Best Oregon Photography Locations

Oregon is a photographer’s paradise, with its stunning natural beauty and diverse landscapes. We’ve teamed up with fellow photographers to create this list of Oregon photography locations.

Add landscape photography to your list of Oregon vacation ideas. You’ll capture stunning images of impressive volcanic peaks, lush rainforests, pristine coastline, and picturesque waterfalls.

Oregon photo spots

Whether you’re looking for dramatic mountain peaks or cascading waterfalls, Oregon has something for every photographer.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best photography locations in Oregon that are sure to inspire your next masterpiece!

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Camera Gear for Landscape Photography

  • Tripod: take a look at these compact and lightweight travel tripods!
  • Camera Bag: protect your camera from sand and water → We use Lowepro camera backpacks for outdoor photography.
  • Neutral density filter: to compensate for variance of light you’ll need to use a neutral density filter. → Check out the Kase magnetic filters we use!
  • Camera cleaning kit: remove dust or water that WILL get on your lens. NOTE: this is not for cleaning the sensor.  
  • Memory cards: purchase name brand memory cards since you’re trusting your images to the card! → We use Lexar and Sandisk!
  • External hard drive: copy photos to a portable external hard drive ‘just in case’. 
  • Headlamp: use when taking sunrise and sunset photos!

Camera Gear at B&H Photo

camera accessories

Awesome Locations for Oregon Photography

Use the interactive map below to find each Oregon photo spot listed here:


  • Multnomah Falls
  • Latourell Falls


  • Woodburn
  • Tillamook State Forest


  • Crater Lake National Park
  • Newberry Volcanic National Monument


  • Cape Mearas
  • Cannon Beach
  • Oceanside
  • Thor’s Well
  • Florence
  • Coos Bay
  • Coos Bay King Tides
  • Bandon
  • Brookings
  • Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor

Map of Oregon Photo Spots

Click to access the Oregon Photo Spots MAP to see where all the locations are around the state!

map of Oregon photo spots

Photographing Oregon: Best Photo Locations

From rugged coastlines and snow-capped mountains to cascading waterfalls and towering forests, there are plenty of amazing photo spots in this beautiful state.

We’ve teamed up with our photography friends to create this list of favorite Oregon Photo Spots!

Multnomah Falls
Multnomah Falls by Ghe Buhay

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls is the highlight of the Columbia River Gorge, a popular tourist attraction, and rightfully so. The entire falls are best seen anytime of the year and each season creates a whole different mood to it.

Definitely hike up to the bridge to get a closer view of the falls. But from a photographer’s perspective, Multnomah Falls is best viewed and photographed in its entirety from below.

Ghe Buhay Photographer tip: Arrive early or late for the best light and less crowds. Otherwise, try to photograph Multnomah Falls from the sides, and at a lower vantage for a different perspective.

Loutrell Falls
Latourell Falls by Ghe Buhay

Latourell Falls

One of the easily accessible falls on the Columbia River Gorge, the trail to Latourell Falls is a short hike from the main highway.

Latourell Falls is a wondrous waterfall to photograph, but it’s usually shadowed in grandeur by the famous Multnumah Falls. You can feel the mist of the falling water as you walk to the edge of the trail.

Ghe Buhay Photographer Tip: carry a microfiber cleaning cloth for camera lenses to wipe the mist that accumulates on the lens as you take photos.

Woodburn tulip farm
Woodburn tulips by Ghe Buhay

Woodburn Tulip Farm

On your Oregon road trip, be sure to visit the town of Woodburn near Salem, Oregon. You’ll find the Woodburn Tulip Farm in this small town south of Portland. 

During the spring the town holds the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival. You’ll see tulips in every color that form a wonderful rainbow of flowers in an endless looking field. 

In addition to photographing the tulips Woodburn, if you’re lucky, you’ll also be able to see and photograph the snowcapped Mt. Hood in the distance. 

Ghe Buhay Photographer Tip: Don’t be afraid to get a bit dirty to capture a photo of the tulip rows from a low vantage point.

Tillamook State Forest
Tillamook State Forest waterfall by Denise Thomason

Tillamook State Forest

From Portland, you drive through the forest to get to Tillamook, and the forest extends pretty much to the ocean. 

The mountains of Tillamook Forest are beautiful, but the waterfalls get most of the attention. Photographers love to take pictures of the waterfalls in Oregon with the cascading water amidst the lush greenery around it.

Denise Thomason Photographer Tip: Use a tripod to photograph waterfalls with the long exposure technique. Check out the travel tripods we recommend!

Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park by Just Go Travel Studios

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake is without a doubt one of the most spectacular sights in southern Oregon and a photographer’s dream. The lake is best known for its intense blue color, a product of its depth and clarity.

When visiting Oregon in summer, the Crater Lake 33-mile Rim Drive is open, numerous viewpoints along the caldera’s edge provide endless photographic opportunities.

