The beauty of Salt Lake City is that it has a wide variety of photo-worthy places. Looking for a chic, urban shot? Salt Lake City has it. Want stunning mountains? You’ll find them here, too! In this post, I’ll cover the most Instagrammable places in Salt Lake City so you don’t miss a thing!
We are planning another trip to Salt Lake City in the fall, so check back for updated photos with my own content! I can’t wait to capture photos at each of these places!
And if you want photo tips on how to take the perfect Instagram photo, check out this post!
(PS. We got the photo above at number 20 on this list!)
1. Downtown Salt Lake City
Capture everyday shots of downtown Salt Lake City; city walks are free and sights are varied. From photos in front of historic buildings to the cobblestone roads around the East Side, you can take a year’s worth of postcard shots. Be creative!
Bonus points if you have a drone and can capture a photo of all of Salt Lake City’s downtown buildings in one shot!
2. Ensign Peak
No album is complete without an aerial shot! Take a hike up to Ensign Peak for sprawling views over the entire downtown. Pose like a yogi or stare wistfully into the sunset; you can even shoot a time-lapse at night. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the top, perfect for a quick afternoon activity.
3. Capitol Hill
One of Utah’s most prominent landscapes is the historical building at Capitol Hill. It’s home to the Utah state governement and you can memorialize the historic building by posing at its front steps. (Or inside when it reopens- it is currently closed to the public for the pandemic). When you’re done admiring those pillars, stroll over to Memory Grove for even more pictures. More about that next!
4. Memory Grove Park
The bold white columns here give me all the historic Greek vibes. They make for an epic photoshoot background! Monuments at Memory Grove Park commemorate Utah’s veterans, and fountains, paths, and greenery cover the park.
5. The Gateway
Gateway Mall is a portal to photo opportunities. Bright graphic walls add bursts of color to your Instagram feed while pop-up experience events create fun and unique backgrounds. (For more tips on how to improve your Instagram this year, check out this post!)
The Gateway is generally open from 10AM to 10PM, but if you’re taking photos outside, you can visit whenever!
You can find the colorful stairs above at 180 400 West Street just north of the Wiseguys Comedy Club. They change what’s painted on them every so often, but you’re bound to find something beautiful!
6. Temple Square
There’s a convenient ledge built around the manmade pond in front of the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, letting you capture the striking building perfectly. The ivory stone and three spiked towers make for a beautiful fairytale setting. It’s one of the most Instagrammable places in Salt Lake City if you ask me!
Temple Square is no longer just the Temple itself, but a downtown 35-acre area with several historic sites. There’s plenty to see!
7. The Roof
Romantic evenings or just a “treat yourself” meal will find you at The Roof, a restaurant that gifts you with a stunning view over Temple Square. Floor to ceiling windows let in plenty of natural light and unobstructed photo opportunities. Be sure to reserve ahead of time as they’re quite popular for couples!
8. Cathedral of the Madeleine
The Cathedral of Madeleine has every classic cathedral feature – gray stone turrets, majestic towers, gold-leafed ceilings, and stained glass. Even if you’re not in the photo, it’s worth capturing the gorgeous details of its vaulted halls.
They’re open from 7AM to 9PM if you want to see inside the cathedral.
9. Eva’s Bakery
It’s two-in-one at Eva’s Bakery. Freshen up in the morning with a cup of delicious coffee and a baked good before snapping a shot with their stunning storefront. The blue boulangerie exudes Parisian vibes in the middle of Utah! It’s definitely the most Instagrammable cafe in Salt Lake City!
10. Book Mural
Where my bookworms at?
If you’re a book lover, this mural is a must-take shot. Start at the 222 Main Street building (you won’t miss the 222 over the glass door) and head to the south end. Enter the small, alley-way-like passage and follow through to a private looking courtyard.
Bring some fake glasses along if you don’t have real ones to complete the vibe! 😉
11. The City-County Building
Salt Lake City has some spectacular architecture, and the Salt Lake City Town and County Building won’t disappoint!
Whether you’re flying a drone or are take a phone photo, you’re bound to get a good shot of this Hogwarts-esque building!
