear waters that mimic waters found in the South Pacific. And while the California side of Lake Tahoe is beautiful in its own right, the Nevada shoreline is by far the most ideal for photography, with some of the clearest water found in Lake Tahoe.

So yes, Nevada is known for its lights and casinos, but if you take a trip through this beautiful state, you will experience premier destinations perfect for landscape photography. Nevada is an easy bet to make for any landscape photographer.