Favorite focal points include Wizard Island and Phantom Ship, and both can be viewed from pullouts along the rim. However, we highly recommend hiking the Watchman Peak and Sun Notch Trails for some of the best views of the lake.

Better yet, hike down the Cleetwood Cove Trail to the lake’s edge and take a shuttle boat out to  Wizard Island , where you can take in views from the top of a volcanic cinder cone!

Just Go Travel Studios Photography Tip: Early morning is generally the best time for photography if you are hoping to catch reflections of overhead clouds on the still Crater Lake.

Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park by Photo Jeepers

Sometimes, the weather doesn’t cooperate to capture the stunning blue color that Crater Lake is known for. The views are still fantastic, and cloudy conditions can create a photograph with a bit of mood to it!

Newberry Volcanic National Monument
Newberry Volcanic National Monument by Just Go Travel Studios

Newberry Volcanic National Monument

Located just south of Bend, Oregon, little-known Newberry Volcanic National Monument offers a stunning assortment of landscapes including lava flows, a cave, mountain peaks, lakes and waterfalls!

There are two main areas to Newberry Volcanic National Monument: 1) the Lava Butte and Lava River Cave area and 2) the Paulina Lake area which includes Paulina Peak, Paulina Falls and the Big Obsidian Flow. 

Paulina Peak was one of our favorite photo stops and can be accessed by road in summer months but be prepared for a rough ride with steep grades and hairpin turns towards the top! If you can handle that, you’ll be treated to some amazing views from the highest point within the monument! 

The Big Obsidian Flow is unlike any other hike we’ve experienced—we suggest closed-toe shoes for this one! Follow the interpretive trail through the 700-acre flow including pumice and shiny, black obsidian. And don’t miss Paulina Falls where twin waterfalls spill over the lowest point of the Newberry caldera. 

Just Go Travel Studios Photography Tip: Views from Paulina Peak are best on a clear day when you can see the snowcapped peaks of Washington, including Mount Adams!

Cape Mearas Lighthouse
Cape Mears Lighthouse by Denise Thomason

Cape Meares

Where the Tillamook State Forest meets the sea, you will find Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint. Since you’re in a mountain range, you’ll notice that Cape Meares sits high above the ocean and offers breathtaking views of the coastline and large, green rock formations just off the coast. 

High on a cliff lies the Cape Mearas Lighthouse. The lighthouse itself is small compared to most you see, but its position is high enough to suit its purpose. The late afternoon sun hitting the red reflector inside was spectacular. 

Denise Thompson Photographer Tip: With the forest and ocean side by side, keep your eyes open for the many photographic opportunities in one area.

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon
Haystack Rock by Denise Thomason

Haystack Rock

Cannon Beach is famous for the large rock formation just off the coast that resembles an old-world style haystack – known as Haystack Rock. The rock towers 235 feet into the air at the ocean’s edge and is the subject for nearly every visitor’s camera.

It is illegal tp fly a drone near Haystack Rock without permission, so don’t do it. Haystack Rock is a sensitive nature area, and drones may not be flown anywhere near the rock.

Denise Thompson Photographer Tip: As the sun sets, take advantage of the light or weather effects that can produce interesting effects around the base of the rocks.

Sunset in Oceanside Oregon
Sunset in Oceanside by Denise Thomason

There are several seaside towns along the Oregon coast. The beach in Oceanside sits in an alcove amongst the cliffs and trees.

At low tide, you can go in and explore some of the caves carved out by the surf. The beach is beautiful, especially at sunset. If you time it right, you can capture the yellow orb as it dips down between two peaks of a rock.

Denise Thompson Photographer Tip: Sunset photography is worth the wait and effort when you find a scene and subject to catch the viewer’s attention.

Thor's Well
Thor’s Well by Ghe Buhay

Thor’s Well

Finding Thor’s Well is really hard to locate via GPS. It’s in the town of Yachats, on the Oregon Coast near Cape Perpetua. Thor’s Well is a sinkhole that swallows streams of seawater around it. The location can be very dangerous when the waves crash alongside making it easy to slip and fall. 

It’s a truly wonderful sight to see the power of the ocean and the interesting hole it has carved that ended up being known as Thor’s Well.

Ghe Buhay Photographer Tip: Check the tide schedule. The site is most spectacular at high tide, or during storms when water washes violently over the rocks and funnels into the hole. The best time to visit Thor’s Well is one hour before the high tide to see it without water and then observe how the formation fills up.

Haceta Head Lighthouse
Haceta Head Lighthouse by Daphne Brislin


Along the central Oregon coast, at the northern tip of the Sand Dunes park, you’ll find Florence. Photographers enjoy capturing the various types of landscapes in the area. And if you don’t mind a bit of hiking, the trails here are not too crowded.

Haceta Head Lighthouse Trail to Hobbit Beach is a must-do Oregon photography spot. The half-mile trail to the lighthouse begins in the parking area and passes the lightkeeper’s house on its way up to the lighthouse and viewpoint.

