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Iconic & Inexpensive Photography Locations in Northwest and Coastal Oregon

I've been compiling some of my favorite and/or dream photography locations in Oregon. Some of these have parking costs, or require walking or hiking in. Others are drive-up locations that don't require as much trekking. Almost all have free/public parking, but you should confirm that the location is open, accessible, and appropriate to your vision. Some of these areas, especially in the Gorge, are still affected by the wildfires in the previous years, and some may be closed due weather/road closures, especially in winter and spring.

Some state parks require permits to have a wedding or a photography session, with limits on the number of attendees in specific locations. If you have questions about a location, or aren't sure how to start planning an adventure, feel free to reach out:

Beaverton Area:

  • Jenkins Estate & Gardens (personal favorite)

  • Rood Bridge Park

  • Fanno Creek Trail (willow trees)

  • Cooper Mountain Nature Park (no dogs allowed)

  • Summerlake City Park (dogs allowed)

  • Tualatin Hills Nature Park

  • Amberglen Park (dogs allowed, gorgeous fountains, in a busier area)

Portland Parks:

Portland Cityscapes & Bridges:

  • Eastbank Esplanade near OMSI

  • Broadway Bridge

  • Hawthorne Bridge

  • Cathedral Park

Columbia Gorge Area:

  • Latourell Falls

  • Bridal Veil Falls (personal favorite)

  • Dalton Point

  • Government Cove Peninsula

  • Starvation Creek Falls

  • Hood River & Columbia River

Non-Coast Destinations around Portland:

  • Silver Falls State Park (personal favorite - the North Falls are a quick hike, super accessible from the parking lot, and gorgeous. You can even get in the water with how close the falls are)

  • Upper Kalama Falls (private, gorgeous waterfall with actual water access)

  • Cowlitz Valley Wildlife League (sunsets are stunning, epic views of Mt. Saint Helen)

  • Moulton Falls Regional Park (as close as you can get to feeling like you're in Rivendell from LOTR, very close walk from the parking lot to several scenic spots with bridges, make it a double header with Lucia Falls Regional Park within 5 minute drive)

  • Chehalem Ridge Nature Park (woodsy, trails)

  • Henry Hagg Lake (super blue lake not too far from the city, great for water-themed sessions)

  • Adelman Peony Gardens (available May/June with beautiful blooms)

  • Oregon Garden (Silverton, close to Silver Falls State Park, manicured gardens, requires photography membership, which No Rules Photography has!)

  • Lost Lake (jaw-dropping views of Mt. Hood)

  • Salmon River Slab (Rhododendron, OR) for gorgeous, calm river views

  • Trillium Lake (Mt. Hood) has jaw-dropping views of Mt. Hood

  • Crater Lake Caldera (farther drive, but absolutely incredible views of the crystal blue lake)

Farther Coast Destinations:

  • Seaside Beach (bonus: Seaside Aquarium is close by for a date with the seals before or after!)

  • Cannon Beach - *THE* haystack rock, incredible for both sunrise and sunset

  • George Rogers Park

  • Cape Kiwanda – beach with haystack rocks

  • Bob Straub State Park – grasses, white beach with mountains in the background

  • Winema Road Beach – big beach rocks

  • Neskowin Beach State Recreation Site – beach with haystack rocks

  • Cascade Head Lower Viewpoint – views of peninsulas and cliffs with beach and coast skyline

  • Clay Myers State Natural Area at Whalen Island – peninsula with grasses and beach on both sides

  • Heceta Head Lighthouse – beach, haystack, lighthouse

  • Hobbit Beach

  • Siuslaw National Forest – viewpoint of Hobbit Beach on overview in forest

  • Cape Perpetua Overlook - overlook with forest and beach feels

  • Arch Cape

  • Indian Beach

  • Neskowin Ghost Forest – creepy logs on a beach with haystack rock

  • Whaleshead Beach/Whaleshead Viewpoint

  • Lincoln City (multiple locations - Hike to The Thumb for views of the city and ocean, Roads End Recreation Site for large rocks on the beach, Siletz Bay Park for river meeting the ocean, Taft Waterfront Park for lots of driftwood and long white beaches)

  • Astoria - Warrington (Peter Iredale Wreck Site has sweeping beach views)

  • Shore Acres State Park - gorgeous cliffs and rocks with a short hike, absolutely epic views

  • Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor – cliffs and rocks on the ocean overlooks (Brookings)


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