Traveling across the world for adventure engagement sessions is amazing, but in my years as a wedding photographer… I have to admit, Idaho has some of the best kept secret locations for outdoor engagement photos in the fall. Fall is the most popular season for engagement sessions because of the obvious beautiful yellow, red, and orange colors when the leaves change, but also because 80% of couples get engaged between September and December! Idaho is filled with amazing mountains, canyons, rivers, alpine lakes, and more to create magical fall photos for your engagement session!! Use this list of Idaho fall engagement session locations to narrow down where you and your partner want to celebrate and document this special time.
**updated in 2022!*
1. Bogus Basin in Boise, Idaho
Located just 30 miles outside of Boise, Bogus Basin is one of my favorite spots to take couples near Boise. The road to get to the top of the mountain is absolutely gorgeous and offers views of the Treasure Valley as well as the Boise foothills. As you climb the mountain, there are multiple viewpoints right off the road. Bogus is one of my favorite places to shoot in the fall because the sunsets are absolutely unreal!
2. Sand Dunes near Mountain Home, Idaho
If you grew up in Boise, you probably went to the Sand Dunes on a class field trip or went camping here as a kid. The Sand Dunes are an epic spot for an adventure session in the fall because the cooler weather makes the sand perfect to sink your feet into. Plan for a more boho vibes and kick off your shoes to dance on the dunes as the sun drops!
3. Stanley Lake in Stanley, Idaho
Unlike Redfish Lake, Stanley Lake is a lot closer to the infamous to Idaho Sawtooth mountain range. The views are incredible and the lake is easily accessible! To add some adventure to your session, get a lakeside campsite and camp after taking photos! The surrounding foothills are also the perfect places to get wide panoramic views of the mountains as well.
4. Ponderosa State Park McCall, Idaho
McCall is near the top of my list for my favorite places to shoot in the entire state of Idaho in the fall. On cloudy days, the moody fall tones highlight the scenery. Payette Lake just looks a little more epic on a moody cloudy day. There are also some gorgeous forested areas to pull off and trails to follow to meadows and creeks. Ponderosa State Park is one of the only locations close to McCall where you can also find color-changing alpine trees!
5. Sun Valley, Idaho
Sun Valley is a playground for adventure lovers – with Galena Lodge, Mt. Baldy, and gorgeous views of the surrounding foothills, there is an endless possibility for locations in this beautiful spot! The White Clouds are also next door so if you feel like taking a day trip to the White Clouds you can. Plan a fall picnic and enjoy the golden foothills or head to the snowy peaks in the fall!
6. The Palouse in Moscow, Idaho
If you want to find rolling wheat fields found in Tuscany for a bargain, the Palouse in Moscow, Idaho might just be a closer alternative found right here in Idaho. On a fall day, the sun glows off the wheat fields and will make you want to grab a glass of wine and visit some castles. Although Moscow, Idaho doesn’t have castles, this cozy college down has endless breweries to visit such as Hunga Dunga and coffee shops to get cozy in before your shoot. I recommend Hunga Dunga for booze and Bucer’s or One World Cafe for coffee and take some scenic drives on the country backgrounds to Moscow Mountain to find some epic spots for your engagement photos!
7. Coeur D’Alene, Idaho
If you drive an hour and a half north of Moscow, you will come across another amazing mountain town on the lake. Famous for its bald eagles who migrate and nest every fall, CDA is a gorgeous spot to see wildlife and visit in the fall.
8. Swan Falls in Kuna, Idaho
Swan Falls never disappoints. With views of the Owyhee mountains in the background and the Snake River at the foreground, this epic canyon area makes for a gorgeous setting for your engagement photos. I love the desert vibes with sage for miles mixed with the mountain setting all in one. Swan Falls typically delivers amazing golden hour sunsets as well and is the perfect place to bring your hipster hats and jean jackets and channel your South Western or Boho vibes!
9. Lower Gulch in the Boise Foothills
The Lower Gulch is consistently one of my favorite spots to take photos. With access to hundreds of miles of trails, it’s easy to find a private/remote area if you’re down to pack some IPAs in a backpack and take an adventure. I try to leave in the late evening and give enough time to hang out, enjoy the views, and have a beer before sunset. One of my favorite things about calling Boise home is watching the sunset turn the foothills golden. They are truly spectacular and it’s pretty obvious why the Boise foothills are such a popular place for engagement photos!
10. Jump Creek Falls in Nampa, Idaho
Jump Creek Falls is about an hour outside of Boise, Idaho. Forget going to Portland or Seattle to find waterfalls! I love taking a day trip out to Jump Creek Falls. On a summer day, you can even take a dive into the water. Jump Creek Falls is only a short 15-20 minute walk from the parking lot and as you descend into the canyon, you’ll find gorgeous nooks along the creek and find gorgeous greenery tree cover. I recommend going in late spring or early fall to avoid rattlesnakes and the heat!
11. Snake River in Boise Idaho
The Snake River is the longest river in Idaho. There are many gorgeous scenic viewpoints along the river that create epic landscapes for your engagement photos! This viewpoint near Kuna Idaho has careening twists and turns as well as gorgeous canyon overlooks.
12. Idaho City, Idaho
Idaho City used to be the most populated town in Idaho due to the Gold Rush. Now, it’s a ghost town in the mountains with spectacular views and endless forest. There are so many amazing forest service roads to discover panoramic views of the mountains and endless options for locations to take your engagement photos!
13. Lucky Peak in Boise, Idaho
Located only 15 minutes from Boise, Idaho, Lucky Peak is a popular location in the summer but many forget about it the rest of the year. Lucky Peak has many pull outs and side roads to explore. The enormous canyons provide a dramatic landscape for your photos and in the fall, the foothills turn orange.
14. Driggs, Idaho
Many people recognize Jackson Hole, Wyoming due to the infamous Tetons. What a lot of people don’t know is that the Idaho side of the Tetons are just as beautiful and have fewer tourists. Driggs Idaho has several options for engagement photo locations and you’re less likely to run into hoards of tourists here!
15. Sandpoint Idaho
Nestled in Northern Idaho, Sandpoint is a hidden gem that gets forgotten after Coeur D’ Alene. Sandpoint is every bit as beautiful as Coeur D’ Alene and Lake Pend Orielle is unparalleled in its beauty. The historic downtown is the perfect backdrop for casual engagement photos walking through town grabbing your favorite pastries or coffee and the mountains offer adventure for your landscape engagement photos.
Now that you’re ready for your Idaho fall engagement session, get inspired for your Idaho wedding with this rustic fall wedding!
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