Daphne Brislin Photographer Tip: The sea lion caves is also a cool place to take photos with the sea life in the area. 

Sea Lion at Cape Arago State Park in Oregon
Sea Lion at Cape Arago by Photo Jeepers

Coos Bay

From the downtown corridor to Cape Arago State Park, the Coos Bay area offers easy access for the photographic journey. There are awesome places like Sunset Bay State Park that offer several coastal trails to hidden beaches. The forest trails hide World War II bunkers and panoramic views of the rocky coastline below.

We enjoyed photographing the waves crashing on the rocks at Shore Acres State Park. It’s also well known for the formal garden here with plants and flowers from all over the world. You’ll see a Japanese-style garden with lily pond and two carefully curated rose gardens

We loved our time watching and photographing the sea lions at Cape Arago State Park. Be sure to stop at Simpson Reef Vista Point for a panoramic view of the sea lions on the rocks. The rocks are usually filled with barking sea lions and seals. In the winter, this point is also a great whale viewing area as they migrate past.

At the end of the Cape Arago Hwy, park in one of the first spots as you enter the lot. If you’re facing the ocean, there’s a trail to the right that will take you down the hill a bit to get a closer view of the sea lions and seals on the rocks you saw from Simpson Reef.

We usually see a few on the rocks below that like to enjoy some time away from the masses.

Oregon King Tides
Oregon King Tides by Daphne Brislin

Coos Bay King Tides

The king tides occur in Oregon in winter when the Earth, Moon and Sun are aligned at perigee and perihelion, resulting in the largest tidal range seen over the course of a year.

Along the Oregon coast this can occur during the winter months, and typically January and February are the most active months to plan your waves watching experience.

There are many places you can watch these massive waves, but avoid any low lying coastal places due to sneaker waves that usually accompany these tides. Several deaths occur when people are too close or on the rocky ledges against warnings.

One such place that seems to be a photographer’s favorite is Shore Acres State Park. Just outside of Coos Bay, Oregon the rocky cliffs and great vantage points at this location are perfect to capture the waves as they hit.

If you want to aoivd the crowds, hit the trails just south of Sunset Beach. If you park in the pullout marked lighthouse, you can walk either direction on the coastal trail and find a less crowded view of the waves. Sunset Bay is just up the road from Shore Acres and one of the trails will actually connect you to the state park.

Daphne Brislin Photographer Tip: If you travel with furry companions be aware that they are not allowed in Shore Acres so trail dogs will only be able to go to the border line.

Coquille River Lighthouse
Coquille Lighthouse by Photo Jeepers


The area near Bandon down to Port Orford is full of photographic opportunities like scenic beaches, whales near the shore, and lighthouses. The Coquille River Lighthouse is a draw for many visitors and photographers.

As you walk around the lighthouse you’ll find a variety of different ways to photograph this lighthouse using various composition techniques!

Face Rock State Beach
Face Rock State Beach by Photo Jeepers

But just as impressive are the subjects along the beach near Face Rock State Park. You’ll find the popular Face Rock and Merlin’s Hat. There’s also Blacklock Point, tide pools and the iconic labyrinths. 

Arch Rock at Samuel H. Boardman State Park
Arch Rock by Photo Jeepers

Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor

The Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor runs 12 miles along the coast between Gold Beach and Brookings. It’s best to drive it north to south so all the scenic viewpoints are on the right, making it easier to access. Photographers from around the world come to this area to capture “the shot” of famous places like Natural Bridges and Arch Rock.

Arch Rock can be seen by taking a short path from the parking lot to the overlook. The view features a series of sea stacks, islands, and Arch Rock.

Natural Bridges Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Drive
Natural Bridges by Photo Jeepers

To reach Natural Bridge, follow a short trail to one of the best viewpoints in the park — the seven iconic arch rocks and blowholes known as Natural Bridges. Don’t climb on natural bridges, sea stacks and other rock formations, as these are extremely dangerous.

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in California
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park by Photo Jeepers


You’ll find river boat tours, fantastic beaches and Oregon redwoods near Brookings, Oregon. If you enjoy hiking, the Oregon Redwoods Trail is the best way to appreciate the tall trees in the area.

Just over the border in California is the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. We highly recommend this park to see redwoods as well! It’s open year-round from sunrise to sunset.

Harris Beach State Park at sunset
Sunset at Harris Beach State Park by Photo Jeepers

We found the sea stacks, rock formations, and tide pools at Harris Beach State Park amazing to photograph, especially at sunset! Be sure to note the day use visiting hours for the parking lot closest to the trail to the beach. Luckily, the park attendant closing up that night was nice enough to wait for us to get back to our vehicle after taking sunset photos so we could exit the parking lot before he locked it up!

Find Oregon Travel Guides at Amazon:

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Oregon Bucket List

To help make your trip planning easier, we’ve compiled this comprehensive list of must-do activities that belong on every Oregon Bucket List: things to see, do and taste all around the state! Grab the free download by clicking the graphic below!

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Oregon photography locations

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