Dreaming of Alaska? “Chugach State Park, just outside of Anchorage, has an amazing number of landscape and wildlife photo ops,” says photographer Michael DeYoung. And it’s much more accessible than the famous Denali National Park.
At Chugach you’ll find lakes nested in its mountainous terrain, marshlands filled with swans and migrating birds, views of Anchorage from the hike up the Glen Alps, spawning salmon, and beluga whales off the coast during July and August. Drive up by Turnagain Arm Pass, particularly in fall and spring, to capture its tidal bore, a wall of water created by the gap between high and low tide. DeYoung says only one other spot in North America has bigger fluctuations.
Must-get shots: Crescent or Mirror Lakes amid mountains; swans at sunset at Potter Marsh; beluga whales in season from pullouts on Turnagain; from the Bird Point pullout, surfers riding bore tide.