Blue Ridge Mountains: Most Beautiful Hikes | Rhonda Kingen Photography

Why the Blue Ridge Mountains Make for the Most Breathtaking Scenic Hikes


Going for a hike is an incomparable experience–piles of burnt orange leaves, high-elevated trees, a view that spans a stretch of miles, and sometimes far enough to see towns in the distance. I have always found these moments to be the best subjects of photography and art. 


Many people can find the appeal of hiking in its physical and health benefits. Going on a good hike does wonders for the mind and body, especially when removed from industrial factors. But anyone who has enjoyed this seemingly recreational activity can relate to bearing witness to the picturesque views. When we are not prepared or forget to take our cameras out during a hike, we can miss out on these stunning moments.


Landscape photographers make it a point to find these scenes and portray them in a way that speaks to the natural beauty around us. 


The Blue Ridge Mountains hold some of the most remote and breathtaking sites, primarily due to their expansiveness. I create and offer imaginative nature photography for sale to bring the Blue Ridge Mountains vistas into your home.  

The Captivating Blue Ridge Mountains 

Fine art landscape photography is a way to record natural terrain in its most honest moments. These high-quality pictures are taken in some of the most outdoorsy areas, especially mountain ranges and seascapes.


The Blue Ridge Mountains, also known as Blue Ridge, is located in the Eastern region of the United States, which is an extension of the Appalachian Mountains and Smoky Mountain Region. One of the oldest and most extensive mountain regions in the United States, the Blue Ridge Mountains is a picturesque journey. It offers a variety of overlooks and parkways that visitors can savor the atmosphere around it. 


When I first encountered the Blue Ridge Mountains art, I knew there were several more areas to explore than what was initially shown. As the adventure unfolds, the photos develop themselves. While the mountains are a monumental visual, a well-taken photo can capture the history within these spaces in just one shot. Often contemporary in concept, Blue Ridge Mountains art mimics the colorful beauty of each landscape and slope. By tethering fine art and photography together, these ideas become one.

Scenic Hikes & Areas

As the Blue Ridge Mountains span several states in the Eastern region, the abundance of hiking trails and Subterraneans feels neverending. For the best-hiking sites, I enjoy two types of trails–the ones that seem to encapsulate you into it. 


Tall trees line the trail, shading the rest of the way in front of you. Another favorite of mine is the impressive overlooks. Below, I have listed my favorite scenic hiking trails and areas that make for the best locations for such views.  

Smoky Mountains 

Known for its abundant wildlife and nature, the Great Smoky Mountains sit along the Tennessee and North Carolina borders. The range spans thousands of miles, with some routes and hiking trails for the perfect shot. The Smoky Mountains is one of the best spots to visit for a fine art landscape photographer. 


The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a quick, drivable scenic route that's beauty unravels the longer you explore. Its authenticity is terrific to catch on camera, from a hidden, rocky waterfall to rustic cabins and historic buildings.


The Smoky Mountains hold some of the best areas for incredible hiking experiences. As America's most visited National Park, the Smoky Mountains are famous for seasonal camping, visitations, and landmark spots. These ancient mountains hold compelling history.


My best-selling pieces of nature photography for sale include Springtime Promises and Ethereal Blue Art. Springtime Promises is a nod to an effortless, incredible morning scene of a valley of trees overlooking the dusty clouds. Interior design elements can accentuate the rustic color with pops of coloring. In contrast, Ethereal Blue Art was captured with the feeling to describe "a fresh breath of air." 


Among the best photographs I have taken of the Smoky Mountain overlooks, they feature opposing mountaintops in the distance, with a deep blue hue the further out they are from you.  

Craggy Pinnacle Trail 

Sitting just on the Blue Ridge Parkway Near Asheville, NC, Craggy Pinnacle offers a stunning overlook. The entire trail  spans roughly 1.4 miles across and is one of the most accessible areas to access. Along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, there is a relatively steep climb to the pinnacle, leading to one of the most surreal views. 


Within the Craggy Pinnacle Trail is a roughly wooded area, also known as the Craggy Gardens, with thick stones jutting out as a staircase. The Rhododendron Tunnels, home to evergreen Catawba Rhododendron, are a bright peony color that can grow to six to ten feet tall. 


Though the gardens are a wondrous sight to behold (and I sincerely recommend visiting that area), I felt the observation of the bare trees against the chartreuse grass. I curated the image  Trail Wisdom Art to mimic that. If you are looking for the perfect summer photo of the Catawba Rhododendrons that bloom at the peak of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Blue Ridge Bloom Art embodies that.

Newfound Gap 

The Newfound Gap is located in the Great Smoky Mountains throughout Tennessee and North Carolina. The Newfound Gap is a drivable road throughout the mountain pass. The high elevation of 5,056 feet from the road becomes much clearer to see. The road will lead you from Gatlinburg to Cherokee, North Carolina, highlighting several overlooks, trails, and memorial sites.


