- This was the year of Instagram. The square-photo app now has more users (300 million) than Twitter, and there’s no sign that its astronomical growth is slowing. Photographers keep pushing the limits, taking innovative shots and building armies of followers in the process.
We all have our favorite accounts—the ones that always make us double-tap—but the standout account from 2014 is from the U.S. Department of the Interior. With the keys to America’s most beautiful places and eager visitors submitting pictures every day, the DOI account tripled this year, accumulating nearly 400,000 loyal followers. Here are its 20 best shots.
Photo: A welcoming grizzly bear at Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.
Devils Tower National MonumentAmerica’s first national monument, Devils Tower, is a geologic feature that protrudes from Wyoming’s rolling prairie. David Lane captured an amazing panorama of the formation illuminated by the Milky Way.
Grand Teton National ParkDaniel D’Auria (@drdadbooks) captured this image of a lone bull moose crossing the Snake River at Cattleman’s Bridge just after sunrise.
Grand Canyon National ParkIf you’re looking for one of the best places to sit down and admire the Grand Canyon, Bright Angel Point should top your list.
Yosemite National ParkYosemite’s Tunnel View, one of the most famous—and most photographed—locations in the country.
Lake Mead National Recreation AreaIn 1964, Lake Mead, a reservoir on the Nevada-Arizona border, became the first national recreation area in the country.
Grand Teton National ParkThe Teton Range glows orange and red under a fresh coat of snow. Robert Buman captured this gorgeous photo just before sunrise at Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
Yellowstone National ParkThe morning commute comes to a halt at Yellowstone National Park as a herd of bison crosses the road.
Glacier National ParkResident mountain goats get the best sunset views in Glacier National Park, Montana.
Yosemite National ParkJoseph Taylor snapped this in Yosemite National Park’s Stoneman Meadow. We can’t imagine a better spot to shoot the stars.
Grand Teton National ParkFall descends on Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
Back Bay National Wildlife RefugeThe Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1938, is one of the most critical links in the Atlantic Flyway for migratory birds.
J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife RefugeFrom prairie and marshes to sandhills and woodlands, the 58,700-acre J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge supports hundreds of thousands of waterfowl, migratory birds, and other wildlife.
Grand Teton National ParkThe sun sets over Grand Teton National Park and the Snake River.
Seedskadee National Wildlife RefugeA bull moose spotted through the fog near the headquarters of the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming.
Grand Teton National ParkAnother famous and dramatic view of the Tetons from Mormon Row.
Yosemite National ParkHalf Dome at Yosemite.
Arches National ParkOne of the best nighttime photography destinations in the country, Arches National Park never disappoints.
Zion National ParkIn the Narrows, gorge walls rise a thousand feet above the canyon floor.
Canyonlands National ParkRyan Engstrom got up early to catch the sunrise on the Mesa Arch Trail at Canyonlands, Utah.
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