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(Last Updated On: January 3, 2024)

Now that I’ve officially lived in Oregon for over a year, I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what is worth visiting from a photography perspective. Oregon has so much variety in landscapes, colors, and textures and is on of the top destinations for photography in my opinion. In this blog, I will be listing the Best Oregon Photography Locations that I believe are the most Instagrammable Oregon destinations as well. Oregon is a photographers paradise no matter what type of photography you’re interested in – so let’s get into it.

Planning a Route:

I want to note that these locations are not in order by route. If you are looking for a detailed itinerary with most of these locations, check out my guide: ULTIMATE OREGON ROAD TRIP

Best Oregon Photography Locations:

1. Trillium Lake, Mount Hood National Forest

Starting off strong with my personal favorite. The first two times I visited, I didn’t get to see Mount Hood showing off in the background of this gorgeous lake. It was 100% worth coming back to finally see it. This place is no secret and gets very busy in the Summer for good reason. If you’re lucky enough to score a campsite here, you should absolutely plan to photograph both sunrise and sunset.

  • Medium sized parking lot
  • No hiking required
  • Toilets available at parking lot
  • Major crowds in Summer and weekends

Note: The road closes in the Winter. It is still accessible, but you will need to hike in the snow, so come prepared with the 10 essentials and extra warm gear.

Where to Stay:

Most instagrammable places in Oregon. Best Oregon Photography locations Oregon waterfalls in the waterfall corridor

2. Latourell Falls

There are HUNDREDS of gorgeous waterfalls in Oregon. And especially in the Columbia River Gorge Region. This is one of three waterfalls on this list that are must-see’s in my opinion. This particular waterfall is such a short hike with such high reward and without the crowds that Multnomah Falls brings. And with it only being about 40 minutes away from Portland, I frequented this falls a LOT.

  • Small Parking lot
  • 0.4 mile hike to Falls
  • Toilet at parking lot
  • moderate crowds on weekends

Check out my Ultimate Oregon Waterfall Road Trip Guide:

Where to Stay:

Best Oregon Photography Locations. Oregon Coast Photography Locations Guide

3. Oswald West State Park

This place is extremely underrated and one of my favorite places on the Oregon coast. This Oregon Photography location really showcases the ruggedness of the coastline here and is surrounded by charming coastal towns to vacation at.

  • Small parking lot
  • Multiple Hiking Trails (check out Devil’s Cauldron)
  • No toilet or facilities
  • minimal crowds due to small parking lot.

If you’re looking for a coastal based Oregon Road Trip – check out my guide:

Most Instagrammable Oregon Photography Locations

4. Leslie Gulch and Owyhee Canyonlands

I made the mistake of coming here in the Summer with EXTREME heat. But regardless, it was absolutely breathtaking and a place I cannot wait to revisit maybe in the Spring or Fall. The canyons are more impressive than photos do justice to in my opinion. And this area is far enough away from everything – that I experienced NO crowds and only one other car during my visit.

  • campgrounds first come first serve
  • toilets available
  • trail systems and viewpoints
  • minimal crowds

Where to Stay:

  • Slocum Creek Campground
Umpqua Hot Springs in Oregon
Photo in collaboration with Jhamil Bader

5. Umpqua Hot Springs

Umpqua Hot Springs is probably my most asked about on the list of Most Instagrammable Oregon Destinations. A lot of people will say its overrated, because it can be crowded, trashed and an odd experience. But I’ve been here 4 times now, and have had the best experiences here. It is without a doubt one of the most magical Oregon experiences I’ve had and one of the Best Oregon photography locations.

Tips:

  • go during the week! I know this isn’t possible for everyone, but this is a big part of why I’ve had good experiences.
  • wake up EARLY. Get there as the sun is coming up, and the odds will be so much higher that you’ll have optimal lighting conditions as well as time here by yourself.
  • prepare for trash and nudity.