12. Trolley Square (especially at Christmas)
The red brick buildings at Trolley Square are striking on their own, but can you imagine what it looks like during Christmas? Fairy lights and Christmas decorations add a merry charm to the place. Come in seasonal outfits for super cute, urban vibe photos.
13. The City Library
The City Library is such a unique location! From its wide glass windows to the sweeping arch of pillars, there are plenty of corners for you to photograph. Head inside if you fancy some fun shadows and lighting thanks to the open square windows! It’s also six stories high, so you’re bound to find some great photo spots.
14. Cactus and Tropicals
Add a pop of color and nature to your Instagram feed with a sweep through the greenhouse of Cactus and Tropicals. While a garden store, walkways bring you through orchids, ficus jungles, bubbling fountains, and an outdoor nursery.
They’re open from 10AM to 6PM every day except for Sunday, when they’re open from 11AM to 5PM.
Foodies will fall in love with Finca’s moody and flowery aesthetic! The leather-backed chairs, a beautiful bar, and curtained booths take you into another century. Take photos of a table loaded down with Spanish tapas, or pose with a craft cocktail in hand. Better yet, reserve one of their infamous booths for the ultimate Instagram photo.
16. The Living Room
The Living Room isn’t an actual living room – it’s a lookout point where hikers have put together chairs, a TV set, and remote control to make it like one! These are the perfect props for you to pretend like you’re watching Salt Lake City on the TV.
The trek is 4 miles round-trip and is relatively close to the University of Utah.
17. Bonneville Shoreline Trail
Currently comprised of 100 miles and still growing, the Bonneville Shoreline Trail is a treasure trove of natural sceneries. Take your camera along as you walk along the dried-out ancient lake between Idaho and Nephi. While the trail is free, be aware of the private properties it crosses paths with.
18. Tunnel Springs Park
For lovely and soft photo vibes, drop by Tunnel Springs Park. The hills change color between seasons, green during spring and golden during summer. There are even patches of wheat taller than the average person!
19. The UP House
Disney movie “Up” has definitely made us cry, but the UP house close to Salt Lake City will make you smile. Snap a quick photo of the blue, red, green, and yellow exterior! But do be respectful as a family lives inside.
20. Sundance Mountain Resort
Located about an hour away from Salt Lake City is the stunning Sundance Mountain Resort. We stayed here for three days and absolutely loved exploring the area! My favorite view at the Sundance Mountain Resort is the one from the top of the scenic lift! It operates in the summer and you can get tickets here.
21. Stewart Falls
These falls are epic- and so is the hike to get to them. It’s a three-mile hike from the chair lift to the falls and then back down to Sundance Mountain Resort. That’s the hike we did and I’d say it is for moderate hikers. You can also hike to Stewart Falls without taking the scenic lift at all, so don’t let that limit you!
22. Neff’s Canyon
Green, golds, and tiny little blooms make Neff’s Canyon a beautiful photoshoot location for romantic pictures. Look for the parking lot at the entrance; you have to drive through a gate to reach it. The silvery grass and forest are just a short walk away.
23. Big Cottonwood Canyon
Home to two ski resorts and 15 miles of canyon scenery, Big Cottonwood Canyon is every photographer’s dream! Best of all, it’s stunning in all seasons! You can go from admiring autumn maples to a valley blanketed by snow. From tree-laden drives and mountains to placid lakes and waterfalls (Donut Falls is an absolute stunner!), you have plenty of backgrounds to capture. I’ll cover the best photo spots in Big Cottonwood Canyon further down on this list. If you’re familiar with the area and know of spots that I miss, let me know in the comments!
24. Little Cottonwood Canyon
Utah is mostly desert and mountain but Little Cottonwood Canyon brings a welcome sweep of greenery. Seek out biking trails – all with easy access points and parking – and make your way into the bushes. It’s a great day trip out of downtown Utah as well.
25. Lake Blanche
Looking for fall foliage? Drive up to Big Cottonwood Canyon for beautiful aspens – the roads around Lake Blanche snake through endless swathes of reds and oranges. It’s a no-cost autumn backdrop.
