The 25 Most-Instagrammed National Parks of 2015

(Yin Lau via @usinterior)
great falls national park

This was the year Instagram grew up. The no-longer-only-square photo app added 100 million users, rolled out innovative ads to leading brands, and became a booming business for pro athletes, photographers, and other “influencers.”

The upside of all that growth? Innovative shots. And lots of data. To take advantage of both, we teamed up with Instagram to determine the most-photographed national parks of 2015. Here we present our favorite images from the 25 parks that appear most frequently in your photo feed.

np-instagram-intro.jpg
(@kelseysreply)


25. Great Falls

The Potomac River rushes over jagged rocks in the Virginia park.

great falls national park
(Yin Lau via @usinterior)


24. Lassen Volcanic

The dunes in this park appear to be painted red due to oxidized volcanic ash.

lassen volcanic national park
(@bobbowmanphotography)


23. Olympic

Visitors hiking the 12-mile Barnes Creek Trail get close-up views of wildflowers, young alder, and vine maple trees.

olympic national park
(@sullivan006)


22. Hawaii Volcanoes

Visitors to the park are treated to the results of nearly 70 million years of eruptions and two active volcanoes, including Kīlauea, one of the most active in the world.

hawaii
(Keith Burnett via @hawaiivolcan)


21. Badlands

Bighorn sheep share the prairies with bison, prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets.

badlands national park
(@badlandsnps)


20. Great Sand Dunes

Home to 750-foot-tall dunes, this Colorado park is framed by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which reach 13,000 feet.

great sand dunes national park
(National Park Service via @usint)


19. Everglades

Pelicans bob in the Florida Bay along the Guy Bradley Trail, a one-mile stretch known for its bird and butterfly watching.

everglades national park
(@evergladesNPS)


18. Shenandoah

Hazel Mountain Overlook offers expansive views of Buck Ridge, Hazel Mountain, and, in the distance, Old Rag Mountain.

shenandoah national park
(@shenandoahnps)


17. Denali

The Nenana River winds through wintry Alaskan mountains for over 40 miles through the park.

denali national park
(@denali.nps via @usinterior)


16. Mount Rainier

After hard rain, the weather clears enough to display a colorful sunset.

mount rainier national park
(@vertizon)


15. Death Valley

A lone figure walks the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

death valley national park
(@jeffycan via @wildernesssociety)


14. Sequoia

The Redwood Canyon Grove in this park is the largest sequoia grove on the planet.

sequoia
(@sequoia_kingscanyon_np)


13. Acadia

Nate Levesque, a Maine-based photographer, snapped the stars over Little Hunter’s Beach on a clear night on the east side of the park.

acadia national park
(@nplevesque)


12. Crater Lake

Photographer James Whelan captured this snowy view of Crater Lake at sunrise.

crater lake national park
(@jameswhelan88)


11. Glacier

Fog rises off of Lake McDonald, a body of water that’s ten miles long, 500 feet deep, and was once covered by glaciers.

glacier national park
(@glaciernps)


10. Grand Teton

Golden clouds are reflected in the ice of this frozen pond at Schwabacher Landing, home to beavers, ospreys, and spotted frogs.

grand teton national park
(@mark_handy_ via @grandtetonnps)


9. Bryce Canyon

The park has the largest quantity of hoodoos or tent rocks—tall pillars of rock caused by erosion—in the world.

bryce canyon national park
(@clo.photo)


8. Great Smoky

While Great Smoky, which divides North Carolina and Tennessee, isn’t the most Instagrammed park, it is the most visited. Clingmans Dome, pictured here at sunrise, is the highest point in the park.

great smoky mountains national
(@bartaphoto)


7. Arches

One of Utah’s most popular national parks, Arches, features over 2,000 natural red rock formations.

arches national park
(@kelseysreply)


6. Joshua Tree

Lightning from an early-evening thunderstorm illuminates a yucca plant.

joshua tree national park
(@joshuatreenps)


5. Yellowstone

The Lion Geyser, named for the roaring sound it emits during an eruption, sends up white and black steam at sunset.

yellowstone national park
(@yellowstonenps)


4. Rocky Mountain

Van-based adventure photographer Thomas Woodson skins up a run amidst the five commanding spires known as the Ptarmigan Towers.

rocky mountain national park
(@thomaswoodson)


3. Zion

Canyoneering the steep sandstone cliffs is a major draw for visitors of Utah’s first national park.

Zion national park
(@billchurchphoto)


2. Grand Canyon

Mather Point at the South Rim is one of the most popular spots in the Arizona park to watch the sun set.

grand canyon national park
(@grandcanyonnps)


1. Yosemite

Climber Tommy Caldwell hangs from a rigged rope on the Dawn Wall route on El Capitan in California’s Yosemite, the most-Instagrammed national park of 2015. After 19 days, he and fellow climber Kevin Jorgeson completed the first free ascent of the route on January 14.

tommy caldwell
(@coreyrichproductions via @tommy)

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