If you are on the hunt for the names and locations of certain epic Oregon photography locations, this is the post for you! In this day and age, so many people keep their location to themselves and go so far as to tag the location as “none of your business” on Instagram. We had the privilege of visiting these stunning Oregon photography locations and we want to help you find and photograph them too! Always remember to be respectful of nature/other visitors and to stay on marked paths when photographing the beauty of Oregon and take a moment to consider these tips before traveling to Oregon!
10 Hidden Oregon Photography Locations And Where To Find Them
10. Go Underground At Oregon Caves National Monument
Did you even know that Oregon had caves? We didn’t for the longest time! One of the much lesser known but still epic places for Oregon Photography is located underground! The marble caves are hidden far beneath the Siskiyou Mountains in southern Oregon. If you are on the hunt for unique photography locations in Oregon, Oregon Caves National Monument can be accessed from the small town of Cave Junction along highway 199. Once you turn off the road it is quite a long and winding drive up to the Oregon Caves. You will be photographing in a low light environment so be sure to bring all that is necessary. Keep in mind that the caves are cold and damp so dress appropriately.
9. Enjoy The Many Smaller Waterfalls At Sweet Creek Falls
Sweet Creek Falls is an Oregon Photography location many people pass up in their rush for the coast. You may have seen a photo here or there but it is a hidden gem in Central Oregon. Sweet Creek Falls isn’t one huge waterfall. Instead, it is a series of cascading smaller waterfalls over the course of an easy mile-long hike. This is the perfect place to relax in the shade and practice your long exposure photography.
There is a larger waterfall at the top of Sweet Creek Falls that is about 15 feet tall. Walk along the path and stop as many times as you want! Budget a few hours because you will stay longer than you think! This “secret” Oregon photography location is located near Mapleton on Hwy 126 inland of the Oregon Coast.
8. Experience The Power Of The Oregon Coast At Thor’s Well
Thor’s Well is one of those places in Oregon that you see photographed a ton but you may not know how to find it. We admit that finding Thor’s Well is a bit confusing when driving along the Pacific Coast Highway. It is very easy to miss and if there wasn’t a crowd of people we wouldn’t have even known we were at the right place! As soon as you pass Cape Perpetua going north on Highway 101, you are going to want to start looking out for Thor’s Well.
Thor’s Well is actually a GPS location you can type in, but here is how to get there just in case: Thor’s Well – Cape Perpetua HWY 101 Yachats, Oregon 97439 USA. Once you arrive where the GPS drops you off, you are on the “water” side of HWY 101 in a small parking lot. To your right, there is a path that leads down a few switchbacks to the rocky coast. When looking out to sea, imagine there is a clock face. Thor’s Well will be located at about 1:00.
Thor’s Well is an Oregon Coast Photography location where people often do ill-advised things. We urge you to respect the water and it’s power and stay a safe distance away from Thor’s Well when the waves are crazy. Getting “the shot” is never worth losing your life!
7. Marvel At Moon Falls
Moon Falls is a lacey fan waterfall that cascades 125 feet down the rock face. It is located less than 45 minutes from Cottage Grove and is a lesser known Oregon Photography location. The area is quite remote but well signed so it is easy to find. Put the name in your GPS or simply follow the signs on the mountain if your GPS cuts out. Moon Falls is an easy half-mile hike through the Umpqua Forest.Here are written directions from the Lane County Tourism Board in case you don’t want to rely on GPS alone.
6. Explore The Fallen Logs At Pinard Falls
Pinard Falls is one of those Oregon Photography locations that only has 402 hashtags on Instagram. It is kept a secret by local Oregon photographers and virtually unknown to travelers so chances are you may have never even seen a picture of this place! Located in the same area of the Umpqua Forest as Moon Falls above, Pinard Falls is a 0.6-mile hike from the parking lot. The hike is listed as “hard” because of the final steep descent, but it wasn’t all that bad at all!
Pinard Falls is one of the things to do in Oregon where you can spend hours enjoying one small location. Looking one way, you will marvel at the cascading waterfall in a small gorge. Looking the other way, you will come face to face with massive fallen logs. Find written directions here! If you are looking to visit Oregon for photography or simply love a relaxing hike to a stunning view, make sure to add Pinard Falls to your list!
5. Capture The Best Oregon Coast Photography Opportunities At Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint
We have traveled the entire Oregon Coast from top to bottom and there is no better Oregon Coast photography location than Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. Face Rock is located in Bandon, Oregon, only 1.5 hours south of Florence, Oregon. The Face Rock area will surprise you with its MASSIVE sea stacks, hidden coastal caves you can only explore at low tide, the “wizards hat” and the Face Rock itself. Pictures really don’t do this place justice and the size and scale of the rock formations are just massive in real life.
