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Brynn SchmidtExplorer

I love wilderness/beaches: photography, hiking, camping, backpacking, conservation and hanging out with my guys while they climb. Mom, wife and co-founder of non-profit organization serving in Gabon and DRC, Africa. Find me on Instagram @brynn.alise.photography

This spot is incredible to take photos. My parents' house is here and they have incredible views and I can just walk out to the back porch to take photos at sunset. There is a great trail along this entire upper bluff area and it beautiful any time of the day but great for different sunset vantage points.

We snorkel here every summer that we visit Maui and see more sea life here than any other place on the island. I have not surfed it, but it is an excellent bay to check out for swimming and snorkeling as well.

We did this trip by zodiac raft boat and it was awesome. Saw tons of turtles, snorkeled in coves and explored caves along this incredible coast line. I would love to kayak this next time if the waters are calm. Kauai can have some crazy currents and rough seas, so I would only kayak if it was a calm day. The views from the water are something you cannot see unless you do this.

This is a great spot to check out and I love that the photos here reflect the best time of day to do it - sunset or sunrise will be best for light and possible color. It is a really cool thing to see but you won't spend much time here. Everything is fenced off and the area it is next to is not that nice. Great drive by spot to check out or for photography.

We climb here all the time. My high school sons go with friends now that they are strong climbers. There are so many routes and areas - it gets really crowded so we always go early. Great sport routes and some trad.

The Hot Springs at Mammoth are a must do if you are in Yellowstone. They are gorgeous any time of year. I love winter in this part of the park as you can be the only ones on the entire trail at many given times. Also, if there in winter, there are cross country ski trails around the hot springs and we have skied here a couple of times and had a blast.

I love this area and its easy access. I have actually been there in both summer and winter and it is gorgeous both times of year. I always recommend going early in the day or later in the evening to any trails and viewing areas with parking lots. The amount of visitors drops tremendously and it makes for a much more enjoyable venture out.

This is a gorgeous spot, but there are so many incredible places along the Kauai coast that I didn't think it lived up to all the hype. You must be aware of the conditions and be very careful, even those who are experienced swimmers and adventurers. If the surf is high and you try and swim in Queen's Bath, you can get washed out....make sure you understand when it is safe and the conditions. It is a great spot for sunset photography and a nice hike, but it wasn't as great as many other places that we explored while on the island for a week.

This is an incredibly beautiful hike so everyone is going to be along the trail with you. It is still completely worth it and it was my favorite spot in Arches. Delicate Arch is incredible and there are many options for sunset (and other) photography. The biggest bummer about this hike and photography is that there are so many people there and most of them want their photo in the arch. We stayed clear of that, but it was a bit hard to get great shots without people in the landscape. We still got some though and the hike is incredibly beautiful. We stayed until well after sunset and hiked back down with less people on the trail.



This is a definite if you are in the Island in the Sky section of the park. I did not realize that Canyonlands was split into separate entrances and so Mesa Arch is only accessible through the Island in in the Sky section. This is so easy, it is really not a hike. A short trail about .5 miles takes you to this iconic arch. Be sure to take photos from all angles of this arch. There is so much that you can capture through the arch itself and it is a beautiful place. It is very popular, so very crowded. I highly recommend going in the am or pm. This is one of the top sunrise photography spots in all of Arches, Canyonlands and Dead Horse State Park, so if you are going to do sunrise photos, get there early.

I had planned on sunrise photos here, but after playing all day and not getting to bed until midnight each night, I opted out of sunrise and 4 hours of sleep. We were staying over an hour from this spot. However, while it is best at sunrise for sure, this state park is amazing and a must if you are traveling into Canyonlands, Island in the Sky section. I highly recommend getting up for sunrise too.

This is a really easy hike but so worth it. We were staying at the Big Sur Lodge and found out that this hike was literally right out our door. It is an easy hike and very family friendly. I think the best part of this hike is traveling through the Redwood groves. It is one of the best spots in Big Sur to see Redwood trees. I highly recommend this hike if you are in the area to see the trees and falls and view as well!

