Washington, District of Columbia

Looking for the best photography in Washington? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Washington. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Photography Spots in and near Washington

  • Washington, District of Columbia

    Photograph Sunrise at the Lincoln Memorial

    4.8
    Located on the far-west portion of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. stands the Lincoln Memorial. At almost 100 feet tall, this majestic structure overlooks the reflecting pool and offers an iconic view of the Washington Monument.  Parking is almost always an issue near the Lincoln Memorial, ...
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  • Washington, District of Columbia

    National Mall in Washington D.C.

    4.7
    4.99 mi / 89 ft gain
    Everyone has so many things on their plates these days that take all their time up. It is hard to get away for adventures or to experience new things. The National Mall in Washington D.C. is within an hour from millions of people on the East Coast. This centralized location makes the National Mal...
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  • Washington, District of Columbia

    Hike the Soapstone Valley Trail

    4.0
    2 mi
    This is an out-and-back trail that starts and ends on different roads, but you will have better luck parking on Albemarle Street NW (where I have indicated the trailhead is on the map). This is a long street with plenty of street parking, just pay attention to the signs to see how long you can le...
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  • Washington, District of Columbia

    Visit Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

    4.5
    1.5 mi
    The Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens are a unique spot in Washington, D.C. The grounds are full of ponds, boardwalks, and a trail that connects you to the Anacostia River Trail. The main draw of this park are the ponds full of lotus flowers. During the summer months, they grow tall with colors ranging ...
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  • McLean, Virginia

    Hike at Turkey Run Park, McLean

    4.0
    2 mi / 200 ft gain
    Turkey Run Park is available to hikers year-around and is located just off of George Washington Parkway in McLean, Virginia. The exits are clearly marked and you simply drive to parking lot C-1 to start this hike.Turkey Run has numerous trail options available but I chose an out-and-back. When yo...
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  • McLean, Virginia

    Scott's Run Nature Preserve Loop

    4.2
    2.51 mi / 397 ft gain
    This nature preserve can be hiked year-round and is a sanctuary for rare wildflowers, birds, and other wildlife including deer and fox. There are six main interconnecting trails that run through the preserve; winding their way around matured hardwood forest, sheer bluffs, and rocky cliffs overloo...
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  • McLean, Virginia

    Difficult Run, Ridge, and River Trails

    4.5
    3.28 mi / 463 ft gain
    Difficult Run is a popular hiking location right down the street from Great Falls National Park. Starting at the Difficult Run parking lot you head to the trail at the far end of the lot. The trail will split. The green blazes will take you to the left but you can also stay to the right and hike ...
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  • Potomac, Maryland

    Great Falls and the Billy Goat Trail

    4.5
    4.61 mi / 272 ft gain
    Just outside of Washington DC is a great hike and rock scramble you don't want to miss. Great Falls lies in both Virginia and Maryland and has beautiful views of the Potomac River. Start out at the Great Falls Tavern parking lot (Maryland side), and keep in mind it is $10 to park here if you don...
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  • McLean, Virginia

    Photograph Great Falls of the Potomac

    5.0
    0.69 mi / 131 ft gain
    Viewing Great Falls is easy which makes this adventure great for all levels of adventurers. There is a ~$10 entrance fee, there you will receive a map of the park. There are 3 platforms of viewing Great Falls, each platform has stunning  panoramic views. Make sure you do not forget to bring your ...
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  • Great Falls, Virginia

    Hike from Riverbend Regional Park to Great Falls National Park

    5.0
    2.5 mi / 75 ft gain
    This hike utilizes the Potomac Heritage Trail from Riverbend Park to Great Falls National Park. This section is an easy, mostly flat trail that will take you along the Potomac until you reach Great Falls National Park. When you reach Riverbend Park turn right into the parking lot. At the end of t...
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  • Laurel, Maryland

    Hike the South Tract Trails at Patuxent Research Refuge

    5 mi
    From the visitors center, start on the Fire Road trail. From there, it's a choose-your-own adventure (choose-your-own ecosystem, actually). Pick the Laurel and Valley Trails to stay in the quiet (and maybe enchanted? It felt enchanted) forest. Goose Pond trail is a short jut to a--yup--pond, wher...
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  • Fairfax Station, Virginia

    Explore Burke Lake in Fairfax

    4.5
    4.7 mi / 0 ft gain
    Burke Lake Park has something for everyone. Whether you enjoy trail running, hiking, fishing, canoeing, Frisbee golf, or just having a picnic with your family, you can do it all at Burke Lake. Those who want to be active or exercise can run, hike or biket the 4.7 mile trail that circles the entir...
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  • Lorton, Virginia

    Woodmarsh Trail

    4.0
    2.83 mi / 154 ft gain
    Just at the entrance to Mason Neck State Park is the Woodmarsh Trail. The entire loop is about 3 miles. This is a pleasant easy hike that is relatively flat with no rocks to speak of. The trail wanders through a forest and passes by a large swamp along the Potomac River. There is one well built o...
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  • Clifton, Virginia

    Hike the Bull Run Occoquan Trail

    13 mi
    The Bull Run Occoquan Trail is located in Fairfax County, Virginia and is 50 miles outside Washington, DC and runs along the Bull Run waterway for 6.5 miles from Bull Run Marina to Fountainhead Regional Park. The blue blazed trail undulates for a total ascent of 1,510 ft and descent of 1,526 ft, ...
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  • Manassas, Virginia

    Hike and Explore Bull Run Battlefield

    4.3
    1.2 mi
    Located about 40 minutes from D.C. just off I-66 in Manassas, VA. Henry Hill is the starting point and headquarters that can lead you to multiple trails ranging from 1-5 miles depending on the route you choose here. Ample parking at HQ as well as clean restrooms. Tours are available here. Rolling...
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  • Huntingtown, Maryland

    Paddle the Patuxent River through Maryland

    While there are many parks along its length, one of the best places to explore along the 115 mile long Patuxent River is by putting in at Kings Landing Park.  There is ample parking near the launch, and while vehicles are not allowed to park near the water, vehicles are encouraged to open the gat...
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