Breathtaking Images Taken Inside Protected Lands

The annual Share the Experience contest run by the US Department of the Interior gives many of us a chance to put our photography talents to good use – and the rest of us the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful photos from federal waters and lands. The breathtaking images taken inside protected lands really do showcase Mother Nature at her finest.

Cedar Mesa

There really is such a thing as being in the right place at the right time. David Regela proved that when he captured the sunlight hitting this Anasazi granary. It might not be hard to see why this place is commonly called House on Fire.


If there is one thing that’s enough to remind many of us just how small we are, it’s the night sky. There is nothing like an ever-stretching view of the stars as they come to life each night. What is out there? How did we get here? Is there anything else this beautiful in the universe? Although Erik Fremstad was impressed with his work, he says there’s nothing that captures its beauty like seeing it in person.

Yellowstone National Park

When you think of Yellowstone National Park, the chances are you think of the bison that call the place home, right? The beautiful creatures are still pretty rare, but they thrive among the walls of the national park. Matthew Sorum proved there is a reason these great animals have stuck around all these years in a picture that fully captures what Yellowstone is all about. Perfect.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Yang Lo is the talent behind this snapshot of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Believe it or not, but the engineer’s photo was used on all the passes for the park back in 2016 as a prize for his efforts. Apparently, Yang wanted to encourage people to explore the beautiful nature on offer throughout the US.

Lake Powell

While it might be a part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Lake Powell is so beautiful that it deserves a title all of its own. Rebecca Wilks was able to capture the adventure and fun that people can have in the area – and walked away as the winner of the adventure category as a result. Sometimes, we need to see things from another angle to appreciate its beauty.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is a favorite place for many budding photographers, including Koustabh Kulkarni. The national park is famous for the many trees that give the park its name as well as the stunning stars that litter the sky each night. However, it was a herd of bighorn sheep that captured this photographer’s attention as they enjoyed the hilltops at dusk.

The US is filled with some of the most impressive national parks with even better sights. Thankfully, these breathtaking images taken inside protected lands help us enjoy and explore the outside and the wonders that Mother Nature has to offer without ever leaving our homes.