Best places to photograph Sedona

Best places to photograph Sedona

Best places to photograph Sedona

When you are visiting Sedona, it doesn’t take too much to see a spectacular view while you are driving around, taking a hike or just exploring around the stunning landscape. It’s easy to get inspired immediately with the surroundings wherever you are around the city or outdoors. But if you are looking for some of the most inspiring views to capture, take a look at some of these locations that will get you the best opportunities to photograph around Sedona.

Where to take the best photographs around Sedona



Airport overlook Best places to photograph Sedona

Airport overlook area

It’s interesting that the bluff where the airport is located in really in the central part of Sedona and commands impressive views to many of the stunning mountains, bluffs and outcrops around Sedona. It’s easy enough to follow the signs to the airport and go directly to the parking lot with the vista point. Further downhill is a smaller parking lot with a short hike for you to capture some extra spots of landscapes surrounding the city.



A first impression of the Red Rocks of Sedona from Hwy 179

Red Rock ranger station and visitors center

One of the most scenic drives entering the Sedona area and scenic landscapes is taking Highway 179 from the Highway 17 junction all the way to downtown Sedona. Make sure that you stop and visit the Red Rock ranger station (One mile south of Oak Creek Village) for the magnificent views of the Sedona landmarks from the outdoor patio overlook. This first impression of Sedona gives you a wonderful view of the valley and many of the popular monuments/mountain ranges.

Tip – visit the information desk and ask for tips on other popular hiking trails, places to eat and personal photo opportunities in the area



Bell Rock overlook Best places to photograph Sedona


Bell Rock – Parking lot and trails

Past the village of Oak Creek on Highway 179 is a parking lot to the Bell Rock pathway and vista point. There are a few scenic trails that you can take around this area with stunning views of Bell Rock, the Courthouse Butte and other outcrops in this area.

Tip – go to the hiking trail signs to check out the popular hikes in the area or you can just drive down to the end of the parking lot to get some magnificent views of Bell Rock and the surrounding buttes and mountains in the immediate area.




Hiking around Oak Creek and Cathedral rock, Sedona

Cathedral Rock at OakCreek river – Back O’Beyond Road

The end of Back O’Beyond road is the parking lot with trails heading out around Cathedral rock and the river areas surrounding Oak Creek. For better images with Oak Creek in the foreground, you need to go across the other side from Red Rock State park or a private entrance down Chavez Ranch road. The views looking up to Cathedral rock are spectacular from this vantage point.


Fall colors at Oak Creek and Cathedral rock Sedona Arizona


If you hike back to the creek from the parking lot, once you cross the fenced area, head left to get to the flat boulder areas which offer a different perspective to photograph the Cathedral rocks. Then you can walk along the river bank towards the rocks and loop back to the parking lot for some nice meadow views and a different vantage point of the Cathedral Rocks.






Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona Arizona

The Chapel of the Holy Cross

If your looking for spiritual fulfillment along with spectacular views then visiting the Chapel of the Holy Cross fulfills both objectives. Set directly into the solid red Sedona rocks, the chapel location commands magnificent views of the surrounding area and nearby Mystic Hills. The Chapel surroundings is also one of the famous 4 vortex in Sedona that is full of energy fields, so maybe you will feel and see somethings special at the same time that you visit.

Tip – parking is difficult mid day and in the upper parking areas so find something on the bottom and walk up to the chapel or visit early or later in the evening before closing time.


Looking out to the Mystic Hills

Exterior views at the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona Arizona




The trail up to Cathedral rock and vortex viewpoint

Taking the trail hikes to the overlook at Cathedral rock gives you a scenic viewpoint down to the Sedona valley and other surrounding rocks in the nearby area. This is an all uphill trek and a little challenging at some points, but the views from the top are quite spectacular.

Tip – try to get to the top later in the afternoon when you can get the beautiful golden light and sunset views of the valley.

Hiking around the back of Cathedral rock, Sedona

Hiking up to the scenic overlook at Cathedral Rock


Visiting Sedona landscapes and attractions

Scenic outlook from Cathedral Rock




Drive around Red Rock  loop road and Red Rock State Park

South of Sedona city limits is the Red Rock loop road that you can approach from the lower to upper loop or the other way around. There are several shoulder turnouts and stops that you can make for impressive views to Cathedral rock and surrounding mountains and rocks. Also you can drive into Red Rock State Park to capture views with Oak Creek fronting Cathedral rock which is an iconic image to capture of Sedona’s impressive monument.


