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15 Best Utah Photography Locations: National Parks, Monuments, & More! (2023)

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With its sweeping landscapes and distinctive geological formations, Utah offers an abundance of opportunities to take beautiful photos. I’ve rounded up 15 of the best photography locations where you can capture the essence of this rugged and scenic state!

After living in the southwest for a few years, I’ve managed to extensively explore Utah, thanks to living in Denver. I can vouch for the beauty of this state.

Whether you’re a professional photographer looking to scout your next photoshoot location or you’re visiting Utah for the first time and just love documenting your travels, read on for the best Utah photography locations. 

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Best Utah Photography Locations

Navajo Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park 

view of switchbacks on a trail surrounded by orange rocks

One of the most popular national parks in Utah, Bryce Canyon is most famous for its otherworldly landscape of dusty red rock formations called hoodoos. The Navajo Loop trail is a well-worn trail at the center of the park that takes about one to two hours to hike and offers spectacular views. 

If you choose to start the hike on the Wall Street path, you’ll first make a descent down the side of the Bryce rim and find views of the steep switchbacks disappearing into the canyon. On the way back, you’ll make the ascent up the Two Bridges path, which opens up to a sprawling view of the amphitheater full of hoodoos.

Bryce Canyon is a staple of any Utah itinerary, and the Navajo Loop trail tops this list of must-visit Utah photography locations.

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Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park

View of Zion Canyon from Angel's Landing

Another classic pitstop in Utah is Zion National Park. If you’re not afraid of heights and want some adventure and some epic photos to show for it, Angel’s Landing is the way to go.

Angel’s Landing rises up from the earth like the dorsal fin of a massive fish. After making your way through the first half of the trail, you’ll be able to capture photos of the Landing itself, with the gorgeous canyon in the backdrop. Once you’ve reached the viewing point, you’ll be rewarded with unbelievable views of Zion Canyon from an unbeatable vantage point. 

The journey to Angel’s Landing is definitely not for the faint of heart, but for those that brave the hike, they’ll find themselves at one of the most extraordinary Utah photography locations. 

Bonneville Salt Flats

white salt flat by mountains

If you want to be transported to another planet, head to the Bonneville Salt Flats. The white salt crust of the flats stretches as far out as the eye can see, and in the winter and spring, the groundwater left on the surface turns the flats into one giant mirror that reflects the surrounding mountains and sky.

The salt flats are located in Northwestern Utah, about two hours outside of Salt Lake City. The best times to take photos are during the morning and evening, so you can capture the gorgeous light of the sunrise and sunset reflecting off the flats. 

Be sure to wear sun protection and sunglasses if you happen to visit during midday when the reflection of the sun off the flats is brightest.

The Bonneville Salt Flats tops our list of Northern Utah photography locations, so be sure not to miss it!

Goblin Valley State Park 

toadstool-shaped rock formations in the desert

If you can’t get enough of the rock formations of Bryce Canyon National Park, then Goblin Valley State Park is guaranteed to be a great time. Like Bryce Canyon, Goblin Valley is known for the thousands of hoodoo rock formations, which are locally known as “goblins.”

This park, with its abundance of rounded and dimpled rock goblins of all shapes and sizes, makes for a surreal photography location at any time of day. 

While whimsical scenes can be photographed from any vantage point, there are a few standout landmarks, such as the Three Sisters formation, which is right off the road to the main parking lot. 

Definitely swing by Goblin Valley State Park if you’re in Southeast Utah!

Downtown Salt Lake City 

city skyline by the mountains of salt lake city

For a change of pace from nature photography, head to some of these downtown Salt Lake City photo spots to capture some urban shots.

The majestic Salt Lake Utah Temple is located at Temple Square, and you can’t miss its ornate spires. Just a ten-minute walk away, the Salt Lake City Capitol Building is gorgeous in the springtime when the cherry blossoms bloom.

The Salt Lake City Library is a beautifully designed building, and the surrounding area has no shortage of crisp angles to frame your figures. Regardless of where you go in downtown Salt Lake City, you’ll definitely be able to find some photogenic photography locations. Just use your creativity!

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park

delicate arch in arches national park

As the name indicates, Arches National Park in Moab is home to over two thousand natural sandstone arches, and Delicate Arch is the icon amongst them. It’s such an iconic landmark that it adorns the Utah state license plate!

Located on the east side of Arches National Park, Delicate Arch is the largest arch in the park, standing 46 feet tall and 32 feet wide. You can choose to either see the arch from one of the viewpoints accessible by car or hike 1.5 miles to get up close.

The park is beautiful at all times of the day, though late afternoon or sunset hours are great times to snap photos of Delicate Arch — the golden hour hues and the La Sal Mountains in the background make for unforgettable pictures.

Natural Bridges National Monument

rock arch under a blue sky

Natural Bridges is Utah’s first national monument, and when you visit, you’ll understand why. Located in Southeast Utah, this national monument features three massive water-carved sandstone bridges that lie deep in the canyon.

Though rain is scarce in Utah, when it does rain, it pours. Over time, powerful flash floods gradually wore away at the sandstone to create these natural bridges.

Each bridge is accessible via hiking trails, all under 1.5 miles roundtrip, and they’re especially breathtaking to take photos of from lower vantage points when the sky is visible underneath the bridges. 

