Are you an aspiring photographer looking to take your pictures to the next level? If so, you need look no further than the beautiful and breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains. With its winding roads, lush forests, and amazing mountain ranges, this region offers some of the most incredible photography opportunities in all of the United States. From famous landmarks like Grandfather Mountain to hidden gems such as downtown Asheville, each spot provides a unique experience that is sure to make any photographer’s day.
Exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains around Asheville, North Carolina can be a truly mesmerizing experience. From the winding roads of the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway to the cascading waterfalls and majestic peaks, there is something for everyone in this region. I am particularly drawn to the beautiful landscapes that grace these small mountains - each vista offering a unique view and photographic opportunity. Whether it's capturing Appalachian beauty at Grandfather Mountain or Brevard’s peaceful mountain streams, one can easily get lost in the moment admiring nature's artwork. With so much beauty around every turn, no wonder many people return year after year to explore and photograph this amazing part of our country!
No matter your photographic style, the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina have something unique to offer. From flower meadows to rolling pastures and majestic waterfalls, the entire region is truly a photographer's paradise. Whether you're an amateur photographer or a professional, the Blue Ridge Mountains are an ideal destination for capturing that perfect shot. From the turbulent mountain streams to the peaceful hills rolling into the horizon, there is something magical in these mountains that will leave you with unforgettable memories and stunning photographs. So grab your camera, pack your bags and get ready to explore - it's time to experience the beauty of the Blue Ridge!
Top 5 Spots in Blue Ridge Mountains
1| Craggy Gardens
Craggy Gardens offers many opportunities for photography, especially for nature and landscape photography enthusiasts. With its stunning views, diverse plant and animal life, and seasonal changes, there are plenty of subjects to capture.
In the spring and early summer, the area is known for its abundant wildflowers, including rhododendrons and mountain laurels, which create a beautiful backdrop for photography. The Craggy Gardens Trail and the Craggy Pinnacle Trail offer great opportunities to capture these blooms.
In the fall, the changing colors of the leaves make for stunning landscape photography. The Blue Ridge Parkway, which runs through the area, is a popular spot for capturing these colors, with overlooks offering panoramic views of the mountains and valleys.
Craggy Gardens is also home to a diverse array of wildlife, including black bears, deer, and various bird species. Wildlife photography enthusiasts may want to bring a telephoto lens to capture these animals from a distance.
Overall, photography in Craggy Gardens is a great way to capture the natural beauty of the area and create lasting memories. It's important to note that some areas may be off-limits for photography or require a permit, so it's always a good idea to check with the park rangers before starting your photography session.
2| Waterrock Knob
Waterrock Knob is another popular spot for photography in western North Carolina. Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway between mileposts 451 and 454, it offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
The area is especially beautiful during sunrise and sunset, when the light is soft and warm. The parking lot at Waterrock Knob is a great spot to capture these moments, as it offers a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.
There are several hiking trails in the area that offer additional opportunities for photography. The Waterrock Knob Trail is a moderate 1.2-mile round trip hike that leads to the summit of Waterrock Knob, where you can take in the panoramic views. The nearby Graveyard Fields Trail is a 3.2-mile round trip hike that takes you through beautiful meadows and forests.
In the fall, the changing colors of the leaves create a spectacular display, making Waterrock Knob a popular spot for capturing fall colors and tree photography. During this time, the area can be quite crowded with other photographers, so it's important to arrive early to secure a good spot.
Overall, photography at Waterrock Knob is a great way to capture the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and create lasting memories. As with any outdoor photography, it's important to check weather conditions, bring the appropriate gear, and respect the environment by following Leave No Trace principles.
3 | Looking Glass Falls
Looking Glass Falls is a popular spot for outdoor photography in western North Carolina, located near Brevard in Pisgah National Forest. This 60-foot waterfall is a favorite destination for tourists and locals alike.
The falls are accessible from a parking lot located right off the main road, making it easy to get to and a great spot for photography. The falls can be seen from a viewing platform or by climbing down the steps to the base of the falls, where you can take photos from up close.
The best time to photograph Looking Glass Falls is in the morning or late afternoon, when the sunlight is soft and warm. During the middle of the day, the light can be harsh and make it more difficult to capture the true beauty of the falls.
Looking Glass Falls is surrounded by trees, which create a beautiful natural frame for photos. The falls themselves are also surrounded by rocks and boulders, which can add interesting foreground elements to your photos.
In addition to the falls, the surrounding forest is also a great place for photography, with plenty of opportunities for nature and landscape shots. There are several hiking trails in the area, including the Looking Glass Rock Trail, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Overall, waterfall photography at Looking Glass Falls is a great way to capture the natural beauty of western North Carolina and create lasting memories. It's important to be respectful of the environment by staying on designated trails, following Leave No Trace principles, and not disturbing the wildlife.
4 | Grove Park Inn
The Grove Park Inn is a historic hotel located in Asheville, North Carolina, that was built in 1913 and is renowned for its stunning architecture and scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, making it a great spot for photography.
The lobby of the Grove Park Inn is particularly popular for photography, with its massive stone fireplaces, wooden beams, and classic decor. The lobby is also home to several shops and restaurants, making it a bustling spot with plenty of opportunities for candid shots.
The hotel's expansive grounds are another great spot for photography, featuring beautiful gardens, walking paths, and scenic views of the surrounding mountains. The Sunset Terrace, located on the hotel's back porch, is particularly popular for sunset photography, offering panoramic views of the mountains and the city of Asheville below.
In addition to the hotel itself, the surrounding area provides plenty of opportunities for nature and landscape photography. The nearby Blue Ridge Parkway is a popular spot for capturing the beauty of the mountains and the changing colors of the leaves in the fall.
Photography at the Grove Park Inn is an excellent way to capture the history, architecture, and natural beauty of Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
5 | Linville Falls Hike
Linville Falls is a popular destination for hiking and photography in western North Carolina, located in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area near the Blue Ridge Parkway. The hike to the falls is approximately 1.6 miles round trip, and offers several different viewpoints for photography.
The main viewing area for Linville Falls is located at the end of the trail, and provides a stunning view of the falls cascading down into the Linville Gorge. This area can be quite crowded, particularly during peak season, but there are several other overlooks along the trail that offer quieter spots for photography.
One such overlook is located about halfway down the trail and provides a view of the upper falls. This spot can be a bit tricky to find, but it's worth the effort for the unique perspective it offers.
Another popular spot for photography is located just off the main trail, and offers a view of the falls from above. This viewpoint requires a bit of scrambling down the rocks, but it provides a unique perspective of the falls and the surrounding area.
The best time for photography at Linville Falls is early morning or late afternoon, when the light is softer and more conducive to capturing the beauty of the falls and the surrounding landscape. The falls can be quite crowded during peak season, so it's important to be respectful of other hikers and photographers, and to follow Leave No Trace principles.
If you're interested in hiking and photography, Linville Falls is a must-visit spot in western North Carolina.
Hope you enjoyed this post and will get on our there to explore the amazing Blue Ridge Mountains!