The Painted Hills are a pretty magic place for an engagement session. There are a few reasons why I think so highly of this place as a location for both engagements and elopements. First of all, it’s breathtakingly gorgeous. It’s also so unique, there are very few places in the world that look like this. Secondly, it is super easily accessible. Don’t want to hike? No need. Drive up to the overlook trail and have these views at your fingertips. Park at the cove trail parking lot and walk 30 seconds down a trail (that’s also wheelchair accessible) for an insane photo location. Read on to find out more about planning your Painted Hills engagement session.
Where are the Painted Hills?
The Painted Hills are about two hours east of Bend, Oregon. This place is pretty remote, with no real lodging unless you’re interested in camping within the Ochoco National Forest. That being said, there also isn’t anywhere to get some food. I definitely recommend packing something to eat for your Painted Hills engagement session. Or, you can even set up a picnic scene for your photos! Another really great thing about this spot is how close it is to another one of my favorite locations, Blue Basin. Blue Basin is a lot like the Painted Hills, but blue! Make an entire adventure out of your engagement session photos at the Painted Hills!
One very important thing to know before you decide on the Painted Hills for your Engagement session is that leave no trace is VERY important. Basically, what I’m saying here is you have to stay on the trails. This is generally true for all parks. Although, for some reason, this place seems to get a number of visitors that go off-trail and climb on the hills for photos. Please don’t do this. Hire a photographer that can get some gorgeous shots for you without going off trail! It’s totally doable, as you can see in the images below.
One final touchpoint about the Painted Hills. It can very cold, and be very windy. I personally recommend this location to be used during Spring or Summer. Sunset is the best time to take photos here, and as the sun goes down, it can definitely get a little chilly. That being said, this is why I recommend having your Painted Hills engagement session in warmer weather.
Last but not least, there is no cellphone service here. If you plan on having your engagement session at the Painted Hills, talk to your photographer ahead of time about which locations you’d like to shoot at, and make sure you have those spots marked so it’s easy to find them. The Painted Hills is one of my absolute favorite locations for engagements. Planning your own and looking for a photographer to help plan the shoot and get amazing images? Let’s chat!