As mentioned above in the Smoky Mountains section, I took the photo of Ethereal Blue Art at Newfound Road in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The national park itself enriches guests with its history, but its most alluring claim to fame is the versatility a photographer can have with such stunning views.


Another example of my photos taken within the North Carolina region is Falling for Fall–which speaks for itself–reflective greens from the water, scattered burnt orange leaves cascading around the stone rocks.

Stunning Views

The vastness of Blue Ridge makes it fit for a compelling journey. As a fine art landscape photographer, capturing just one picture amongst a handful of potential shots can be a bit overwhelming. 


The best part of enveloping these views is the timing and what these sights may represent. It is important to me to come up with a goal–will these pieces represent a peaceful prospect of nature? Will it have a more substantial impact that can capture something historical or seasonal?


Of the collection of nature photography for sale, an aerial shot that imitates scanning the natural landscaping is among the most breathtaking, no matter the time of day and color contrasts. The Blue Ridge Mountains act as a beautiful subject for immersing yourself in its essence.

The Beauty of Nature Photography

Nothing is more stunning than honoring the natural beauty around us. No two blue ridge mountains pictures are the same–our fine art landscape gallery provides panoramic images to change the dynamic of any home. If you want to learn more about the beauty of my nature photography for sale, keep reading.


To me, art's beauty is an all-encompassing, full-body experience. Any fine art photographer will tell you the exciting ways they prepare for these shots. The process can take anywhere between minutes to hours to unearth the right image. As most cliches go, the beauty of being a nature photographer rests on getting acquainted with the atmosphere. It can be a waiting game–but the right moment will speak for itself.


When I prepare for hiking photography, unexpected adventure is my prerequisite. And discovering the top choice for scenic hikes is all about location. Fine art landscape photographers will tell you that one of the top tips to being great at it is in its preparation. 


Much like any art form, you can chase numerous approaches–spontaneous, compositional, traditional, and so much more. Capturing a breathtaking view of the vast outdoor scenes in a single photo may require a multitude or combination of these approaches. 


The outcome is outstanding fine art landscape scenes and a beautiful moment of nature caught in time.

Fine Art

Of my fine art landscape photography prints for sale, I find myself drawn to the pieces that quickly become the heart of a room. 


As mentioned earlier, the large stretch of the Blue Ridge Mountain region is wrapped in early American history. It is not uncommon to come across significant landmarks and buildings tucked behind the layers of trees and alongside the river banks. 


Mabry Mill sits against the water's edge in rural Virginia, a gristmill constructed in 1910. The mill was home to the Mabry family, who spent the next three decades as blacksmiths. The art of The Old Mill is in the simplicity that I strived to capture within it. The mill stands alone, but there are just enough of its natural elements to provide onlookers with the historic settlement. 


Taken at Clingman's Dome, the highest point in the Smoky Mountains, its elevation stretches views of seven states. At 6,643 feet above, these striking views make it so that no photo is the same. Smoky Mountain High draws juxtaposition against thick, hazy clouds and the dark trees in the distance. I took this photo in the evening at sunset and immediately enjoyed the atmosphere around it; the deep, alluring colors are the perfect interior decor for the living room. 


A simple yet extravagant piece of art makes for some of the best decorations. Summer Sunset captures the breathtaking sunset you've always wished to keep with you in your pocket. The bright sun sets over Cherokee, North Carolina, ducking beneath the airy clouds and into the blue peaks. 


My collection of nature photography for sale poses these memories for you to cherish in the comfort of your home. Whether you have explored the incredible Blue Ridge Mountains or Appalachia, or if you have always wanted to go, one-of-a-kind photography pieces are a great way to reminisce on what was and will be.

Landscape Photography

Compared to fine art photography and its ability to capture varying subjects, landscape photography is simply photos that focus on nature and outdoor elements. Landscape photography includes valleys, mountain ranges, beaches, oceans, and even the sky. It is admirable how intimate these moments become as displays of our affections towards nature. 


Sure, a pretty flower in a photo can be stunning, but with a breathtaking subject such as the Blue Ridge Mountains, finding a focal point and closing in on that is just as promising for a beautiful outcoming. For example, The Old Mill photo follows this composition of focus–closing in on one element, the mill, while still outlining the natural attributes around it.


I find that the journey to create such photos is therapeutic. To better preserve natural elements in this practice, photographers must consider each location's aspects. 


Studying pictures of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I find myself lost in the minute details just as I would in real-time. Blue Ridge Mountains pictures, much like its artistic interactions, typically highlight the vibrant blues that swim deep within the valley of the mountains. 


As impressive as these pictures turn out, I also enjoy landscape photography that seeks out its intimate nature. To scope out the best focal points, sometimes all it takes is waiting for the right moment in the day, morning, or spontaneous formation of the clouds against the horizon. 


Rhonda Kingen Photography is captured with inspiration in mind, opening you to the honest moments preserved through serene nature scenes. If you are browsing my fine art landscape photography prints for sale, consider yourself a witness to stunning views taken with the admiration of nature in mind.