26. Albion Basin
At the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon, Albion Basin is one of the most Instagrammable places around Salt Lake City when its wildflowers start to bloom! Lupine, Indian Paintbrush, Fireweed, and so many more flower varieties will blow you away! The flowers are in bloom in July and August; the road to Albion Basin usually opens on July 1st. Parking can be tight here, but there is a shuttle from the town of Alta. Learn more here!
27. Silver Lake
Silver Lake is one of many lakes around the Brighton Ski Resort. It’s a .9 mile loop trail that offers stunning views in the early morning and late afternoon when the water is calm. It’s also one of the best places to see fall foliage around Salt Lake City!
28. Jordan Pines Campground
Located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Jordan Pines Campground changes with the seasons to give you new backdrops every few months. Many people visit in summer and fall for engagement or family photos because the mountainous forests give off open, happy vibes. But honestly, it’s an incredible place all year round!
The logistics: there’s a parking lot off the main road, across from the North Fork Trailhead.
29. Deer Valley Resort
Up for some skiing? Here’s the place to do it! It’s the most Instagrammable ski resort near Salt Lake City if you ask me! Whether you get an up-close skiing shot, a photo of the mountains, or a drone shot of the pretty ski resort, the possibilities are endless!
30. Luxury Hotels in Park City
There are so many stunning resorts in Park City, Utah. Regardless of when you visit, you’ll find plenty of photo spots at these luxury hotels. There are plenty of luxury stays within the Deer Valley Resort, like the Goldener Hirsch Inn, or you can opt for a hotel like the Montage Deer Valley.
See a full list of Park City hotels here!
32. (Seasonal) Utah Ice Castles
I cannot wait to visit the ice castles someday! How magical is this place? It’s located in Midway and is open seasonally. Check here to see if it’s open when you plan on visiting!
33. Great Salt Lake
Visit the landmark behind the name – the Great Salt Lake. One of the largest terminal lakes in the world, its calm surface stretches beyond comprehension. It’s a great place for reflective photos, or when you want to show-off nature’s splendor.
Drop by at the right time (usually in the summer and fall) and you’ll even see it divided into striking halves of pink and aquamarine blue. For two exact locations where you might find pink water, head to the Spiral Jetty or Stansbury Island. I recommend doing a little research or googling them first to see if any news reports have announced pink water.
34. Off the Side of the I-80
Highways sometimes offer unexpectedly beautiful photo ops. On the way to the Great Saltair, pull over off the I-80 for golden wheat fields as far as the eye can see. There are plenty of spots along the asphalt road where you can take full-body poses or close-up portraits.
And if you want more tips on how to pose for Instagram photoshoots, check out these 48 ideas for how to pose for your next shoot!
35. The Great Saltair
From sky to sea, you can see everything at the Great Saltair. Just a 25-minute drive from Salt Lake, many couples like to come here for engagement shoots.
Parking is available at the Visitor Center. From there, you can walk to the edge of the mini salt flats and reach the waterline.
36. Bonneville Salt Flats
It’s called Salt Lake City for a reason! Visit the unique natural wonder that is Utah’s Salt Flats. The never-ending display of the white landscape will really challenge your photography skills. Dress in your most colorful clothes or make your shadows pop – there’s nothing like a free blank canvas.
37. Little Sahara
3 hours away from Salt Lake City is a national park, aptly coined Little Sahara. With 1,600 acres of sand dunes accessibly all year round and 24/7, who needs to travel all the way to the Sahara Desert? Make sand angels or ride an RV for some truly cool shots.
38. Monroe / Mystic Hot Springs
Combine your budget hot spring trip with a photoshoot because Monroe’s Mystic Hot Springs is heaven on the heart. The springs run directly into tubs that are poised to overlook open land, great for a cute swimsuit photo (with coverage!).
It costs $25 for a soaking pass which gives you two hours to enjoy the hot springs. It’s 3 hours’ drive from Salt Lake City and on-site changing rooms are available. You can book your pass online here.
Do you know of more photo-worthy, Instagrammable places in Salt Lake City? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to explore even more on my next trip to Salt Lake City!
(By the way, the photo above is from the zipline at the Sundance Mountain Resort. The views are epic and you can reach that spot by taking the scenic lift up- you don’t need to be ziplining per se.)
So which Instagrammable spot in Salt Lake City are you most excited to visit? Let me know in the comments!
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