Driving the Red Rock loop drive and views of landscape at Sedona

Scenic overlook from the Red Rock lower loop drive


Driving the Red Rock loop drive and views of landscape at Sedona


Uptown Sedona – shops at Hyatt Pinon

At the Hyatt Pinon, go to the outdoor patio seating areas with gorgeous views of the popular Snoopy Rock and Merry Go Round Rock along with the mountain wilderness in the background. This elevated patio area gives unobstructed views of the upper town along with these wonderful landscapes that you can photograph easily and with plenty of parking available.

Tip – if you are hungry there’s a few really nice cafes and restaurants in this luxury Hyatt property.


Hyatt Pinon Uptown Sedona Best places to photograph Sedona

Perfect views to Snoopy Rock


Hyatt Pinon Uptown Sedona Best places to photograph Sedona

Panoramic views from the Hyatt Pinon, Uptown Sedona


You can visit most of these sites in a long day around Sedona, but I would recommend taking your time to get to these spots and find the just the right spots to capture. It’s also nice to be able to take a moment to also enjoy the wonderful views and being present at all these places.   Thanks for visiting and I hope that this inspires to visit many of these wonderful scenic spots in Sedona.


If you enjoyed this post on Sedona, check out my other posts below on Sedona and Arizona travel

Visiting Sedona landscapes and attractions

A road trip through the Apache Trail

A weekend getaway to Phoenix, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park and Unesco heritage site

Grand Canyon morning tour

Cathedral Rock Best places to photograph Sedona

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10 Responses to Best places to photograph Sedona

  1. Elaine J Masters November 2, 2016 at 5:24 am #

    So helpful. Too long since I was there but knowing where to point and shoot helps. It’s all magnificent!

  2. Megan Jerrard October 30, 2016 at 12:06 pm #

    We loved Sedona 🙂 We were living in Arizona for a year and this was our favorite day trip. The Chapel of the Holy Cross was my favorite location to take photos from 🙂

  3. Sophie October 30, 2016 at 9:18 am #

    The view from Red Rock ranger station and visitors center looks amazing. I am always fond of locations in the desert and Sedona looks stunning.

  4. RaW | Ramble and Wander October 30, 2016 at 3:18 am #

    Thanks for introducing Sedona to me! I’ve never heard of the place before today and I actually had to Google for its location when I first read this post. Such amazing landscapes! Your tips surely would come in handy for those visiting! I love how the chapel is designed and built, by the way, to blend in and stand out at the same time.

  5. Bryanna October 29, 2016 at 6:13 pm #

    This is perfect timing! We will be heading to the Sedona area for 3 weeks on Tuesday! Amazing pictures and suggestions on the best places to go! I can’t wait to get out explore all of these locations and hopefully catch some great pictures like you did!

  6. Brianna Simmons October 29, 2016 at 4:31 pm #

    Stunning photos as usual Noel, will definitely use your tips when I make it out to Sedona!

  7. Karlaroundtheworld October 29, 2016 at 3:39 pm #

    THis is still definitely on my bucket list 🙂 My parents went unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go. Next time! 🙂

  8. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie October 29, 2016 at 12:07 pm #

    That view from the Cathedral Rock scenic overlook is spectacular! Your photos really capture the iconic vision of the American Southwest. I was in Utah earlier this year but didn’t have time to head south to Sedona. I’d love to explore some of the area’s hiking trails. Added bonus to have a Hyatt! I could redeem hotel points for a luxurious stay!

  9. Jenn and Ed Coleman October 29, 2016 at 11:13 am #

    A very comprehensive list of photo ops in Sedona. Red Rock country is so beautiful and photogenic. Your guide will serve people well when they visit.

  10. Kallsy October 29, 2016 at 10:17 am #

    Truly obsessed with your photography here. My husband and I have always wanted to visit Sedona for the undeniable beauty that is so evident in your photos. You sure had some beautiful clear skies! My personal favorite was the scenic outlook from Cathedral Rock. It’s almost moody and dark but it has such depth and mystery to it. Thank you for the helpful tips in order to find where you took such impressive pictures!

I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add

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