For a full guide on everything you need to know about Umpqua Hot Springs and Hot Springs Etiquette, visit my guides here:

Where to Stay:

  • Lemolo Forebay 2 campground
Find the best trails
Photo in collaboration with Jhamil Bader

6. Samuel H Boardman Scenic Drive

Samuel H Boardman just outside of Brookings, Oregon is a 12-mile long stretch of some of the most spectatular coastline in Oregon. It is also the southernmost part of Oregon. This area sees a lot of traffic, but not as crowded as some easier to get to areas like Cannon Beach. The hikes here show off Natural Bridges and Arches with impressive waves crashing around it. You could easily make an entire trip out of visiting this area and it’s truly a photographers dream.

Recommended views:

  • Natural Bridges
  • Secret Beach
  • Cape Ferrelo Viewpoint

Check out my full guide of Southern Oregon Coast photography destinations:

Where to Stay:

20 Best Oregon Photography Locations: the ultimate guide to finding the most popular and underrated (and also most instagrammable) spots
photo by Disa Wold

7. Sparks Lake

Sparks Lake is one of my absolute favorite sunrise photography destinations. The views of South Sister, Broken Top, and Bachelor Butte reflecting in the water is stunning. I have seen so many engagement and wedding photos from this place and for good reason. The views are right out of the parking lot with no hiking for this view and generally at sunrise, you won’t see too much of a crowd here.

Check out my full photography guide of Sparks Lake:

20 Best Oregon Photography Locations: the ultimate guide to finding the most popular and underrated (and also most instagrammable) spots

8. Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach is an Oregon classic. People from all over come to stay in the charming coastal town and enjoy the views of Haystack Rock at sunset. I personally love sunrise here to get photos without crowds. It is also one of the Oregon beaches where you can have a small fire on the beach and I would love to go back and do that.

  • moderate sized parking lot
  • toilet at parking lot
  • short walk

Where to Stay:

20 Best Oregon Photography Locations: the ultimate guide to finding the most popular and underrated (and also most instagrammable) spots

9. Multnomah Falls

Another Oregon classic is Multnomah Falls. Under an hour from Portland, this waterfall attracts quite the crowd of people and does require a reservation during the busy months. But it is very popular for a reason and is the tallest waterfall in Oregon and should definitely be on your Oregon photography locations list.

  • Bathrooms at visitor center
  • large parking lot available at exit 31
  • short walk to main viewpoint

Where to Stay:

In collaboration with Disa Wold

10. Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park is the only National Park in Oregon and has some incredible views for both hikers and non hikers. The Discovery Point Trail offers fantastic views. If you’re looking for views above it all – check out Cloudcap overlook drive up spot. Keep in mind Crater Lake is one of the snowiest places in Oregon and the snow can last for a long time into the year, so plan accordingly.

11. Myers Creek Beach

Every time I drive the Oregon coast, I love making a stop here. It’s such a beautiful part of the 101 highway and a place I have taken many many photos. This area at sunset can be absolutely magical with the right conditions and the rock that looks like a shark fin is impressive. It never gets very crowded and is truly one of Oregon’s coastal gems.

  • no facilities
  • small pull off’s and parking area
Toketee Falls most instagrammable spots in Oregon

12. Toketee Falls

Toketee Falls is famous for its columnar basalt formations framing the falls. Only a 0.4 mile hike to the viewing platform to see this impressive and iconic Oregon waterfall. Just next door to Umpqua Hot Springs and offers views of the Umpqua River. The area surrounding the falls is lush and so picturesque.

  • vault toilet
  • nearby camping
  • moderate sized parking lot
painted hills
photo in collaboration with Disa Wold

13. Painted Hills Oregon | Best Oregon Photography Locations

The Painted Hills in Central Oregon is such a unique photography destination and ever changing. The yellows, golds, and reds are so vibrant as the sun begins to go down. There are hikes and boardwalks that go through the hills and it is very fun to play with shadows here.

I recommend:

  • Painted Cove Trail
  • Painted Hills Overlook
  • Red Hill Trail

14. Cape Kiwanda

Similar to Haystack rock on Cannon Beach, Cape Kiwanda is known for it’s rugged Oregon coast and rock formations. Here it’s a little less crowded than Haystack rock. This sandstone headland has some gorgeous hikes and views from the parking lot. There are so many photo opportunities here for everyone making this a must on the list of Best Oregon Photography Locations.

