Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Aug. 15, 2009. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

Behind the Lens: Visiting National Parks

In July 2009, while checking the President’s upcoming schedule, I saw a domestic trip pop up for the following month: a visit to Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Parks. The President and First Lady had decided to travel to these parks with Malia and Sasha. I thought this trip sounded particularly exciting. After all, national parks and photography go hand in hand.

This was the first of many future trips for the President — sometimes with his family in tow — to dozens of national parks, monuments and historic sites. I am fortunate to have been along for the ride to all of them.

I’ve selected photographs from the national parks we’ve visited and some photos from the White House since it also happens to be a national park. Also featured are photos of the President signing designations for national monuments which has been a part of his priority to conserve America’s natural and cultural treasures.

— Pete Souza, Chief White House Photographer

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, Aug. 16, 2009. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)
The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. Sept. 27, 2009. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)
The North Grounds of the White House, Feb. 3, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Liberty Island in New York, N.Y., March 24, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)
Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., June 6, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)
Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, Maine, July 16, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, Maine, July 16, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Acadia National Park, Maine, July 17, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., April 9, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Chamizal National Memorial Park in El Paso, Texas, May 10, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C., Oct. 14, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C., Oct. 14, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
After signing a Proclamation to designate Fort Monroe, in Hampton, Virginia, a National Monument under the Antiquities Act, in the Oval Office, Nov. 1, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The USS Arizona Memorial, part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 29, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, D.C., May 28, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The South Lawn of the White House, July 4, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Aug. 28, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Aug. 28, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The César E. Chavez National Monument in Keene, California, Oct. 8, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The Women’s Rights National Historical Park Visitors Center in Seneca Falls, New York, Aug. 22, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kansas, May 16, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland, Sept. 12, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Signing the San Gabriel Mountains national monument designation at the Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas, California, Oct. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, March 7, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Great Falls, Virginia, Sunday, June 29, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Great Falls Park, Virginia, Sunday, April 19, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Everglades National Park, Florida on Earth Day, April 22, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Everglades National Park, Florida, April 23, 2012. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Signing National Monument designations in the Oval Office, July 10, 2015. The three new monuments include Berryessa Snow Mountain in California, Waco Mammoth in Texas, and the Basin and Range in Nevada. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, Sept. 1, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, Sept. 1, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, Sept. 1, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, Sept. 1, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Sewall-Belmont House and Museum at the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument in Washington, D.C., April 12, 2016 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico, June 17, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Yosemite National Park, California, June 17, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Yosemite National Park, California, June 18, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Yosemite National Park, California, June 18, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Yosemite National Park, California, June 18, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Yosemite National Park, California, June 19, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Yosemite National Park, California, June 18, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)