The parking lot for the Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint is located on the top of a bluff. There are two ways to access the beach from Bandon and everything is easily marked. We highly suggest photographing the sunset and other photographers have had success visiting during the night for some fantastic astrophotography. You will not be disappointed by the things to do in Oregon for photographers that Bandon has to offer! Tell us if you go or share photos with us! We want to see!
4. Photograph The Crystal Blue Water Of Koosah Falls
Koosah Falls is on this list because photographers on social media avoid giving out the location even though it is actually quite a popular and well-trafficked spot. Koosah Falls is located about an hour east of Eugene, Oregon and is a network of hikes and trails. Koosah Falls offers stunning views of a double waterfall and unrealistically blue water! Just up the road, you are also able to easily access Sahalie Falls as well! Koosah Falls is an Oregon Photography location that is located just steps from the main road. If you need to pop in real quick it is quite fast to take a peek or spend as much time as you need!
3. Walk Across A Natural Bridge At Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
Located for 12 miles along the southern Oregon Coast, right before you reach California, Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor is home to some pretty epic “hidden gem” Oregon coast photography locations. The Natural Bridges Viewpoint is located at mile 346 on HWY 101 on the Oregon Coast. There is a sign and a small parking lot on the coast side of the road, but you still have to look out for the mile marker. Once you get to the overlook, you are provided with a wonderful view of the natural bridges cove.
If you actually want to walk on the bridge, the hike down is very steep and is 0.5 miles long. Wear appropriate shoes and stay on the trail. Once you are in the parking lot, there will be a trail to your right [when looking at the water] which is part of the Pacific Crest Trail. Take that trail along the top of the ridge. When you come to a fork in the trail, veer right and continue down the steep ridge. Continue to veer right at any forks in the trail until you make your way down the side of the mountain and out onto the bridge area. If you wear proper shoes and stay on the approved trail, you should be just fine. Rocks are dangerous so never venture too close to the edge of the cliff.
2. Photograph A Tiny Human At Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
This shot is seen circulating around larger Instagram accounts but is a little more difficult to find. You will proceed to the Natural Bridges stop along the Samual H. Boardman Corridor and will follow the hiking directions down the ridge as stated above. Once you have arrived. Walk to the far end of the rock/bridge area and there you will see a perfect view of another natural bridge.It is also possible to access this point from another trail at the Natural Bridges stop in case you wanted to send someone to stand there for a photograph or if you wanted to check it out yourself.
If you want to be a daredevil [not exactly suggested!] you can hop down a very narrow area on the main natural bridge. Victoria did it and another person did it but it was pretty sketchy and we don’t recommend it! Instead, make your way up the steep ridge and back to the parking lot. This time, from the overlook, go RIGHT! Do not go down the first path you see on your right. After about 500 feet of walking, you will find another path on your right.
This path will go through lower bushes. It is also very steep. Head down this path until you come to a lot of roots and you can see the main natural bridge. Then veer to your left. Walk along the top of the cliff under the trees for a few hundred feet and then you will veer right and walk out on top of the second larger bridge.
These trails are well-trafficked hikes but you still must be careful and respect nature and absolutely no burning fires or tossing trash! This Oregon photography location is one of the best stops along the Oregon Coast!
1. Get Drenched At Proxy Falls
Proxy Falls is the single most popular Oregon Photography location that we get messages about thanking us for sharing the location on social media. During our first trip to Oregon, we had seen the photos on social media but they did not have a location tag so we had no idea the name of the waterfall. A kind tourism board member suggested we visit and thus we found out the name. Proxy Falls is one of the best things to do in Oregon because it is an easy and relaxing hike with a massive reward!
Proxy Falls is actually quite huge towering at 266 feet! Photos do not do the size and scale justice. You can reach Proxy Falls in Oregon by heading out of Eugene, Oregon and following highway 242 until you reach the trailhead. The trail is an easy 1.5-mile loop and it takes you through stunning forests and even lava fields! You have the opportunity to view Proxy from the top of the trail or to climb down a very steep trail to the bottom of the falls.
Once at Proxy Falls, you can climb along a giant fallen log for some ultimate photos in Oregon! Just be careful as you will get misted by the waterfall, but that is part of the fun!
Were we able to reveal the name or location of a lesser known Oregon photography location for you? What is your favorite spot to take photos in Oregon that we should check out next trip? Let us know in the comments!
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This post was created in partnership with Travel Lane County and Travel Oregon. These tourism boards urge all visitors to respect nature, pack in and pack out all of your trash, do not ever light firest, and to heed warnings on trails.