January 23, 2019

Best Instagram Spots in Sedona

One of my favorite places to drive to and explore is Sedona, Arizona. It's truly breathtaking all year long. For these photos, I shot during the summer months. If you plan your day packed full of hikes and quick changes, you can hit all of these places in one day, or spread it out over your vacation. Fellow photographer and adventurer Nash Hagen was in Arizona, so we met up in Sedona for a day. We hit all the best spots for fire photos. Some spots are easier to get to then others; some involve intensive hiking and some involve buying a reservation. I definitely recommend bringing sneakers for the hikes. I always wear commuters (Nike sneakers) until I'm at a photo location. Here is a list of some of the top photo ops in Sedona! 

Bell Rock Trail

Bell Rock is not only a nice hike, but it also allows you to pick your level of beginner, intermediate, or expert hiker, depending on where you choose to walk and climb. I love taking the scenic easy trail, because it's gentle for my knees (which still bother me from 7 years of competitive soccer) and great for photos! The parking lot costs $5 (unless on special days when it's free) and does tend to fill up with tourists and locals, so I recommend going on a weekday morning. The trail does not provide much shade, so be careful on sunny hot days to pack lots of water and wear sunscreen. 

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Reflection Pools

The Reflection Pools with Cathedral Rock in the background are a photographer favorite. The pools are often posted to Instagram Arizona accounts. The location is not only known for its beauty, but also it's supposedly a great place to meditate and feel the vortex of energy. Pretty cool, right? It is a bit of a hike, although not steep. Nash and I parked along the side of the road, so parking was free. We took back roads to get as close as possible to the pools. 

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Cathedral Rock

Like Bell Rock, parking does cost about $5. It's well worth it! There are two hikes: one is easy and one is difficult (at least for me - Nash was fine. lol) We basically hiked straight up the steep cliff. Luckily, my hiking buddy was willing to carry his things and mine, so we both made it to the top. It is dangerous at certain points, but so incredibly beautiful and picture-perfect. We got caught in a rainstorm for a little bit, so we ducked into a little rock alcove. It was lovely, but always check the weather for your safety. Landslides, flash floods, and lightening strikes are real, and monsoon season can be unpredictable! Even though it was the most difficult hike on the list, it was one of the most rewarding.

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Pink Jeep Tours

Last but not least are the Pink Jeep Tours. Many Instagram "influencers" have made the jeeps a staple photo op. The jeeps are such a fun bright color which made for great photos! Heads up, it's like the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland but 100 times more bumpy. It's a total off-roading adventure! The tour guide was filled with knowledge and jokes. He was an awesome guide! My family had won two tickets in a raffle for a tour, so Nash and I enjoyed the tour for free. But we both agreed that we would not want to pay $100+ per person to do it. If money isn't a concern and you have your heart set on it, go for it! Since it was only Nash and me, we were paired with another family in our jeep. They were super sweet, so it worked out great.

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Some photo spots that are honorable mention include Devil's Bridge, Slide Rock, and Chapel of the Holy Cross. If you haven't visited Sedona yet, I highly recommend it! The whole city is worth exploring. For eating, I recommend Oaxaca Restaurant on Main Street (321 N State Rte 89A); it's yummy Mexican food, with a great view if you ask for a window table! I also recommend across the street for dessert at Sabrina's Gourmet Ice Cream. What are your favorite spots in Sedona? Let me know in the comments below! Xoxo, Shelly

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  1. Wow, your photos are perfect, thank you for making us travel with you!
    Kiss from France !!
    Charlotte http://www.amoureusement-mode.com/

  2. hi, How do we get to the relfection pools?? thank you! Best BLOG POST !!! <3

    1. Hi Sonia, Thank you so much! To be honest, my travel buddy lead the way to the reflection pools. He found directions online via a photography website I believe! I apologize that I don't have the directions. I will reply to this comment again if I am able to locate them! Xoxo, Shelly

  3. great pics!!! came across your posting as i was trying to find a nice backdrop for family photos while in Sedona.