Best Engagement Locations in Salt Lake City
Utah is a magical state on its own with 5 National Parks, endless public lands, red rock desert, slot canyons, rugged cliffs or sand dunes. Some places require long drives, some 4WD. But there are quite a few dreamy locations locations right outside Salt Lake City. Whether you live out here, or just found a cheap to fly to Salt Lake City (major international airport), SLC is surrounded by beautiful mountains. There are so many amazing locations for a beautiful engagement photoshoot or elopement. Whether you like lush mountains, airy wildflower meadows, beautiful salt flats or lakes with that perfect reflections. One hour or less from Salt lake City you find will it all. Here are some of my favorite photoshoot locations, that require little to no hiking. I also know many other stunning spots that would make a great half day or full day hiking elopements! If you're on the fence whether you need engagement photos make sure to read my blog on that topic.
Antelope Island and Salt Flats
I have a separate blog about Bonneville Salt Flats Elopements, you can find here, but another beautiful option that encompasses the desert landscape with the mountains is Antelope Island State Park Not too far from Salt Lake City, this island is a gem with picturesque prairies, bisons, antelopes surrounded by water and hills. This are is a perfect spot for biking and hiking with many trails to choose from. It takes about two hours to drive around and it costs 15$ to enter the park. Elopement and Photography permits are required and cost from 60$ up depending on group size. You should apply for those months in advance and can be obtained by contacting the park directly (if you decide to have a photoshoot here I will help you get all necessary permits). Sunsets up are spectacular and you don't have to hike far to get to some amazing spots.
Little Sahara Sand Dunes
Another beautiful and completely different locations than all the others mentioned in this blog, is Little Sahara Recreation Area which features 60,000 acres of open desert landscape, and is located in about an hour south of Provo, and two hours south of Salt Lake City. It’s mainly known for its rolling sand dunes, with only a few trees and brush, keep in mind this area is a popular spot for camping and motorbiking so it gets busier especially on weekends. The scenery here doesn’t change too drastically with the seasons, so it’s a great year-round option. There is an entry fee to enter the park
Big Cottonwood Canyon
Big Cottonwood Canyon is a picturesque and popular destination located in the Wasatch Mountains, southeast of Salt Lake City, Utah. Known for its stunning natural beauty, it provides a range of opportunities for outdoor activities and scenic photoshoots. Big Cottonwood Canyon offers different photographic opportunities throughout the seasons. In the fall, the canyon is adorned with vibrant autumn foliage, creating a colorful backdrop. Winter brings snow-covered peaks, frozen waterfalls, and a winter wonderland atmosphere. Spring and summer provide lush greenery, wildflowers, and flowing streams.
Albion Basin: Wildflower Galore
Albion Basin in Utah is a great engagement photo location for several reasons:
It is situated in the beautiful Wasatch Mountains and offers stunning natural scenery, including wildflowers, meadows, and mountain peaks. The natural backdrop provides a picturesque setting for engagement photos.
Albion Basin offers a variety of seasonal backdrops, including fall colors, winter snowscapes, and blooming wildflowers in the spring and summer (early August is the best). This variety allows couples to capture their engagement photos in a unique and memorable way.
Accessibility: Albion Basin is easily accessible by car and is only a short drive from Salt Lake City. This convenience makes it a popular location for engagement photos for couples in the area. Best photo locations are accessible by short hike from the parking area.
Please note: there is 10$ entry fee to the upper parking lot.
Overall, Albion Basin in Utah is a fantastic location for engagement photos due to its natural beauty, seasonal variety, accessibility, and photography opportunities.
McPolin Farm in Park City
The McPolin Barn in Park City, Utah, is a popular location for photoshoots due to its rustic charm and beautiful surroundings. Consider the time of day and lighting conditions when planning your photoshoot. The McPolin Barn can offer stunning backdrops during different times of the day, such as golden hour (around sunrise or sunset) when the lighting is soft and warm. Choose outfits that complement the rustic setting of the barn. Earthy tones and textures can work well in this environment. You can also coordinate outfits among the participants to create a cohesive look.
More Engagement Locations Near Salt Lake City
If you're looking for mountain views and some greenery for a change from the Utah desert, Wasatch mountain offer all of that. Between Little Cottonwood Canyon, Tibble Fork Reservoir, many great lakes near Snowbird and Alta skiing resorts, and Albion Basin that boasts wildflowers mid summer you don't have to travel out of state to find the perfect scenery, and still be near big city for all the conveniences. American Fork Canyon is one of my favorite places to photograph in the summer, fall, and spring! There are so many great spots for engagement photos along the Alpine Loop, including Tibble Fork Reservoir (gets very busy on weekends so sunrise during the week is best and Cascade Springs here)
About 60 miles North are the be fall loatautiful Uinats mountains with many lakes, great hiking options, and meadows or horse pastures. As someone who loves hiking and backpacking, I scouted beautiful locations and can recommend them, depending on how much hiking are you willing to do. Something to keep in mind: many of the locations have seasonal access and roads close for the winter. Most of these locations don't require special permits if it's just for photos, but you should practice Leave No Trace Behind practices, anywhere you go.