Stay home and travel the U.S. through these 28 landscape photos

The platform and rails of one stop covered by a glass windowed tunnel on the elevated train system in Chicago. June 2018.
The L, Chicago. June 2018.
(Christopher Reynolds/Los Angeles Times)

This holiday season, besides my family and health, I am grateful for my job. In normal times, it allows me to travel the West, the U.S. and often the world, returning with words, pictures, ideas and cautions for readers planning their own trips.

It’s been kind of slow lately.

But these images help with that. As I’ve been traveling the last several years, I’ve been grabbing a lot of photos with my smartphone in panorama mode. The results are as imperfect as we Americans and our institutions are; look closely and you’ll notice the bending horizon lines and subtle distortions.

Yet as I look at them now, these pictures (none of which has been printed or posted before) remind me what a wide, weird, gorgeous, imperfect and improvable country we have waiting for us on the other side of this pandemic — a place to explore and be grateful for.

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Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, with two people looking over a rail at water running past below.
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. July 2015.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Welcome to our comprehensive gift guide for the 2020 holiday season.

For variety’s sake, along with the panorama shots, I’ve thrown in some images I made with a conventional camera, then cropped into the 3-by-1 aspect ratio of the panorama pictures. I think I’ve covered 11 states and one territory here, all from trips since 2015. And no, I’m not going to tally their electoral votes.

For all who are staying close to home this week and helping the country heal, I hope these images help. Someday, this will all be yours again.

Horseshoe Bend, Colorado River, south of Page, Ariz., with a person near the edge of a cliff surrounded by land and shrubs.
Horseshoe Bend, Colorado River, south of Page, Ariz. April 2019.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Rain falling on Lake George, New York, with two boaters in the background.
Lake George, New York. July 2016.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
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Cholla Cactus Garden, Joshua Tree National Park.
Cholla Cactus Garden, Joshua Tree National Park. March 2019.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
AT&T Park, San Francisco, with a view from the stands among attendees looking down on the baseball field and nearby bay.
AT&T Park, home of the Giants, San Francisco. April 2018.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Birds and flowers on a field at Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Park, with a lighthouse in the background
Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Park. July 2020.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Statue of "Golden Driller," Tulsa, showing a muscular oil worker with one hand on an oil derrick.
“Golden Driller,” Tulsa. April 2018.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Cannon Beach, Ore., with two people and two dogs on the sand near waves, big rocks and tree-covered hills.
Cannon Beach, Ore. May 2016
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Griffith Park, Los Angeles, with a trail through a grassy hill among other hills with downtown L.A. skyline in the distance.
Griffith Park, Los Angeles. March 2019.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Hayden Valley, Yellowstone National Park, with a water body surrounded by trees and grassy land.
Hayden Valley, Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. July 2015.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve with a silhouette of hills, and the ocean and orange sky behind them.
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, La Jolla. January 2017.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Neon Museum, Las Vegas, with neon signs for Red Barn and Motel, buildings and a tall statue of a man.
Neon Museum, Las Vegas. December 2019.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Ofu Beach, American Samoa, with palm trees, sandy area, big rocks and clear water.
Ofu Beach, American Samoa. October 2015.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
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South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz., with visitors overlooking the canyon from a stone ledge.
South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz. March 2015.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Rosa's Lounge, Chicago, with a drink on the bar, bottles behind it, people nearby, and ornaments hanging from the ceiling.
Rosa’s Lounge, Chicago. June 2018.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Inn at Death Valley, Death Valley National Park, with palm trees, a water body and hills nearby.
Inn at Death Valley, Death Valley National Park, Calif. February 2020.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Monhegan Island, Maine, with a landscape of trees, homes and the ocean.
Monhegan Island, Maine. June 2019.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Jumbo Rocks Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, with people playing with a ball and a tent in front of rocky hills.
Jumbo Rocks Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, Calif. May 2020.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Two boys stand on rocks with fishing rods, snowy mountains in distance, Davis Lake in the Eastern Sierra.
Leo Palermo and Trevor Dales, both 13, fish for trout at Davis Lake in the Eastern Sierra, California. June 2017.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Lone dolphin fin in foreground, oil platform beyond and ocean all around. Santa Barbara Channel.
Santa Barbara Channel. May 2019.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Placid reservoir sprawls in red rock canyon. Wahweap, Lake Powell, Ariz.
Wahweap, Lake Powell, Ariz. April 2019.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Three Cadillacs, half-buried, crazily painted, protrude from Texas field with a person on one.
Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas. May 2018.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Wide falls tumble in deep green forest. Burney Falls, Calif.
Burney Falls, Calif. June 2017.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
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Hikers watch sunrise over stark hills. Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park.
Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park, Calif. February 2020.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Crowds jostle under bright signs along Broadway. Times Square, New York.
Times Square, New York. February 2018.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Hikers file past a spring of rainbow hues. Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, Wyo.
Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. July 2015.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
A country road bends in fall at sunset. Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia.
Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia. November 2015.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

The L.A. Times store offers Lakers and Dodgers memorabilia, subscriptions, apparel and more to delight people on your 2020 holiday gift list.