Best Photoshoot Locations Near 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 Sale Lake City. Whether you out live here, or just found a cheap to fly to Salt Lake City (major international airport), SLC is surrounded by beautiful Wasatch and Uinats mountains to the East and Salt Lake to the West. Locations for a beautiful engagement photoshoot or elopement are plenty. Whether you like lush mountains, airy meadows, wildflower extravaganza, beautiful salt flats or lakes with that perfect reflections. One hour or less from Salt lake City you find will it all. Below are some of my favorite photoshoot locations, that require little to no hiking at all. I also know many stunning spots for a full or half day hiking elopements, for the adventurous!
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 Areafeatures 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
Uintas and Wasatch Mountains
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. The canyon has a great mix of evergreen and deciduous trees (beautiful aspen), so it’s beautiful almost year-round. Foliage typically starts to change as early as October!
About 60 miles North are the beautiful 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.
Let me be your Utah engagement photographer.