Along with being Utah’s first national monument, Natural Bridges is also the world’s first international Dark Sky Park, which means it has exceptional views of the starry night. Whenever you come, the bridges are sure to impress you.

Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park 

La Sal Mountains in the distance through an arch

Canyonlands is Utah’s largest national park, and one of the best ways to get a glimpse of all this park has to offer is to visit the Island in the Sky. Aptly named the Island in the Sky is a massive flat-topped elevation with steep cliff sides. 

The Mesa Arch, one of the most popular Southern Utah photography locations, is situated right on the eastern edge of the Island in the Sky. The arch stretches 27 feet across and makes for a majestic frame of the desert stretching out beyond. 

If you can muster the energy, you can get to Mesa Arch by sunrise and catch the sun’s rays as they illuminate the underside of the arch. You won’t regret it!

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

person standing under an arch

What’s great about Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is the sheer variety of landscapes that you’ll find in this protected area. From stone arches and hidden lakes to the Escalante River and the staircase-like cliffs, this national monument has no shortage of captivating scenery and classic Utah photography locations.

One unique photography location is Zebra Slot, a narrow slot canyon that’s similar to Antelope Canyon in Arizona. Another is Golden Cathedral, a towering rock formation with three holes in the rock wall through which the sun’s rays shine.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is one of the more rugged and remote national monuments, so definitely do your research and come prepared with the right gear. The hikes to many of the landmarks are long, but the views are always worth it.

Dinosaur National Monument 

petroglyphs on a rock wall

For a fascinating lesson in history, or shall we say, prehistory, take a trip to Dinosaur National Monument. You’ll get the chance to see (and touch!) dinosaur fossils that are over 100 million years old.

Not only will you be able to view dinosaur fossils and footprints at the Wall of Bones and Quarry Exhibit Hall, but you can also find petroglyphs and pictographs at various locations in the monument. 

This is a great spot for families to find adventure and capture some great photos along the way. Between seeing the fossils, rafting down the Green River, and stargazing, there’s something for everyone at Dinosaur National Monument.

Albion Basin 

small alpine lake surrounded by mountains

Albion Basin is a must-visit spot in the summertime because it has some of the most charming flower fields in Utah to take pictures at. The basin is home to a diversity of wildflowers, from sunflowers to lupines to Indian paintbrushes, making the fields come to life with a full palette of colors. 

Albion Basin is conveniently located just a 40-minute drive from Salt Lake City in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Make sure to time your visit for late summer, which is when the wildflowers are in full bloom. 

This is a beautiful location for couples’ photoshoots! While you don’t need a permit to take photos here, do take care to be respectful of the area so that the wildflowers continue to thrive each year. 

Dead Horse Point in Dead Horse Point State Park

muddy lake going through a canyon

There might be no better place in Utah to find sweeping views of the buttes and mesas that this part of the country is known for than Dead Horse Point in Dead Horse Point State Park.

At Dead Horse Point overlook, you’ll get an unobstructed view of the Colorado River snaking through the canyons 2,000 feet below and Canyonlands National Park in the background. At sunrise and sunset, the red-orange hues of the buttes and the winding layers of sedimentary rock make for fantastic landscape photography.

If you’re already planning to visit Canyonlands or Arches National Park, don’t miss Dead Horse Point. It’s only a short drive away from both, and it’s one of the best Utah photography locations for a reason!

Panorama Point in Capitol Reef National Park 

deep canyon under a blue sky

Capitol Reef National Park is one of the most underrated parks in Utah. It’s located in Utah’s south-central desert on a unique geological formation called the Waterpocket Fold, which is literally a wrinkle in the earth’s crust. 

One of the best locations to view the layered cliff sides of the Fold is at Panorama Point, near the west entrance of the park. Panorama Point is located at the end of a very short, family-friendly hike, and it offers a 360-degree view of the park. 

Panorama Point is a great place to take photos against the sunset or even for some night photography and stargazing!

Monument Valley

rocky spires in the desert under an orange sky

Monument Valley barely needs any introduction. It is hands down one of the most breathtaking Utah landscape photography locations, with its looming sandstone buttes rising up from the flat terrain. 

The park itself is on the border of Utah and Arizona, and most visitors will take in the views from a car on the 17-mile scenic drive through the park. 

The best thing you can do to get great photos of the valley is to plan your visit during sunrise or sunset. Some of the most iconic spots in Monument Valley include the John Ford Monument Valley viewpoint, Forrest Gump Point, and the “Welcome to Utah” sign at the border, coming from the south. 

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

pink sand dunes at sunset

Last on this list of Utah photography locations, but certainly not least, is Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, located in southwestern Utah. The sand particles here are formed from the erosion of pink-colored Navajo Sandstone surrounding the park, hence the coral pink hue. 

Other than all of the fun activities you can do on the dunes, like sledding, sandboarding, and driving dune buggies, you can also capture some beautiful photos of the dunes. Sunrise and sunset times will give you the best lighting and cast beautiful shadows on the dunes as well. 

Stop by this state park for some fun on the sand, and leave with some great photos!

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Final Thoughts: Photo Spots in Utah

I hope these Utah photography locations inspire you to visit and explore all that Utah has to offer. As always, when you’re visiting national parks and monuments, remember to leave no trace and respect the environment. The only things you should be bringing home with you are the memories you make and the gorgeous photos you capture!

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