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).

WHITE TANK MOUNTAIN REGIONAL PARK

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

Photo Pass: $7 per car to enter the park, or park at the library and pay $3 per person inside for foot traffic only

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 walks to locations.

USERY MOUNTAIN REGIONAL PARK

Location: 3939 N Usery Pass Rd, Mesa, AZ 

Photo Pass: No pass required, $7 per car paid at the main entrance guard house

What to expect: Flat desert scenery with mountains in the background at select spots. Large saguaros easily accessible from trails. Easy to drive from spot to spot, park, and walk a short distance. These photos were taken around 10 a.m.

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. These photos were taken about 2 hours before sunset.

Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

Location: 2757 E Guadalupe Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234

Photo permit: No permit needed

Best green: all year round, small patch of saguaros near the parking lot, lots of water, tunnels of green trees, and room to find private areas

Sahuaro Ranch Park

Location: 9802 59th Ave, Glendale, AZ

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

Best green: year-round palm trees on large front lawn and small citrus groves, large midwestern style brick historical ranch with porch

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.

PHON D. SUTTON - MID MOUNTAIN PARKING LOT

Location: Mesa, AZ

Photo Pass: $8 Tonto National Forest Pass, acquired in advance (not sold nearby) 

What to expect: Dirt parking lot that gives access to a small, easy to access desert area with amazing “down the road” mountain views. These photos were taken on a completely overcast day.