Top 15 Arizona Photo Spots for Instagram

Last Updated on June 17, 2022

Arizona is one of the most naturally beautiful places in the United States, making it a popular vacation destination for both Americans and foreign tourists. Visitors from all over the world travel to Arizona to experience some of the most famous natural wonders in the Southwest USA such as the Grand Canyon and red rocks of Sedona. The entire state of Arizona is a photographer’s dream vacation destination, and this guide highlights the Top 15 Arizona Photo Spots for Instagram to take your feed to the next level.

It's That Hot Mural Scottsdale

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Top 15 Arizona Photo Spots for Instagram

There are so many great Arizona Instagram spots that we have split the photo spots into Northern, Central, and Southern Arizona to help you plan your ultimate trip to Arizona. We’ve organized this guide to go approximately from north to south, which will help as you organize your trip and all the Arizona photography spots you plan to visit.

Map of Arizona Photo Spots

We’ve put together the below map to help you visualize and plan out your trip to visit all of the best Arizona photos spots this amazing state has to offer. If you are looking for even more Arizona Instagrammable locations, also check out our blog posts on the top Instagrammable Places in Phoenix and Scottsdale and the best Instagram Spots in Sedona.

Northern Arizona

The first region we’ll be highlighting is Northern Arizona. Northern Arizona is home to some of the most iconic sights that the state has to offer, including the charming small town of Page and of course, the world-famous Grand Canyon National Park.

Horseshoe Bend

We’re kicking off this list of the top Arizona photo spots with one of the most photographed locations in the entire state: Horseshoe Bend. Horseshoe Bend, located in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, is a dramatic curve of the Colorado River that meanders through some stunning sandstone formations. We can almost guarantee that you’ve seen a picture of Horseshoe Bend on your Instagram feed at some point, and it’s one of the most popular areas in Arizona for good reason. Horseshoe Bend is just one of the many incredible natural landmarks that can be found throughout Arizona, and it is well worth a visit.

Horsehoe Bend Couple Pose Arizona

Location: Horseshoe Bend

Hours: You can visit Horseshoe Bend 24 hours a day, every day of the year!

Cost: The fee to enter Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is $30 USD for a 7-day vehicle pass. Prices vary for motorcycles, bicyclists/hikers, and boaters.

Best Time for Photos: Try to visit this Arizona Instagram spot at sunrise or sunset. This is your best chance to catch some dramatic skies, but there will also be significantly less crowds at sunrise. Unfortunately at sunset, the best time for photos, there will be significant crowds.

Tips: We recommend photographing Horseshoe Bend with a wide-angle lens to help demonstrate the true magnitude of this landmark and capture the full Horseshoe Bend.

Antelope Canyon

This next Arizona photography spot is another incredibly popular destination that can be found just a few miles east of Horseshoe Bend, near the town of Page. Antelope Canyon is a stunning slot canyon that features five distinct sections. The slot canyon was formed as the result of flash flooding that carved smooth corridors through the brightly colored sandstone rock.

Top 15 Arizona Photo Spots for Instagram 1

Antelope Canyon has an incredibly distinct appearance that is recognized worldwide. The two most popular sections of Antelope Canyon are the Upper and Lower Canyons, and each is uniquely beautiful. Upper Antelope Canyon is considered the more photogenic section and is a great place to capture photographs of sunbeams cutting through the canyon. Lower Antelope Canyon, meanwhile, is an adventure-seeks paradise, full of narrow corridors you have to squeeze through and ladders you have to climb as well.

Explore the Amazing Antelope Canyon: Book a tour today!

Location: Antelope Canyon    

Hours: To visit Antelope Canyon, which is located on Navajo land, you must have a permit and be accompanied by a tour guide. Tour times vary depending on which agency you book through, but Antelope Canyon in general is open to visitors from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. 

Cost: The entry fee to Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park, where Antelope Canyon is located, is $8 USD per person. Additional fees to book a tour guide vary with each agency.