  • Day use moderate sized parking lot with views
  • No bathroom at parking area
  • I also recommend checking out Mcphillips Beach
  • Stimulus Coffee + Bakery is great

Where to Stay:

Smith Rock Best Oregon Photo Spots
Photo by Disa Wold

15. Smith Rock

Smith Rock is a climbers paradise in Oregon, but it’s also a fantastic place for photographers. This unique place was formed by volcanic activity and has resulted in very interesting cliffs, spires and other rock formations. I have been here for sunrise and sunset and have loved watching this place change dramatically as the light changes.

  • Misery Ridge Hike for sunset
  • Crooked River Trail for sunrise
  • Bathrooms available
  • $5 entrance fee

Check out my full Smith Rock Guide:

Elowah Falls is one of my favorite waterfalls in Oregon. Check out my guide to see why!

16. Tunnel Falls at Eagle Creek

This waterfall makes the list of most instagrammable Oregon destinations because of how absurdly gorgeous the trail is and how unique Tunnel Falls is. This is one of the few on this list that require considerable hiking. If you are able, it is SO worth the long day hike. Eagle Creek trail follows a gorge FULL of waterfalls (I counted 22) and is one of those trails thats scenic the entire time, not just at the destination.

  • 12.2 miles round trip with 2,000 ft gain
  • come prepared with extra water, food and layers
  • Start early! This trail takes a good amount of time to complete and the parking lot fills up fast
  • $5 fee, available for purchase in first parking lot

Check out my entire list of the Best Oregon Waterfalls HERE.

Stay: my favorite place to stay after spending time in the Columbia River Gorge is at the Historic Hood River Hotel

20 Best Oregon Photography Locations: the ultimate guide to finding the most popular and underrated (and also most instagrammable) spots

17. Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint

Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint is a very underrated area of the Oregon Coast. This area has gorgeous, easily accessed viewpoints of the ocean and many sea stack rocks. It is a lesser visited area on the Oregon Coast and I love stopping any time I am passing through here. It is also near the Oregon Dunes Recreation area as an add on.

  • Drive right up to Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint
  • Restrooms available at parking lot
  • Short hike down to beach if desired
  • Minimal crowds
  • Stunning at sunrise and sunset

Where to Stay:

Rowena Crest

18. Rowena Crest

Rowena Crest is an iconic photo spot near Portland and should absolutely be on your list if you’re passing through. A stunning view of the Columbia River Gorge and a view above an iconic horseshoe bend in the road. This is one of the most photographed roads in Oregon and for good reason. Drive right up to the viewpoint to check it out!

  • small parking lot
  • Ideal at sunrise or sunset
  • There is also a trail that has some stunning views during wildflower season

19. Proposal Rock at Neskowin Beach

I’m so glad I finally got to visit this place. It is a stunning beach to relax on and photograph. I visited during the day and took a small picnic, but I know that sunrise and sunset here are absolutely stunning and I would love to go back. The trees on top of the sea stack – Proposal Rock make it different from a lot of the other sea stacks along the Oregon Coast and the size of this rock is truly impressive.

  • moderate sized parking lot
  • bathrooms available at parking lot
  • large beach area
Check out my Film Photography Guide

20. Astoria, Oregon

Last, but definitely not least, Astoria Oregon. This charming coastal city has quickly become one of my favorites to visit. With views of the Columbia River Gorge near the ocean, the longest continual truss bridge in North America and stunning Victorian Mansions, theres something for everyone here. And not only are there scenic views that make this place incredible to photograph, but also so much wildlife viewing. Up close views of birds, sea lions and more here.

  • Astoria Riverwalk Viewpoint
  • Pier 39
  • Astoria-Megler Bridge
  • Flavel House

Where to Stay:

Conclusion: 20 Best Oregon Photography Locations

As you can see, there are SO many places in Oregon that are fantastic photography locations and just places to visit in general. Oregon has become such a special place to me and I feel like it charms everyone that visits. This list is focused on outdoor spaces and landscapes that I find most photogenic here. And I’m so curious which places you would want to see the most!

Be sure to check out some of my other resources to help plan your trip:

20 Best Oregon Photography Locations: the ultimate guide to finding the most popular and underrated (and also most instagrammable) spots
20 Best Oregon Photography Locations: the ultimate guide to finding the most popular and underrated (and also most instagrammable) spots

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