10+ Adventure engagement photo locations near Boise
Choosing a location for your adventure engagement session can be difficult because let’s face it…. the greater Boise area, McCall and the Sawtooth Mountains have some amazing views and hidden gem hikes. I started this post thinking I would write only about the greater Boise area but then decide to include a few locations outside of the Treasure Valley because sometimes it’s nice to plan a weekend getaway.
When I am thinking about a photo location I consider the esthetic beauty, how adventurous it is (because cityscapes are too easy) and how far away it is (because you don’t want people and buildings in the background of your photos). Time of year is something I consider as well. Snow levels will impact where you can go. Locations over 6,500 feet may not be available until July.
Idaho has so much to offer in turns of terms of landscape diversity. You can find deserts, jagged mountain ranges, lush meadows and deep river canyons all within a few hours of Boise. I have kept accessibility in mind while writing this article. All of the following locations are easily accessible via a 2WD. If hiking is required for a location the distance is under 2 miles.
Here are 10 of the best adventure engagement session locations in Boise & beyond to consider. Please remember to observe “Leave No Trace” practices if you choose to adventure in any wild locations.
Best Locations in McCall
There are so many wonderful places in McCall for engagement photos but let’s start with the Payette Lake. There is a road that loops around the lake and just driving on this will give you amazing mountain views and pine tree meadows. I prefer to photograph in this location in the morning. With now the sunrises over the lake…. early morning is simply beautiful.
Ponderosa State Park
Ponderosa State Park in McCall is an awesome resource for any adventure engagement session. Here is a snowy engagement session that was planned around adventuring on snowshoes: Click Here. The sun sets directly on the Narrows of Ponderosa, so this is a beautiful location for sunset photos. The rest of the Park is covered in Pine trees and beautiful at both sunset and sunrise.
Considerations for Ponderosa: During the summer it will be quite busy and finding a private location can be difficult. A $5 parking pass is required to enter the park.
Best Adventure Engagement Photo Locations in Boise
Blue Lake sits about 2 hours from Boise and is a high mountain gem. This location is unique because the road takes you above the lake. Reaching the lake requires a mile downhill hike that takes you through open hillsides, a small meadow and then across a large rock shelf that gives you an amazing view of a small crater lake surround by mountains. In the morning you will get an alpine glow on the mountains surrounding the lake. You can catch the sunset here by driving a few minutes above the lake to a pullout where the Sawtooth mountains can be seen in the distance.
Bogus Basin Ski Area sits about an hour outside of boise. If you go around the backside of the ski area you can get views of the White Cloud/Sawtooth Mountains. I love this location in the morning because you get that beautiful, soft back lighting in the background of your photos. Bogus Basin is really easy to access. You can basically just pick a spot and start walking on cat tracks until the view gets good.
Mores Mountain is located just north of Bogus Basin Ski Area (AKA Shafer Butte). The Mores Mountain Loop trail meanders through old-growth wooded areas and open hillsides with views of the Snake River Plain. This is a location that is suitable for both morning and evening sessions.
Camel’s Back Park
Camel’s Back Park isn’t the most adventurous location but hiking a few minutes on the trails that lead toward the foothills will give you a view of Shafer Butte and Mores Mountain (when it’s not overcast!). This location is better suited for sunset photos.
Best Locations in Sun Valley
Sun Valley has so much more to offer than the few locations pictured below. While Sun Valley and Ketchum are best known for skiing there are some amazing snowshoeing areas along the highway that leads to Stanley, Idaho. Just driving 10 miles north of Ketchum puts you into those amazing jagged mountains of the Sawtooth area.
Billy’s Bridge Is a snowshoeing trail located between Sun Valley and Galena Pass. During the evening the setting sun casts a beautiful alpine glow on the mountains. When you reach the basin there are mountain views in every direction.
Galena Lodge sits between Sun Valley and Stanley. It offers mountain views and beautiful meadows. In the springtime the wild flowers are amazing. Galena Lodge is a wedding venue during the summer time. During winter it is run as a skiing and snowshoeing lodge. This is another location I like for evening sessions.
Best Adventure Engagement Photo Locations in Stanley
Redfish Lake is about 10 minutes outside of Stanley. It is a beautiful lake with amazing views of those jagged peaks. The lake can be accessed from the North Shore Rec. area or via Redfish Lake Lodge. There is a camping area within the North Shore Rec. area.
Considerations for this location: This is a popular destination during the summer, so expect to see other people if you choose to have photos done around the North Shore. If you want to escape the crowds you can take a boat tour that leaves Redfish Lake Lodge and go explore the other end of the lake. There are no roads to this location, so it will be more private.
And those are my favorite 10 adventure engagement photo locations in the greater Boise area. If you are engaged and looking to adventure I would love to connect with you!
As an Idaho elopement photographer + planner
I help create and photograph small weddings for couples who desire a wedding day that is focused on them and their commitment to each other.