Best Time for Photos: The best time for taking photos at this Arizona Instagram spot is during the middle of the day when the sun is overhead and able to shine directly down through the slot canyon. This will give you the opportunity to capture some amazing photos of the sunbeams as they cut through the canyon.

Tips: Antelope Canyon can become very windy, and the blowing sand can be quite uncomfortable. Plan your outfit accordingly, and make sure to bring some form of eye protection!

Lake Powell

Lake Powell is a beautiful manmade reservoir that lies along the Arizona and Utah border. This Arizona photo spot is a wildly popular summer destination for locals and tourists alike, hosting an average of two million visitors every year! Lake Powell is simply massive and there are a number of vantage points where you can capture beautiful views of the reservoir.

Arizona Photo Spots Lake Powell

The contrast between the blue water and the red and orange rock formations is very striking and provides an excellent backdrop for Instagram photos. After you’ve photographed Lake Powell from an upper vantage point, we recommend visiting Wahweap Beach to capture some photos of the reservoir down at water level.

Location: Lake Powell

Hours: Lake Powell, like Horseshoe Bend, is located inside Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, so you can visit 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!

Cost: The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area entry fee is $30 USD for a 7-day vehicle pass.

Best Time for Photos: Although Lake Powell is a beautiful Arizona photography spot at all hours of the day, sunrise and sunset are especially great times to visit. You’ll be rewarded with fewer crowds and beautiful skies that add a touch of drama to your photos. The lake is also generally calmer at this time, allowing for the potential of beautiful reflection shots.

Tips: Lake Powell is a great place to kick back and relax on a hot day. Bring a picnic, do some kayaking, or hop on a boat and take your time enjoying this spectacular area.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley is yet another iconic Arizona photo spot that you’ll probably recognize from photos and even movies like National Lampoon’s Vacation, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Thelma & Louise. Located along the border of Arizona and Utah, Monument Valley is a picture-perfect area that features some stunning rock formations. These formations are absolutely massive, standing anywhere from 400 to 1,000 feet (120 m to 305 m high! You’ll truly feel as if you’ve stepped back in time to the wild west as you explore Monument Valley. It’s also important to note that Monument Valley is owned and operated by the Navajo Nation, and the whole area is incredibly significant to the Navajo people.

Monument Valley Arizona

Location: Monument Valley

Hours: During the summer, Monument Valley is open to visitors daily from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM. During the winter you can visit this area from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Cost: The fee to visit Monument Valley is $8 USD per person.

Best Time for Photos: This is another Arizona photography spot that is beautiful throughout the day, but especially striking at sunrise or sunset.

Tips: During the high season, which typically runs from March to August, Monument Valley gets very popular. If you visit during this time, be prepared for large crowds!

Forrest Gump Hill

Speaking of movies that Monument Valley has been featured in, arguably one of the most iconic and beloved is Forrest Gump. While you’re exploring Monument Valley, be sure to swing over to the iconic Forrest Gump Hill which was featured in the 1994 film! You might recognize this as the spot where the title character of the film, played by Tom Hanks, ends his cross-country run.

Technically this Arizona photo spot is located a few miles inside the border of Utah, but you can easily incorporate this landmark on your Arizona trip, so we’re counting it anyway! This spot offers an incredible view of Monument Valley and the central road that cuts through the rock formations, making it a great place to capture some striking photos.

Top 15 Arizona Photo Spots for Instagram 2

Location: Forrest Gump Hill

Hours: You can visit this Arizona photography spot any time of day.

Cost: There is no fee to visit this photo location.

Best Time for Photos: Sunrise is the best time to photograph the views from Forrest Gump Hill.

Tips: Be aware that this spot is located along a highway with fast-moving traffic. Take care when you visit and give yourself plenty of space to stay clear of the road when cars and trucks are passing by.

Point Imperial

Point Imperial offers jaw-dropping views of the Grand Canyon, securing its place on our list of the top Arizona Instagram spots. Standing at an elevation of over 8,000 feet, Point Imperial is the tallest overlook on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. From this viewpoint, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the entire canyon. The Grand Canyon is one of the most well-known natural landmarks in not just Arizona but the whole world, and Point Imperial is one of the best places to appreciate the true magnitude of this amazing sight.

Arizona Photo Spots Point Imperial

Location: Point Imperial   

Hours: The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is closed to visitors from December 1 to May 14. When the North Rim is open, you can visit this Arizona photo spot 24 hours a day.

Cost: There is a $35 USD per vehicle fee to visit Grand Canyon National Park. You can alternatively use the America the Beautiful Annual Pass.

Best Time for Photos: The best time to photograph Point Imperial is late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky. This will provide softer and more golden lighting for your Instagram photos.

Tips: Make sure to drink lots of water before and during your visit to Point Imperial. Because this point is the highest on the North Rim, it’s common to feel lightheaded or dizzy if you aren’t properly hydrated.

Cape Royal

After visiting Point Imperial, make your way over to Cape Royal, which also offers incredible views of the Grand Canyon. Cape Royal is known for being the most southern viewpoint along the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. This Arizona photo spot is unique because it actually extends over the Grand Canyon, providing an incredibly immersive experience. Some consider Cape Royal to provide the best views of the Grand Canyon, and it’s clear to see why. This is a beautiful spot that is well worth a visit during your trip to Arizona.

Arizona Photo Spots Cape Royal

Location: Cape Royal  

Hours: The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is open 24 hours a day from May 15 to November 30.

Cost: There is a $35 USD per vehicle fee to visit Grand Canyon National Park. You can alternatively use the America the Beautiful Annual Pass.

Best Time for Photos: Sunset is an absolutely amazing time of day to photograph Cape Royal.

Tips: If you’re able to visit Cape Royal around sunset, we highly recommend bringing a picnic to enjoy as you take in the breathtaking views.

Yaki Point

For this next Arizona photography spot, we’ll be traveling to Yaki Point which is located along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. After spending some time photographing the Grand Canyon from the North Rim, it’s interesting to note the differences as you take in views from the South Rim.

Arizona Photo Spots Yaki Point

Yaki Point is a unique area because it can only be accessed by foot or via a shuttle that departs from the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. Because private vehicles aren’t allowed at Yaki Point, you’ll find it provides much more solitude and peace. Yaki Point offers amazing views of the Grand Canyon and is an excellent option if you want to escape some of the major crowds that flock to the national park.

Location: Yaki Point

Hours: The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. You can access Yaki Point via the Kaibab Rim (Orange) Shuttle which runs from 4:30 AM to one hour after sunset.

Cost: The shuttle itself is free, but it will cost you $35 USD per vehicle to enter Grand Canyon National Park. You can alternatively purchase an America the Beautiful annual National Park pass.

Best Time for Photos: This Arizona Instagram spot is especially beautiful at sunrise.

Tips: From 4:30 AM to 6:30 AM, the shuttle only runs every 30 minutes. Starting at 6:30 AM, the shuttle runs every 15 minutes. Make sure to plan your visit accordingly!

Desert View Watchtower

The last Arizona photo spot on this list that is located in Grand Canyon National Park is Desert View Watchtower. Desert View is a small area located along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. In this area you’ll find Desert View Watchtower, a large landmark modeled after the architecture of the Southwest Pueblo people.

The tower was first built in 1932 and offers both amazing views of the Grand Canyon, and the opportunity to learn more about some of the first people who lived in this area. Desert View Watchtower is also the most eastern viewpoint of the Grand Canyon, providing a unique perspective on this natural wonder.

Arizona Photo Spots Desert Watchtower

Location: Desert View Watchtower  

Hours: Desert View Watchtower is open to visitors from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily.

Cost: The shuttle itself is free, but it will cost you $35 USD per vehicle to enter Grand Canyon National Park. You can alternatively purchase an America the Beautiful annual National Park pass.

Best Time for Photos: Desert View Watchtower photographs beautifully any time of day. As with most Grand Canyon photo spots, sunrise and sunset are especially great times to visit for dramatic skies and fewer crowds.

Tips: Currently, only the ground level of the watchtower is open to visitors, but the views of the canyon from the viewpoint are spectacular.

Central Arizona

Continuing on with this list of the Top 15 Arizona photo spots, we’re now making our way into Central Arizona. Throughout Central Arizona you’ll find a number of tourist hotspots, including Phoenix and Scottsdale. Central Arizona is also known for being home to Sedona, which is recognized for its vibrant red rocks and spiritual properties.

Devil’s Bridge Sedona

The first Central Arizona location we’re featuring on this list is Devil’s Bridge in Sedona. Devil’s Bridge is one of the most iconic rock formations in both the town of Sedona and the entire state. We first featured Devil’s Bridge in our guide to the Top 10 Instagrammable Places in Sedona, Arizona, and we knew we had to include it on our list for the entire state as well! There is either a 2 or 4-mile (3.2 or 6.4 km) hike to this Arizona Instagram spot, depending on if your car has 4×4 ground clearance.

The hike is not too challenging though, and the effort is entirely worth it once you lay your eyes on this massive sandstone arch. Devil’s Bridge is a stunning photo location that you’ll be happy you made the time to visit during your trip to Arizona.

Sedona Instagrammable Spots

Location: Devil’s Bridge Sedona   

Hours: You can visit this Arizona photo spot at all hours of the day!

Cost: Devil’s Bridge is free to visit.

Best Time for Photos: Sunrise is the best time of day to visit Devil’s Bridge. Not only does the parking lot tend to fill up very quickly, but sunrise will also provide the best lighting conditions for capturing the true beauty of this landmark.

Tips: Don’t be surprised if you have to wait in line for a bit to take photos at Devil’s Bridge. Thankfully, visitors are generally very polite, so don’t be afraid to make friends with your fellow hikers!

Birthing Cave Sedona

Birthing Cave, also located in Sedona, is another Arizona photography spot that is incredibly well-known and a popular destination for both amateur and professional photographers. Sedona is full of unique caves and rock formations, and Birthing Cave is one of the easiest to visit, making it a hotspot for tourists.

The hike to Birthing Cave is only 2 miles (3.2 km) roundtrip, but there is a challenging final push just before you make it to the actual cave. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the red rocks that Sedona is so well-known for. We recommend venturing a few feet out onto the cave wall for the best photo opportunities.

Birthing Cave Hike in Sedona, Arizona

Location: Birthing Cave Sedona   

Hours: You can visit Birthing Cave 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Cost: One of the best parts about visiting Birthing Cave is that it’s entirely free.

Best Time for Photos: This is one Arizona Instagram spot that you’ll want to ensure to visit early in the morning or later in the day. Birthing Cave is an incredibly popular Sedona hike, so the parking lot tends to fill up very quickly.

Tips: Make sure to pack good hiking shoes and your wide-angle lens when you make the trip to Birthing Cave!

Old Town Scottsdale

For this next Arizona photo spot, we’re venturing over to Scottsdale, a suburb of the state capital of Phoenix. Scottsdale in general is a very photogenic town, and Old Town Scottsdale is one of our favorite areas for taking Instagram photos. We also featured Old Town Scottsdale on our guide to the 16 Most Instagrammable Places in Phoenix You Can’t Miss, which you can read right here.

Old Town Scottsdale is an incredibly charming area full of local shops and cafes. We recommend really taking your time to wander around and explore this area, as you’re certain to find some Instagram-worthy backdrops on virtually every corner.

The Mission Old Town Scottsdale

Location: Old Town Scottsdale  

Hours: You can explore Old Town Scottsdale any time of day.

Cost: Old Town Scottsdale is free to visit (unless, of course, you do some shopping)!

Best Time for Photos: The best time to visit Old Town Scottsdale is in the morning, right after sunrise. The whole area will be super quiet as most of the shops won’t be open yet.

Tips: This Arizona photography spot provides a lot of flexibility because there are so many photogenic nooks and crannies to be found. Have fun exploring!

Superstition Mountains

Despite the slightly ominous name, the Superstition Mountains are one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful Arizona photo spots. This mountain range of jagged rock formations is just a short drive from Phoenix, and you’ll be amazed at their natural beauty. One of the easiest ways to photograph the Superstition Mountains is by paying a visit to Lost Dutchman State Park. The park features a number of trails where you can photograph the mountains themselves as well as the surrounding desert. Make sure to photograph the cactus that can be found throughout the park as well!

Superstition Mountain Scottsdale

Location: Superstition Mountains  

Hours: The trails at Lost Dutchman State Park are open from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily.

Cost: From Monday to Thursday, it is $7 USD per vehicle to enter Lost Dutchman State Park. From Friday to Sunday, the fee is $10 USD per vehicle.

Best Time for Photos: Sunrise is the best time to visit this Arizona Instagram spot to capture beautiful photos of the sun peeking over the mountains.

Tips: If you do plan to visit the Superstition Mountains around sunrise, be prepared for rush hour traffic throughout Phoenix.

Southern Arizona

We’re wrapping up this guide to the best Arizona photo spots with a few locations in Southern Arizona. The atmosphere of the wild west is very evident throughout this region of Arizona, where you can find well-known towns such as Tucson and Tombstone. Of course, Southern Arizona is naturally beautiful as well, making it a great place to conclude your Arizona trip.

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park, located near Tucson, is home to the nation’s largest cacti, making it a super unique Arizona Instagram spot. These enormous saguaros tower throughout the park and are an incredible addition to your Instagram photos. While saguaros typically grow anywhere from 10 to 50 feet (3 to 15 m) tall, the tallest ever recorded was almost 80 feet (24 m) tall!

Sadly, it fell down in the 1980s, but there are still plenty of massive cacti to be found in Saguaro National Park. For a one-of-a-kind experience you can’t find anywhere else in Arizona, or the entire country, make sure to take the time to visit Saguaro National Park.

Arizona Photo Spots Saguaro National Park

Location: Saguaro National Park

Hours: The western portion of Saguaro National Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset, while the eastern portion of the park is open to vehicles from 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM in the summer, and 5:00 AM to 6:00 PM in the winter.

Cost: There is a $25 USD per vehicle entrance fee to Saguaro National Park which lasts for seven days and grants you access to both portions of the park. You can alternatively purchase an America the Beautiful annual National Park pass.

Best Time for Photos: We recommend visiting this Arizona photography spot around sunset for the best lighting and strikingly beautiful skies.

Tips: Saguaros are truly the definition of look but don’t touch! Although beautiful, they are covered in large spines that can easily puncture the skin. Take care as you explore the park.

San Xavier del Bac Mission

Coming up last on our list of the top Arizona photo spots is San Xavier del Bac Mission. This is a beautiful Spanish Catholic mission located a few miles outside of Tucson, on the Tohono O’odham Nation San Xavier Indian Reservation. San Xavier Mission was founded in 1692, and construction on the church itself began in 1783. The exterior of the church is a striking example of European architecture, while the inside boasts beautiful murals and intricate detailing throughout. San Xavier del Bac Mission has been a pillar of the community for centuries, and it’s incredible to see such a historic place for yourself.

Arizona Photo Spots San Xavier Mission

Location: San Xavier del Bac Mission

Hours: The church itself is open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM daily.

Cost: San Xavier del Mac Mission is free to visit.

Best Time for Photos: Morning or evenings are the best times to visit this Arizona Instagram spot.

Tips: The church does not have air conditioning and becomes quite hot during the warm summer months. Make sure to wear light, comfortable clothing and drink plenty of water throughout your visit.

Top 15 Arizona Photo Spots for Instagram

Arizona is an exceptionally beautiful state, full of natural landmarks and charming towns that are known throughout the world. Considering how beautiful the entire state is, it can feel overwhelming to know where the best photo spots are. We hope this guide to the Top 15 Arizona Photo Spots for Instagram is helpful as you plan your trip to Arizona.

Did we miss any of the top Instagrammable places in Arizona? Let us know in the comments!

Top 15 Arizona Instagram and Photo Spots
Top Instagram Spots in Arizona

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