This is for all you waterfall-chasing, sunrise hiking, not-worried-about-getting-dirty adventure lovers. Who wouldn’t want their engagement photos under a cascading waterfall, or with Mt.Hood in the background? Oregonians are spoiled, but in a good way. We have some of the most beautiful landscape in the U.S. I will admit I am definitely biased, but Oregon is pretty rad. You can drive 30 minutes outside of town and find yourself hiking on a wildflower-covered mountainside, immersed in a foggy national forest, or climbing boulders on the river’s edge. Sure, some places you need a few extra hours in the car, or a few extra hours in your hiking boots, but these locations are worth it. Plus, as a photographer myself, you absolutely love having an epic backdrop to photograph your couples running around and laughing.
1. Sahalie Falls
With a short hike from the parking lot, this waterfall is one of the best locations for an epic view with little effort to get to.
2. Painted Hills
I mean, the photo speaks for itself. One of the 7 wonders of Oregon, the Painted Hills is a beautiful place to spend the afternoon (or morning, for you sunrise junkies) running around vibrant orange, red, and gold mountains.
3. Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area
If you’re looking for some gorgeous orange tones for your photos, then Cape Kiwanda is the perfect place. Just imagine you and your lover, barefoot, running around the orange cliffs as the sun goes down.
4. Smith Rock State Park
Any desert-loving, rock climbing couples out there need to visit Smith Rock State Park. Like right now. Even if you aren’t a rock climber, hiking the trails, exploring the insane rock formations, and walking along the river is a beautiful backdrop for photos. You can even camp at Smith Rock if you’re wanting to stay for a few days.
5. Sparks Lake
Every photographer has had a dream about this place one night or another: beautiful mountains rising above a crystal clear lake. It’s majestic. Epic. Stunning. Enough said.
6. Alvord Desert
I’m (obviously) a sucker for mountains. And this place will not disappoint. One of my pet peeves is photographing a couple in a crowded or overgrown location, or shooting in a bare location like a field. Either the couple doesn’t have enough room or they have too much and the pictures become flat. And then there’s the Alvord Desert- A beautiful cracked desert floor, with the snow-capped Steens Mountain in the background. Your couple has enough room to run around and make out, with an amazing backdrop bringing a certain level of epic-ness to your photos.
7. Samuel H. Boardman State Park
This place doesn’t even feel like the Oregon coast. Tramp along the edges of the cliffs, the waves crashing beneath you. This place is known for incredible sunsets.
8. Rowena Crest
Rowena Crest has one of the most jaw-dropping views of the Columbia River Gorge. It’s also filled with wildflowers, so if you weren’t already sold with the view, now you also get wildflowers. Win-Win.
9. Owyhee Canyonlands
Red rocks and a wild desert river. This place might be too beautiful to only go for a few hours, you may need to bring a sleeping bag and a tent!
10. Crater Lake National Park
Of course we have to include the only National Park in Oregon: Crater Lake. No lie, though, Crater Lake makes for probably one of the most epic backdrops ever.
11. Opal Creek Wilderness
If you are looking for some rad turquoise tones, look no further than Opal Creek Wilderness. Spend your day running through the forest, hopping over boulders and jumping into the mouthwash-colored water.
12. Wallowa Mountains
Yes, it’s another mountain backdrop. This is definitely for the hardcore adventurers out there, as the Wallowas are pretty rugged. But, you can also take the Wallowa Lake Tramway up to the summit of Mt.Howard. Also, make sure to take your couple to explore the 10-mile long Hells Canyon. Fun Fact: It’s deeper than the Grand Canyon! Pretty freakin’ epic.