Written by Cortlyn Adams
High Desert Photo Shoot in Albuquerque, New Mexico
This Pacific Northwest photographer packed up her camera gear for a high desert photo shoot in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and I’ve been dying to share these photos with you. From the golden rays of the sunset to the dramatic high desert landscape, this blog will have you ready to plan your own southwestern adventure in the high desert. I’m sharing all the things you need to know for your own adventure in Albuquerque, including the best places to stay, my list of the top hikes in Albuquerque and my secret to perfecting your cuisine experience in New Mexico.
Meet the couple in front of the camera during this Albuquerque high desert photo shoot
Do you remember my college roommate and best friend I mentioned was in Washington for this amazing surprise proposal for our other college roommate Erin? This Albuquerque high desert adventure is all about Brook and Ty! These two friends are so special to me and Drew, so it was so fun to get to travel down to the southwest to see them in their new city. Brooke and Ty recently moved to Albuquerque from Arkansas, so this high desert family photo shoot documented their move west with their Bernese Swiss Mountain Dog, Moose.
Albuquerque photography locations: why this New Mexico destination is the best place for your high desert photos
This was my first time traveling to Albuquerque as a photographer, and it took no time for me to become a big fan of the area! On average, Albuquerque gets 280 days of sunshine annually (which is almost twice as many sunny days as Seattle!), making the high desert a perfect location for your adventurous photo shoot. The dry heat and expansive high desert landscape makes for some jaw-dropping sunset backdrops for photos. Another stunning photo backdrop location in Albuquerque are the Sandia Mountains. Stretching along the east side of the city, the Sandia Mountains are known for their granite peaks that illuminate pink during golden hour. The mountains are super accessible, and there are trails you can walk up to or venture back for a longer adventure. Keep scrolling for my list of the best hikes in Albuquerque! If you’re like me and would be traveling to Albuquerque from out of state, flights are super affordable. When you’re looking for a place to stay in Albuquerque, there are amazing Airbnb options. Click the link below for my complete list of the best Aribnbs in the country (including Albuquerque!). And, the food in Albuquerque is incredible! When you’re asked if you want red or green chile sauce on your food, the answer is, “Christmas,” every time. Trust me!
Looking for a high desert hike in Albuquerque? Explore Mollie’s list of the best hikes:
Sandia Foothills Open Space
Boca Negra Canyon
Eye of the Sanidas
Rinconada Canyon Trail
Piedra Lisa Canyon Trail
Michial M. Emery and Trail Loop 305
According to the city of Albuquerque the Sandia Foothills Open Space is approximately 2,650 acres of steep sloped hills at the base of the Sandia Mountains. This is the location where I took Brook and Ty’s Albuquerque family photos in the high desert. Boca Negra Canyon gives you easy access to three trails: Mesa Point, Macaw and Cliff Base. Each of the trails are pretty short and vary in difficulty. The Eye of the Sandias Trail is a four-mile loop that offers stunning views over the high desert and the city of Albuquerque. Rinconada Canyon Trail is a two-mile round trip trail that leads you through some historic petroglyphs, which are images carved onto the rock’s surface, that the Pueblo Indians used to “teach their children about their history, culture and spiritual beliefs” (National Park Service). The Piedra Lisa Canyon Trail is a moderate, two-mile trail that showcases wildflowers and allows your dog (like Moose!) to join you on the trail. The Michial M. Emery and Trail Loop 305 is a great three-mile hike for all skill levels, and features wildflowers and stunning views of the high desert and mountain landscapes.
Explore the links below for more desert backdrops, stunning sunsets and adventure inspiration.
Are you feeling inspired for your own southwestern adventure in the Albuquerque high desert? Same! Click the link below to reach out to me, and let’s start planning your Albuquerque adventure.
Ready to explore more elopements, weddings and adventures? Wander away below!
Between the Pine is an adventure elopement and wedding photography brand created by Mollie Adams. Based in the Pacific Northwest, Mollie travels with her camera in hand to document “I dos” in epic landscapes including Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii.