Central Phoenix Valley

Venue at the Grove

Papago Park

Location: 625 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ

Photo Pass: No pass required

What to expect: Desert rock scenery, small ponds with palm trees and tall grass. Can get crowded on weekends, especially when the weather is nice. Requires moderate walks on flat trails.



DeSERT BOTANICAL GARDEN

Location: 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ

Photo Pass: No pass required, just the current cost of admission.

What to expect: Varietal plants, desert greenery, cool architecture and the occasional traveling art collection. Can get crowded on weekends, and it's important to check ahead for path closures due to events.



Historic Heritage Square

Location: 115 N 6th St, Phoenix, AZ

Photo Pass: No pass required

What to expect: The Rossen House Museum is a victorian-style home on grounds with blossoming trees and some green grass. The Science Center provides concrete backdrops and minimalistic stairs for a modern look (and some shade).



Venue at the Grove

Location: 7010 S 27th Ave, Phoenix, AZ

Photo Pass: $100 for two hours on the grounds

What to expect: Tall trees shade the entire grove, and the grounds crew keeps the grass green almost year round. Photo sessions on weekdays can occur in the early afternoon while staff is on site, or on weekend days when there is no other scheduled event.


East Phoenix Valley

Lost Dutchman State Park

LOST DUTCHMAN STATE PARK

Location: 6109 N Apache Trail, Apache Junction, AZ

Photo Pass: Pass approval required in advance, $50 photo permit fee plus $7 per vehicle entry

What to expect: Iconic towering rock formations, dirt trails and saguaros



AGritopia Farm

Location: 3000 E Ray Rd, Gilbert, AZ 

Photo Pass: A $65 photo pass is required and easily purchased on their website. This pass is for the regular access areas of the farm. The orchard is green, lush and available with special access on certain days (and these permits are extremely hard to secure!)

What to expect: Walking paths and a colorful community garden



MESA ARTS CENTER/DOWNTOWN

Location: 1 E Main St, Mesa, AZ

Photo Pass: No pass required, shoot on days with no events

What to expect: Modern architecture, stairs, murals, palm trees



san tan mountain regional park

Location: 6533 W Phillips Rd, Queen Creek, AZ

Photo Pass: No pass required

What to expect: The best part about San Tan is that crowds are minimal. Typical desert scenery.



Canyon lake

Location: AZ-88, Apache Junction, AZ

Photo Pass: $8 Tonto National Forest Pass

What to expect: Lake, towering rock formations, tall grass. Busy in the summer.



Saguaro Lake

Location: Fort McDowell, AZ 85264

Photo Pass: $8 Tonto National Forest Pass, can be purchased on site

What to expect: Lake, mountain range to the south, docks over the water. Busy in the summer.



Boyce thompson arboretum

Location: 37615 E Arboretum Way, Superior, AZ

Photo Pass: $15 entry fee per person

What to expect: Although it's pretty far from the Valley, this location is incredible year-round. Scenic walkways, bridge, tree canopies, varietal plants, greenhouse


West Phoenix Valley

Manistee Ranch Park - Glendale, Photo by Lauren Peachie

White Tank Mountain Regional Park

Location: 20304 W White Tank Mountain Rd, Waddell, AZ

Photo Pass: $7 per car to enter the park

What to expect: Perfect mountain backdrop for a sunset session — this is one of the closest views in the whole Valley. Lots of saguaros, short walk to locations.



Verrado Founders park

Location: 4013 N Park Street, Buckeye, AZ

Photo Pass: No pass required

What to expect: Small park area in the middle of a neighborhood, but usually not crowded. Small archway/stair structure and lots of green grass and trees.



Manistee Ranch Park

Location: 52nd Ave + Northern Ave, Glendale

Photo Pass: $25 per day paid ahead of time to the Glendale Historical Society

What to expect: Park with white fence, large midwestern-style ranch, citrus trees



Sahuaro ranch park

Location: 9802 59th Ave, Glendale, AZ

Photo Pass: $25 per day paid ahead of time to the Glendale Historical Society, check blackout dates

What to expect: Park with large lawn, palm trees, several historic buildings and small citrus tree grove


Sedona

Cathedral Rock

Location: 500 Back O Beyond Rd, Sedona, AZ

Photo Pass: $9 per car to park

What to expect: Small parking lot, 1.2 mile hike to the top that gets pretty steep. Extremely busy on weekends.



Crescent moon ranch

Location: 300 Red Rock Crossing Rd, Sedona, AZ

Photo Pass: $10 per car

What to expect: A short walk on the trail for the best views, some of Cathedral Rock.



Bell Rock

Location: Coconino National Forest, SR 179, Sedona, AZ

Photo Pass: $10 per car

What to expect: Small parking lot, busy on weekends. One mile hike, but not necessary for views. Steep if going all the way up the rock.



West fork Oak creek trail

Location: 1703 Shady Lane, Sedona, AZ

Photo Pass: $11 per car

What to expect: The hike is 6 miles total, but not necessary for beautiful views. The creek has sparse forest around it, but is beautiful all year round. Can get icy in the winter.



Mund's Wagon Trail

Location: 167 Schnebly Hill Rd, Sedona, AZ

Photo Pass: $5 Daily Red Rock Pass

What to expect: Great views of the red rocks, just a short walk from the parking lot.


Flagstaff

Aspen Corner, Snowbowl

Snowbowl

Location: 9300 N Snowbowl Rd, Flagstaff, AZ

Photo Pass: No pass required

What to expect: Aspen trees, mountain views and fields. Very busy and snow-covered in winter, and very green in the summer.



Buffalo park

Location: 2400 N Gemini Rd, Flagstaff, AZ

Photo Pass: No pass required

What to expect: Mountains surrounding expansive fields of wild grass with trees skirting the edges. Short walk from the parking lot and free parking.



Lockett meadow

Location: 5075 US-89 N, Flagstaff AZ

Photo Pass: $5 per car

What to expect: Tall grass surrounded by forest and mountain views. Drive in can get a bit rocky - bring a high clearance vehicle.