I love this drive and we stopped at about 15 places along the way. My favorite part is from Carmel on south and we opt out of the famous 17-mile drive to save time and stay in the more natural areas. I would definitely do the 17-mile drive if you want to photograph the Lone Cypress, otherwise, maybe skip it and head down to Big Sur. The coast is beautiful. Very windy roads on high cliffs, so make sure you are comfortable with that. Also, don't miss the redwood forest groves (There is a hike right at the Big Sur Lodge that takes you through them) and if you are continuing south, you have to stop at the Elephant Seal Rookery near San Simeon. Beautiful part of CA.

I love Little Corona. It is a great beach with tide pools and some great rock formations. I love taking sunset photos here because of the rock formations and secluded beach. While it can get really crowded in summer, evenings are usually less so and my favorite time to be there.

The Wedge is known around the world for its insane waves during big swells. I lived a block from here in college and spent tons of time here. Great beach and bodysurfing for experienced swimmers. I have seen some pretty serious injuries here as conditions can be quite dangerous, so only attempt if you are an advanced body surfer. It is a great beach to hang out at too.

Went to Santa Fe for the first time over Memorial Weekend, 2015 and we were looking for somewhere to hike. Found this and had no idea there was such a sweet place nearby for a day hike. The scenery is incredible and really unique - love the slot canyons. It was very crowded when we went. One of the most crowded hikes I had done in a long time. Maybe avoid holiday weekends.

We used to rent a house here each summer for a month - the trails are awesome and the biking was great. We also hiked a ton on all the small trails that run through out the ski area as we could head out right from our house to trails. This is one of my favorite spots anywhere. The views from the top whether biking or hiking are incredible. We used to also pick huckleberries daily on these hills when we were there over the later summer months. There are not a lot of people and you have more space than you would at other ski resorts that offer mountain biking - for sure a lot more than at our Colorado ski towns. Highly recommend.

Hayden Valley is one of my two top spots in Yellowstone. I was just there in September of 2015 and watched a grizzly bear as the sunset. The sunset was beautiful that night and the area is amazing. Highly recommend.

This is a terrific spot for a run or a hike. Incredible beauty as you are right up in the Flatirons. Highly recommend.

I grew up here. My dad grew up here. Our family has camped/had a cottage here since the 1940s. The cottages are now state owned and are so much fun to rent. We have stayed here every year since the state opened Crystal Cove as a state park. Obviously I am a little biased, but this is the best spot in Southern California. While surrounded by all the glitz and business, you head down a hill to the cove and feel like you have gone back in time to a simpler era. Beautiful beach, tide pools and restaurant. The Beachcomber Restaurant is great and was my great-grandparents house. Our favorite spot now is actually right above the cove at Ruby's Shake Shack. If in the Newport Beach/Laguna Beach area you have to check this place out.

This is my favorite spot on Kauai. We have gone while staying in Princeville and even did the drive from Poipu Beach to spend another day there. The snorkeling is some of the best on the island and we saw lots of turtles. We also had two endangered monk seals entertain us in the waves right on shore one of the days. The views and mountain surrounding are incredible. One of my favorite spots that I have ever been to.

This is an incredible hidden gem. We would not have found it without a recommendation from friends before we left even though we were staying right near it. We were not diving, but I highly recommend this beach for anyone as long as you can handle the steep access to the beach. It gets kind of rough in spots. Incredible water and views.

This is a great hike and the views cannot be beat in Yellowstone. You can even see all the way to the Tetons. The trail is well maintained and when we hiked it in the afternoon we ran across lots of Big Horn. We did this in the middle of summer over 4th of July week and the park was crazy. As soon as we headed off on the trail, we had so much space as most visitors to the park do not leave the roads. We passed about 8 groups throughout the whole hike. Definitely agree about having bear spray easily accessible. This is grizzly country. I highly recommend this hike. Even though it was early July, it was very cold at the top. Wear lots of layers - we looked like we were dressed for winter.

We just did this on Sunday and it was amazing. The views are insane and while there were a lot of other climbers, everyone was so friendly and we were all sharing gear and routes. It is one of the most beautiful places to climb around the front range in my opinion. A little hard to find which path to take to get to the climbing area, but they all lead up to the rocks.