Where to Spot Ansel Adams Photos IRL

Ansel Adams was one of the best known – and most loved – photographers of the 20th century. His black-and-white images of the west’s rugged landscapes have been featured on everything from calendars and postcards to coffee table books. The National Park Service even hired Adams to take pics of Yosemite, Yellowstone and other major landmarks. If you’re looking for the best selfie backgrounds, here are 5 places inside Yellowstone where you can spot Ansel Adams photos in real life.

1. Old Faithful
The most famous landmark inside Yellowstone National Park, this cone geyser has erupted at least once every 125 minutes since 2000. Because it erupts year-round, visitors can get close to the geothermal feature even in wintertime. While most park roads are closed to regular traffic November through March, visitors can take a snowmobile or snow coach (luxury van) tour through Scenic Safaris. Summer tours to Old Faithful are also offered, and take guests on hikes along the park’s most popular paths. Curious what you’ll see? Preview the geyser’s activity on a live camera feed.

2. Fountain Geyser Pool
We love Adams’ serene image of the pretty geothermal pool near the Fountain Paint Pots at Yellowstone. However, viewers are really missing out on the best aspect of this feature: its color. These basins form naturally, and contain melted snow and rainwater that’s heated by volcanic hotspots. Modern photogs can easily capture the blissful greens and cerulean blue of Fountain Geyser Pool and other water-filled calderas with a smartphone or camera. 

3. Yellowstone Falls
Waterfalls are one of the most breathtaking features at Yellowstone. Tucked along the Yellowstone River, Lower Falls is likely the second most popular photo spot inside the park (next to Old Faithful). This amazing waterfall plunges 308 feet, and is fully visible from trail lookouts including Inspiration Point, Grandview Point and Artists Point. Hikers can also climb a challenging ¾-mile trail to peer over the top of the falls. Tip: Try this one in color, too. 

4. The Fishing Cone
Another fun geothermal feature, the Fishing Cone is a geyser in the West Thumb Basin of Yellowstone. Its eruptions have measured up to 40 feet high! While it’s unlikely you’ll see something that massive during your tour of Yellowstone, the hot springs are impressive all times of year. The waters here are reportedly varied enough that an early settler was rumored to have caught a fish in the cool stream and cooked it just feet away in the hot springs… inspiring the geyser’s name.  

5. Snake River
This iconic Ansel Adams photograph was taken from the Snake River Overlook in Grand Teton National Park back in 1942. It’s amazing how much the trees have grown in 70 years. Views of the winding river are now largely obstructed by vegetation, but you can still score a decent photo here. Even better, get up close to the water on our Snake River Float & Wildlife Tour. This Jackson Hole adventure begins with a 13-mile float down the river, followed by a scenic hike on foot to view the park’s majestic animals.
Ansel Adams’ photographic style became so well-known that the National Park Service recently hired a “new Adams” for the current generation. Even if you’re just after a few selfies or wildlife shots, it’s worth hitting Adams’ favorite spots on a guided tour. View our summer and winter tour options and reserve your spot online, or give us a call at 888-734-8898.