The best places for photography in the American Southwest

Some of the best places in the world for photography can be found in the American Southwest.

The Southwest is one of my absolute favorite regions to visit in North America, particularly because of all the incredible parks, national monuments, and everything in between. While I love the greenery and mountains where I live in the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest calls to me. Perhaps because it offers the opposite – red rocks, canyons, and wide open vistas.

Whatever the reason, it’s a place that I’ve returned to again and again to photograph. I’ve managed to curate quite a collection of photos over the years, so here you will find the best places in the Southwest that I have photographed. They may not all be the best photos (some are quite old) and I may not represent every single beautiful place to photograph in the Southwest, but I do promise to update this collection every time I go back.  New places and better photos!

I hope that my past and future explorations inspire you to discover the best places in the Southwest. Even if you are not a photographer, I know you will appreciate all the beauty to be found in the Southwest!

PS: I have A LOT from certain places. It was hard to narrow down, what can I say?

Arches National Park, Utah

 Best places for photography in the Southwest - Delicate Arch Best places for photography in the Southwest - Arches National ParkBalanced Rock Arches National ParkArches NatioPark Avenue at Arches National Parknal Park photo

Canyonlands National Park, Utah

 Best places for photography in the Southwest - Canyonlands National ParkMesa Arch at Canyonlands National Park Best places for photography in the Southwest - Canyonlands National Park Best places for photography in the Southwest - Canyonlands National Park

 Best places for photography in the Southwest - Canyonlands National ParkCanyonlands Druid Arch hike

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Horseshoe Bend photo Southwest

Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah

Dead Horse Point State Park sunset

Dead Horse State Park sunsetDead Horse Point State Park at dusk

Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park waterfall

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park with snow

Death Valley National Park, California and Nevada

Death Valley dunes at sunset

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree photoJoshua Tree sunset silhouette photo Best places for photography in the Southwest - Joshua Tree Best places for star photography in the Southwest - Joshua Tree

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park sunriseGrand Canyon National Park sunrise

Zion National Park, Utah

 Best places for photography in the Southwest - Zion National Park

Sedona, Arizona

 Best places for photography in the Southwest - Sedona Arizona

Mexican Hat, UtahMexican Hat

Upper Antelope Canyon, Arizona Best places for photography in the Southwest - Upper Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon X, Arizona

Antelope Canyon X tours

Monument Valley, Arizona and Utah

monument valley navajo tribal park

Highway 279, UtahRiver along Hwy 279 Utah

Fisher Towers, Utah

Fisher Towers photo in Utah

find out more about the southwest

Click here for more on camping in the Moab area of Utah.

Like I said, I know I’ve left out a ton. What would you like to see next? Are there some beautiful places in the Southwest that I just must photograph on my next visit? Let me know in the comments!

Best places for photography in Southwest America | Tracie TravelsBest photo spots of Southwest America | Tracie Travels

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  • Sandy N Vyjay - Your pictures speak louder than words. They do not leave any doubt in the mind that the American Southwest is one of the best places for photography. The region has a certain another world aura that is so charming. Your pictures bring alive this with stunning effect.ReplyCancel

    • traciehowe - Have you been, Sandy? It really is an epic region begging to be photographed! thanks for your comment!ReplyCancel

  • Vy Nguyen - I love to take photos. Places with beautiful and artistic scenery are what I always look for. Thanks for suggesting these destinations. They look amazingReplyCancel

    • traciehowe - Great, Vy! This is one of THE best places for scenic photography. Happy to help!ReplyCancel

  • Kavita Favelle | Kavey Eats - Your photographs are absolutely stunning! I agree wholeheartedly that this region of the world really is very photogenic, the natural landscapes are so immense, so beautifully shaped by the erosion of time, and so impressive. I have visited many of the national parks you include – Bryce, Zion, Monument Valley, and of course the Grand Canyon but there are many more here I’d like to see.ReplyCancel

    • traciehowe - Thanks, Kavita! I hope you get a chance to go back and visit that region. There is so much to see!!ReplyCancel

  • neha - These photographs are each so stunning!!!! i am not a pro when it comes to photography but I do aspire to take these kind of photos some day. And these spots will definitely help me achieve the same since they are so marvellous , I am sure the pictures will come out better than what I am capable of taking :)ReplyCancel

  • Milosz Zak - Bryce Canyon has got to be my favourite! The American South West is definitely on my radar, and I’m sure I’ll get there eventually.ReplyCancel

  • Alexa Meisler - What gorgeous photos. I just got back from a road trip that included the SW. I’m realizing I need to explore even more!ReplyCancel

    • traciehowe - Thanks, Alexa! The Southwest is so amazing! Definitely worth going back to explore more.ReplyCancel

  • Bistra Yakimova - I’ve been underestimating Utah and Arizona so far…big mistake! They are some of the most photogenic places on Earth!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - You know what is crazy? I live in California and travel all over the world, but haven’t seen most of these spots! Looks like I need to focus on some local travel.ReplyCancel

    • traciehowe - I here ya, Amanda! What’s close always seems like something you can see any time. I’ve made that mistake too, and recently when I finally planned to go to one of those local places, it had been destroyed by forest fires! But then again, there are things out there in the world that you may never be able to see if you wait too. There’s just too little time! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Kaila Yu - Wow, these photos are totally epic! I am always wanting to travel internationally but these photos remind me that there is so much beauty just in the US of A!ReplyCancel

    • traciehowe - Hi Kaila, sorry for just now seeing your comment! I appreciate it. Thanks so much!ReplyCancel

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