Palm Desert Photo Spots
We easily connect people with trusted photographers for fun photo shoots and have captured over three million memories worldwide. The magic of Flytographer is both the experience and the photos. Explore the city with a fun, talented photographer and get wall-worthy photos to relive your trip forever. Today, we asked our local photographers to share all the best places to take photos in Palm Desert.
Discover the enchanting oasis of Palm Desert, nestled in the picturesque heart of the Coachella Valley. This vibrant destination offers a captivating blend of awe-inspiring desert landscapes and mid-century modern design. Only a short 30-minute drive from the iconic California destination Palm Springs, renowned for its status as an Instagrammer’s paradise, Palm Desert is a world-class destination that entices travellers from across the globe.
- Joshua Tree National Park: Immerse yourself in otherworldly desert landscapes in this world-renowned national park.
- Thousand Palms Oasis Reserve: Enjoy the serenity of Coachella Valley’s 880-acre oasis lined with towering palm trees.
- Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce: Marvel at Palm Desert’s crowning jewel of modern architecture, then explore vibrant downtown Palm Desert.
- Art Smith Trail Head: Take in Insta-worthy panoramic views of the desert landscapes.
- Cahuilla Hills Park: Unwind in charming Cahuilla Hills Park, nestled amongst world-class golf courses and fabulous hiking trails.
1. Joshua Tree National Park
No trip to the Coachella Valley is complete without visiting Joshua Tree National Park. 🏜️ This incredible desert sanctuary is known for stunning landscapes with surreal geological formations, and of course, the Joshua tree.
Joshua Tree National Park is a world-renowned destination for both casual travellers and adventure explorers. Home to many fabulous biking and hiking trails, the park offers a unique outdoor experience that appeals to all.
The scenery in the park makes you feel as though you’re on another planet. Rugged, rocky formations surrounded by prickly cacti, creosote bushes, and spiky-leafed Joshua trees all come together in a captivating scene filled with interesting textures and gorgeous desert tones. 🌵
For a one-of-a-kind photo op, find a spot in front of a rock wall bordered by Joshua trees—the best photo spot to commemorate your time spent in this awe-inspiring destination. To elevate the scene, visit during the golden hours of sunrise or sunset for a warm glow—and much more comfortable temperatures. 😉
🗺️ Travel tip: From Joshua Tree National Park, you’re a quick road trip away from some other notable sites like Cholla Cactus Garden, Salvation Mountain, the Palm Springs windmills, and more.
2. Thousand Palms Oasis Reserve
Nestled between the town of Palm Desert and the edge of Joshua Tree National Park, you’ll find the serene Thousand Palms Oasis Reserve. This 880-acre oasis is a tranquil escape from the desert sun. ☀️
You’ll find that the oasis is aptly named, as it’s full of lush fan palms. 🌴 Thriving on the springs that bubble up from the ground, the palm trees majestically tower overhead.
Start your visit at the visitor center, where you can learn about the desert’s unique ecology and the history of the oasis. From there, wander through the network of hiking trails that wind through the reserve, taking the chance to explore its diverse ecosystems. If you’re lucky, you may spot desert wildlife, including protected species like desert tortoises and Coachella Valley lizards. 🦎
It goes without saying—a space of such beauty is a great photo spot! The desert sun is softly filtered through the palm fronds, making the vibrant greenery and calm waters of the oasis sparkle—one of the most beautiful places in the Coachella Valley!
3. Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce
A chamber of commerce is not typically on the must-see list for travel destinations, but the Palm Desert Area Chamber of Commerce is exceptional. And the moment you arrive, you’ll understand why.
The building is a design-lover’s dream! The structure’s architecture blends modern design elements with a touch of the area’s iconic mid-century style. With its clean lines, brushed concrete facade, and harmonious blend with nature, it embodies an open and welcoming atmosphere. With such a unique look, this is one of the best places to take photos in Palm Desert!
Located in the heart of Palm Desert, the chamber is located near some of the city’s top attractions like The Living Desert Zoo and Leonard Knight’s Salvation Mountain. It is also perfectly located to explore the city’s best shopping and dining options. Just steps away, the El Paseo shopping district beckons with its upscale boutiques, art galleries, and gourmet restaurants. Often called the “Rodeo Drive of the Desert,” El Paseo has a magnetic energy you don’t want to miss! 🛍️
🗺️ Travel tip: From Palm Desert, you’re only 30 minutes from the Instagrammable downtown Palm Springs. Take a day trip along East Palm Canyon Drive to this iconic California destination and visit Instagram spots like the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Indian Canyons, Moorten Botanical Gardens and Cactarium, The Saguaro Palm Springs, the pink door at Villa Sierra, Hotel California, and much more.
4. Art Smith Trailhead
Art Smith Trailhead is another must-visit spot for catching amazing views of the desert landscapes. Located just 10 minutes south of Palm Desert, this trailhead is your gateway to a breathtaking experience in the Southern California desert. As part of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, it offers an ideal starting point for outdoor enthusiasts seeking to escape into the wild. ⛰️
The trailhead provides access to a network of scenic biking and hiking trails that wind through the rugged Santa Rosa Mountains, catering to hikers of all levels, from leisurely walkers to those seeking challenging, steep climbs.
The true allure of the Art Smith Trailhead lies in the spectacular scenery that unfolds around you. From this vantage point, you have 360-degree views of the breathtaking vistas of the Coachella Valley. 😍 With the majestic mountains and desert foliage on display, this is one of the best places to take photos in Palm Desert.
5. Cahuilla Hills Park
Interested in exploring the desert landscapes but don’t want to venture too far from the city centre? Cahuilla Hills Park is the place to go! About a five-minute drive from downtown Palm Desert, this hidden gem is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy beautiful scenery. 😌
Cahuilla Hills Park embodies the region’s commitment to preserving the natural beauty of the desert while providing a space for recreation and community engagement. Many amenities are available throughout the park, including shaded picnic areas, a playground, basketball courts, and walking paths—a family-friendly spot!
The best part? The park has clear views of the surrounding Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains, making this the perfect place to snap some lovely pics of the family!
From here, head to Sunnylands Center & Gardens, an incredible botanical garden filled with many types of cacti, a tranquil pond, and a lively cafe. ☕
Capturing memories in Palm Desert
Whether it’s a weekend getaway from Los Angeles, a milestone proposal trip, a girls’ vacation, or anything in between, Palm Desert promises an unforgettable experience. With its gorgeous desert landscapes and highly Instagrammable spots, there are countless places to capture your memories. Connect with a local photographer to book your Palm Desert photoshoot today!
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“Meeting Melissa in Palm Desert for our Flytographer photo shoot was so nice! We had a general idea of some of the photo locations we loved from her gallery and she was so easy to work with and suggested great photo locations. Melissa captured amazing family photos of us and we would definitely recommend her for your photo shoot in Palm Springs and Palm Desert.”
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