Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to travel with my buddy Ben for an Idaho landscape photography trip. We had a quick stop in Wyoming too! Here is a video that shows some of the photo highlights along with a few aerial clips from my drone. If you want to know the specific location details for some of the images, continue reading.
Day 1 – 4/15/17
I flew to Boise and met Ben there. We rented a car and drove to Bruneau Canyon Overlook and saw some beautiful evening views. This canyon is amazing! I’ve never been to Idaho before, and the views really took my breath away. It was getting late, so we called it a night after that.
Day 2 – 4/16/17
We woke up nice and early, packed our gear, and drove to the Bruneau Dunes State Park for photos of the sunrise.
After that, we drove over to the Shoshone Falls, which is near Twin Falls, ID. Shoshone Falls is a beautiful, thundering waterfall. We started on the south side of the falls, which gave us soft light due to all the clouds. This view is from the south side of the river which is the main park. After that, headed to the north rim which is much higher up. We scrambled down a rock wall and walked out to the edge, and we were met with a beautiful view, but the backlit spray of the water blocked the view of the falls so the best photos were from the south side.
We then packed up again and drove to Totonia and took photos of the Tetons mountains from the west side. This mountain range looked stunning reflecting in the water!
We then drove around to the east side of the Tetons to Grand Teton National Park and took photos at a place called Mormon Row.
We then took one more stop for the Tetons at the Snake River Overlook.
Our last stop of the day for the Tetons was at Jenny Lake, where we saw a coyote on the way! He just stood there, posing for the camera.
After our time at Jenny Lake, we headed back the way we came, hoping to catch a great sunset. Unfortunately, it was pretty cloudy so we didn’t get the view we were hoping for, but we were both very satisfied with the stunning pictures we had gotten today.
On our way back to the park entrance, we saw a heard of Elk on the side of the road.
We stopped at the Snake River Overlook again and even though it was overcast, it was still very pretty.
4/17/17 – Day 3
We woke up nice and early and headed back to Mormon Row for the sunrise, but again it was very cloudy which made for some beautiful, eerie photos.
We then went back to the Jenny Lake dam but then it started raining. Classic moody spring weather! It sure makes for some dramatic photos though.
We left Grand Tetons National Park and headed to Falls Creek Falls, which was an incredible waterfall! Of course, when we got there it started raining, but we patiently waited in our car for an hour and a half for the rain to stop so we could get out there and capture some stunning photos! From the viewpoint we were at, only about half of the waterfall is visible, but luckily I had my drone, so I was able to capture the entire thing.
We drove back up through Tetonia to see the Mesa Falls. We got within 4 miles of the falls when the road was closed due to snow! That was a bummer, but luckily we had gotten our waterfall fix earlier that day. We passed through the desolate landscape of Craters of the Moon National Monument and continued driving until we had a dinner spot in Ketchum.
After Dinner, we continued on to Stanley, ID where we stopped for the night.
4/18/17 – Day 4
Like any dedicated photographers would do, we woke up early to capture some sunrise photos. But when we looked outside and saw it was cloudy and rainy, it seemed best to just go back to sleep and catch up on sleep after so many long days. We were able to capture a few winter scenes but were mostly rained out in the morning.
Later on in the morning, we headed out to take some photos of the Sawtooth Mountains, but it was mostly hidden by clouds with a few faint glimpses of the mountains.
In the afternoon, the clouds started to break and we could see the mountains so we got out there and got some pictures! This reflection was off of a small pond.
The evening light hitting the mountains was spectacular and the breaking storm clouds made the scenes really interesting.
4/19/17 – Day 5
This morning was supposed to be clear and beautiful but we didn’t account for the 100% humidity which led to low hanging clouds that obscured the mountains. when we drove a few miles outside of town, we got away from the pockets of low clouds and everything opened up!
Once we got back to Stanley, it was sunny and beautiful outside!
Not sure why this had to happen but…it did.
We then had a long drive over to the next valley to Mccall, ID. Payette Lake, ID had lots of melting ice. It was neat to listen to the crackling noise as the ice was shifting and melting across the lake.
We went up to the northwest side of the lake to capture that perfect mirror reflection. We wanted to explore the area more, but all the roads were still closed for snow.
After dinner we headed over to Ponderosa Pines State Park. Most of the roads were closed from snow but there was beach access by the visitor center. There were still a small amount of bobbing ice chunks that made for a nice foreground.
4/20/17 – Day 6
It was – of course – grey and rainy when we woke up today which seemed to be the theme of the trip. We started the long 5.5 hour drive up to Coeur D’Alene. The drive gave us some picturesque views, with green canyons and rolling hills. It was too rainy to stop and photograph at that moment, but I was looking forward to coming back down the same way and capturing it on our way back tomorrow.
When we arrived at Coeur D’Alene, it was very cloudy, and it stayed that way most of the day with a few breaks. We scoped out some spots for sunrise and sunset pictures, and just enjoyed whatever nature gave us. That’s the thing about travel photography – you just have to accept whatever the day gives you!
We found some nice spots on the west side of the Lake.
4/21/17 – Day 6
We woke up at 5:30 am again and walked out to one of the spots we scoped out yesterday (Tubbs Hill) to catch the sunrise, but unfortunately it was gray and overcast, so we didn’t get much…other than cold!
With the help of a bit of photoshop to enhance the colors, I was able to get this slow exposure of the water moving in and out on the beach.
We had an 8.5 hour drive back down to Boise this morning…plus another 4 hours of detours and stops so we hit the road very early. We took the long way back down along highway 97 alongside Harrison Slough. There were some really beautiful views along the way.
We ended up stopping at a spot called Pullman to photograph the green rolling hills. The way the light was hitting the hills was beautiful!
We saw some great sights that day, though some of them were at very bad times of day for photography. When the sun is harsh and directly overhead, the photos just do not turn out great. On our way back, we saw some horses on the side of the highway, which we had to stop to capture.
We just continued our drive all the way down to Boise.
4/22/17 – Day 7
5:30am flight home to start the day. I had never been to Idaho before, and this trip was a great introduction to the beautiful landscapes that Idaho offers. While it was typical spring weather and many days were gray and rainy, we really enjoyed capturing some fun images. Travel photography has always been a passion of mine, and this trip was no different.