If you’re always on the lookout for the perfect place to take some memorable photographs, you’re in luck. That is, if you’re heading to North Dakota with your camera. Whether you’re looking for the prettiest spot to snap a landscape photo or if you just want to take some great pictures of an off-the-beaten-path location, you’ll love these. Here are the top four spots to snap the best pictures in all of North Dakota.
Fargo, North Dakota is probably best-known as the setting in that iconic movie from the nineties, but it’s so much more than that. If you’re a photographer, the city has a multitude of opportunities for snapping gorgeous nature and wildlife photographs, charming images of the town’s down-home atmosphere, and even a few quirky snaps that are sure to be totally Instagram-worthy.
The Fargo Depot and its iconic clock are photographed often by curious visitors and locals alike. The Depot retains much of its yesteryear charm and is now a local attraction that offers visitors a spot to relax and enjoy the restored depot’s beauty. Formerly, the Depot was a busy train station on the Northern Pacific Railway system. Now, it’s a great place to snap a few photos and enjoy the town’s charm.
Stop by Lindenwood Park and take a few photos of the meandering Red River or the gorgeous trees that fill the park. The trees are so popular, they have their own self-guided walking tour. Even if you can’t identify every species of tree, you can still enjoy great photographs of them. And you can get some great waterside sunset photos, especially if you stay in one of the park’s campsites for the night. It’s a nature-lover’s paradise during the warmer months, so be sure to bring your camera.
For fans of the 1996 black comedy classic, Fargo is more than just a town in North Dakota. It’s also the setting for some strange and suspicious movie madness. One of the most iconic scenes from the film features a humble wood chipper, and as macabre as it sounds, you can take your own photo of the wood chipper at the FM Visitor Center. It’s the actual wood chipper used in the film, so you can snap a picture of a piece of cinematographic history on your next visit.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
The Theodore Roosevelt National Park was built with conservation in mind. As such, you’ll see plenty of amazing wildlife roaming its 70,000-plus acres. But you’ll also see some of the most beautiful views and scenery in all of North America. Drive out through the badlands and search for bison, sheep, and deer. You can also hike through the park, but since you can cover more ground in a car, you probably want to drive through most of the park.
Of course, you can’t see the entire park in one visit–it’s just too big. But you can stop in at the visitors center and plan your trip to maximize your ‘perfect photo’ potential. The South Unit is the more frequently visited part of the park, but both the North and South Units have plenty of amazing photo opportunities just waiting to be snapped.
If you really want to get into the wildest of the wilderness in the park, take a drive to the Elkhorn Ranch Unit. This is the part of the park Roosevelt reserved for his family’s home ranch after his mother and his wife died. It’s rugged and out of the way, but you can get some amazing photographs along the remote route to this section of the park.
Lake Metigoshe State Park
There’s a reason why Lake Metigoshe State Park is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the state. It’s open year-round, offering visitors a chance to hike, swim, and fish in the summer, and letting them ski, sled, and ice fish in the winter. No matter when you visit the park, there’s always something fun to do and something beautiful to see.
Located in the Turtle Mountains, Lake Metigoshe is a great place for hiking through the North Dakota wilderness. With an abundance of wildlife to observe, you won’t struggle to find photo opportunities along the trails. The lake itself is the focal point of the park, with plenty of room for swimming, fishing, or catching that perfect sunset photograph over the lake’s shimmering surface.
Killdeer Mountain Four Bears Scenic Byway
This byway is 64 miles through cowboy country, and you’ll want to photograph every inch of it. It’s a great blend of untouched wilderness interspersed with historical landmarks and modern opportunities for adventure. It’s a great drive and even better if you stop off at some of the landmarks along the way for a few photo opportunities.
Make a point to stop off at the Crow Flies High Butte Overlook. From the overlook, you can get an impressive view of Lake Sakakawea, the Badlands Bluffs, and the foundations of an underwater town called Sanish. Historically, this area has a lot of points of interest. For those who just want breathtaking views and plenty of photographic opportunities, it’s perfect for that, too.
Since so much of North Dakota’s history is wrapped around the identities of the Native Americans who first lived there, you’ll also find lots of historical Native sights. The Earth Lodge Village is one of these sites. It’s a reconstructed village that showcases the earth lodge dwellings of the early Native American people in this part of North Dakota.
It’s a self-guided activity, though the lodges are often used by local Native Americans for powwows and other ceremonies, so you can often find someone to show you around. The dwellings are rustic and impressive, perfect for an iconic photo opportunity to showcase the history and culture of the area. There’s also a nearby museum, the Four Bears Museum, which gives more insight into the history of the area and its Native American People. The museum itself may not be the best place for photography, but it is very close to the Four Bears Casino, which might just offer up a few fun photo opportunities on your visit to the area.