I always love when my couples choose a location for their engagement session that is special to them. (See my post on 5 Tips for Choosing An Engagement Session Location.) But sometimes, they need help with inspiration or just want to take pictures somewhere with killer views! Either way, I have their back and yours. Today I am sharing with you my top 5 outdoor engagement session locations in Arizona.
Amazing Arizona Engagement Session Locations
Oak Creek Trail – Sedona
More specifically, the West Fork of Oak Creek No. 108 trail. This trail is just North of Sedona and it offers an amazing variety of images from the always green creek to the red rock canyon walls. I spend most of my time with my couples in the small area before the actual trail head. From the parking lot you follow the trail down towards the creek and then over a beautiful metal bridge to the orchard. You will find all kinds of fruit trees and berry bushes along the trail. There are many little trails leading down to the creek.
As you continue, there is the remains of the lodge the burned down in a fire years ago. What remains are some red brick walls covered in ivy and a fireplace. Just after the lodge (right before the trail head) you will find a huge field with breathtaking views of the red rock bluffs.
There is a large parking lot at this trail head and there is a small parking fee per car. On the weekends Spring – Summer make sure to allow extra time to get into the parking lot as there is often a wait.
Bell Rock – Sedona
Another one of my favorite locations is Bell Rock in Sedona. This trail is just south of Sedona (and about an hour quicker drive from the valley than Oak Creek). This location showcases the desert beauty of Sedona. If you are adventurous (and have sensible shoes on), you can hike up Bell Rock for pictures. If you are not ready for a hike, don’t worry, there are still so many amazing locations along this short trail to Bell Rock. There are so many little washes that are fun to explore. As the sun sets and the shadows cover the red rock bluffs to the East, you can get some amazing iconic Sedona landscapes in your engagement photos.
There are two parking lots to access this trail: The Bell Rock parking lot to the South and the Cathedral Rock parking lot to the north. There is a small parking fee per car that can be paid via the kiosk in the parking lot. On the weekends Spring – Summer you may consider a morning session, as there will be more available spots in the parking lot.
Flagstaff is an amazing location for your engagement photos all year long. In the summer, it is a great escape from the heat. In the fall, you can find the changing leaves of the aspens. And in the winter, it is on of the only places to get snow pictures in Arizona! Any time of year you will find amazing green pine trees. I love just parking in a parking lot with my couples and venturing off into the woods! Though, you can find many trails to follow and adventure from.
Lost Dutchman State Park – Apache Junction
Another iconic view in Arizona is the Superstition Mountains. There are many trails to get to the desert surrounding the Superstition Mountains, but Lost Dutchman State Park is my favorite. (It is completely paved for my little Prius!) There are a few trails that come from this trail head. The desert is gorgeous all times of the year, though in the summer I suggest a sunrise session for this location. If you want stunning images of the bluffs of the superstitions, I would suggest a sunrise or sunset session. (Before the sun comes over the mountains or just as the shade falls over the mountains.)
There is ample parking here and a small, per-car fee for parking. They do require proof of photography insurance for a permit to photograph in the park.
Papago Park – Tempe
This is my go-to desert location in the valley. If you have been to the zoo, botanical gardens, or just driven the 202 through Tempe, you have seen these gorgeous red rocks. There is a nice flat trail leading up to the mountains. And again, if you are adventurous, you can climb right up to the top to take photos. But there are plenty of locations with amazing views off the trail. If you wanted a more iconic image, you can head over to Hole In The Rock. It is a pretty easy walk up what looks like a few flights of stairs to get to this spot. It is, as it sounds, a giant hole in a rock, but it provides some amazing views of the valley.
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