Top 10 Photo Spots in Oregon

Oregon is quite the place to have an adventure, I should know, I’ve lived here my whole life. Lucky me, I guess….

Still, life here has gotten pretty busy lately. The pandemic has inspired so many people to get out and explore their communities. I think this is great, because the more people LOVE a place, the more people will fight to preserve its natural state. I’m not one for keeping what I know about my wonderful home a secret- the more we share the more we make these places accessible for ALL people (not just the hiking elite, zing).

Sharing knowledge is a privilege I intend to pass on. So, here it is:

Top 10 places to take a great instagram photo in Oregon

10. Haystack Rock- Cannon Beach

Not a Pendelton blanket, just a knockoff from Target.

The first location on my list, but it comes with a few requirements so listen up: first you’re going to need to hit up Monk’s for some chocolate whip cream lattes, then you’re going to need to wrap yourself in a Pendelton blanket and sway back and forth with your lover in front of the giant sea rock. Bonus points if he proposes while your photographer friend just happens to be romantically walking the beach with you. Bonus-BONUS points if you are also drinking a local craft brew from a can while building a bonfire. Celebrate afterwards on the roof of your van, perfecto!

9. Fort Rock State Park- Fort Rock

Living my best little life on the prairie

This one is a little remote but worth the drive every time. Nothing says epic like an ancient stone fortress and 25,000 acres of mobile home-steads. Wear a prairie dress- LIVE the cottage core aesthetic-become one with the picnic of your dreams. But don’t forget your chapstick, it’s as dry as a Laura Ashley doilie out there.

8.Shore Acres- Coos Bay

All for the Gram, every last bit of salt in my lens

This one should be higher on the list. I don’t know how waves the size of Moby Dick jumping straight out of the ocean at your face isn’t number one but that just shows you how incredible Oregon is. Try to go during King Tide, but make sure and wrap your gear in a trash bag and no matter how many children come to look at the waves, DO NOT move your tripod. Getting the shot is life, live it.

7.The Painted Hills- John Day

Pro Tip- match your background

One of Oregon’s 7 Wonders for a reason. Layers of volcanic ash combine to “paint” a lump of sand into art, sand art. It will remind you of summer camp, not just because it resembles a giant craft but because it’s a long bus ride to the middle of nowhere and there’s nothing good to eat and only one bathroom which is very overused. But hey- it’s a great trip to test out a new relationship or your patience, or both.

6. Bauman’s Farms- Gervais

This pumpkin was rotten, worth it

PSL season hits hard in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a magical time of year when the girls all dress like Hans Solo, shell out 6 bucks for orange foam colored drinks (that are made of pure hocus pocus essence, duh) and go to THE PUMPKIN PATCH. Oregon has more than a few famous patches so do your self a favor and just go to Buaman’s, they do it right. Not only can you drink their delicious happy juice (aka alcoholic cider) you can also browse three tents of Christmas decor separated by theme and color, pet goats, buy spider plants, and collect an ungodly amount of hay up your leggings on the corn slide. Oh, and you can also sit on a giant pumpkin- so do it!

5. Crystal Crane Hot Springs- Burns

Hey friend, is that minerals in your eyes or are you just happy to be an instagrammer in Oregon

No Oregon instagram is complete with out the prerequisite ‘I’m just casually-healing-my-childhood–trauma-in-a-boiling-tub-of-sulfur-in-the-desert-picture’. Ahhh, hot springs photos- they really take relaxing to another arched back, hair thrown back level. I’m not bitter….I just…miss having the springs all to myself, as a retreat from the hustle and bustle of keeping up. It’s too late to keep it a secret so why not just go to my favorite springs- Crystal Crane. At least we can keep our social distance in their massive dugout pond of heat.

4. Portland International Rose Test Garden- Portland

Super pro tip- match your tattoos to the scenery, especially in Portland

Ok this one should come with smell-o-vision. It’s worth the 2 hours of traffic and the possible window smash just to see Mt. Hood over the city, framed in roses; that is if the smog has lifted for the day. If you look close enough you can see the dumpster fires off burnside, so lovely.

3. Smith Rock State Park – Terrebonne

Over there, that’s where the clout is

Once again, giant rocks for the win. People just love giant rocks, especially at sunset. This is a great place to pretend to get married. Don’t worry, you won’t be the only one in an oversized white dress chucking a bouquet into the river here. Just ask the locals when you pay them 10 bucks to park on their lawn because the parking lot is full, so full.

2. Proxy Falls- Mckenzie Pass

I swear I’m the ONLY one enjoying this waterfall at this time

Have you ever wanted to sit at the base of a waterfall in an electric green forest, surrounded by magical mushrooms and impossibly cute ferns? Have you ever wanted to wait in line to do it? Well then you could visit the Enchanted Forest or Proxy Falls. One is a theme park with yummy hot dogs and the other is a waterfall that takes a day to drive to, either way you get to ride a log.

1. Green Lakes Trail- Bend

Don’t try to recreate this photo, it was taken a long time ago when the trail was free and snow still existed.

And now the moment you’ve been waiting for- the number one spot to take a drool worthy Instagram in Oregon- Green Lakes Trail! With the newly imposed wilderness permit limiting access to this iconic trailhead- you’ll not only have to plan ahead but shell out bucku bucks to fight for a slot like it’s a covid vaccine appointment. Nothing says cool like unavailability- just ask my ex, ope sorry he’s MIA.

I hope you enjoyed this list of great places to take a photo in Oregon. All jokes aside, it’s never a bad idea to get out and enjoy this great state. Just be kind to the land, it’s not yours and deserves to be around for generations to come. Now go Wild!

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