Best Fall Photo Spots in Boise
Updated: Oct 30, 2020
The Top Best Locations for Fall Colors in Boise, Idaho
Fall is an amazing time to finally have updated portraits taken, especially if you're in Boise! With all of the trees changing colors, it's a beautiful time. The peak time for color change only lasts a few weeks so it's important to schedule your portrait session before the leaves start falling. For my sessions, I like to research locations based on your interests and suggest various options that I believe will work best. I am always open to your thoughts as well if you have something particular in mind!
If you're wanting something more unique or adventurous and you're willing to drive a few hours, you can hit incredible spots like Ponderosa State Park or the Sawtooths in Stanley. However, if you're hoping for something more local, Boise still has some gorgeous locations that will give you all the fall vibes! Whether you're a client getting ready for your session or a photographer looking for the best spots, here are some of my favorite places in and around Boise, Idaho. I love these spots because they're all relatively close to Boise, have beautiful colors and nature, and tend to offer a variety of features to utilize in your portraits!
First up, we have the Boise Union Pacific Depot! I thought this location would be a great place to start since it's a community favorite for portraits. It never fails to provide a beautiful landscape and view of the city. It's located on the Bench, minutes from downtown Boise, making it a convenient, reliable option for photos. My favorite part about the depot is the variety of features it provides! In the garden portion of the grounds, you can find stone stairs and bridges surrounded by colorful leaves and ponds. If that's not enough, you can mix it up with shots utilizing the depot itself, with its cream walls and historical feeling. On top of everything, it has a parking lot and paved paths running through the garden so that all types of people can access its beauty!
Similar to the Boise Depot, Kathryn Albertson Park is a staple location for portraits! It's also conveniently located off downtown Boise, near the Boise River and greenbelt. With winding, paved trails circling throughout the park, it's a great spot to walk, enjoy nature, and see the occasional wildlife! While KAP is beautiful all year round, I definitely think it shines in the fall! The park contains multiple ponds with bridges and plants of all kinds. In the fall, its trees, bushes, and flowers all change colors, creating a vivid picture-perfect scenery. Recently, as of October 2020, Kathryn Albertson Park has undergone construction which include a completely new path and wildflowers where the green grass once stood. These changes have improved the park immensely, as they've decreased the amount of goose waste while increasing the naturalness of the environment.
Hulls Gulch, located in the North End behind Camel's Back Park, is a lovely spot that provides a more natural landscape for fall portraits! This location offers golden hues that still give off the feeling off fall without relying on colorful leaves. This can be particularly handy if you prefer a simpler color scheme or if you have a session scheduled towards the end of October. Hulls Gulch is a part of Boise's foothills, so it tends to be a more diverse location if you're comfortable hiking around a bit. Although it's not necessary to capture amazing portraits, it does allow you to get above Boise for a great shot of the city's trees changing colors! I really love this spot for those yellow flowers surrounding the trails, as well as its proximity to Hyde Park. Nothing is better after a session than ice cream and caramel corn from Goody's!
The Military Reserve is one of my favorite places to photograph portraits! It's pretty easy to get to and if you drive around the back, you can access it through the Cottonwood Creek Trailhead. This allows you to bypass the lengthy walk from the main area! The reserve at sunset creates the most gorgeous light, filling your portraits with warmth and love. You won't find a variety of fall colors here, but you will find lovely little flowers and golden sagebrush! Like Hulls Gulch, this spot will be better for people who don't mind hiking up a few hills or a set of stairs. Once you're at the top though, there's a great view of downtown Boise, a paved path, and a set of wooden stairs that give you plenty of options for your pictures!
Veterans Memorial Park is a magnificent spot tucked between State Street and the Boise River! This would be a great place for family pictures since it has a playground and restroom readily available for any young kids and is very accessible with its trails. The park has various walking paths which you can follow back into a more secluded area of the park where you can find a more natural environment. There are surrounding trees, plants, and a creek, all of which are fun to see while walking around and make great features to use in the portraits. There are even multiple places to just sit and enjoy the view, which could be really useful for those extended family portrait sessions!
While some people love colorful leaves for fall portraits, that's not always someone's cup of tea. If you love fall for its more themed qualities, a portrait session at The Farmstead might be more up your alley. The Farmstead has a pumpkin patch, corn maze, hayride, and lots of games for kids and adults alike. They have a large variety of big and small pumpkins and even let you bring in your own drink! Since 2020 is Linder Farms' last season, The Farmstead is your best bet for a beautiful pumpkin patch and corn maze. This is one of the more fun locations for fall portraits since it's easy to make a date out of it with its attractions and food stands. It's located about 30 minutes from Boise, requires an entrance fee, and tends to be a bit busy, but it's guaranteed to give you pretty fall portraits and fun memories too!
Bogus Basin is my farthest recommendation, being about 20 miles from Boise. If the 45 minute drive doesn't put you off, you'll be able to experience one heck of a session! Although there are ways to make this accessible for all types of people, I think it works the best when you're up for an adventure. This is also a better location when you have time to stop at pullouts on your way down! That way you have shots from on the mountain as well as wider shots with the mountain in the background. Wherever you decide to stop on the mountain, you'll get amazing views, colors, and trees! The weather does tend to be a few degrees cooler up there, so depending on when you go, you might need a jacket.
As I mentioned before, there are many other options for your perfect fall portrait location, but these are just a few of my favorites! There are also some great spots near Banks and Idaho City. If you want something truly unique, consider using Google Maps to find cool pullouts. I love including a pullout or two for sessions where we're venturing somewhere farther away. If you know of an awesome location that I didn't mention, feel free to leave it in the comments! I'd love to find more gorgeous places to check out. ❤️
PS, if you haven't thought about it already, fall portraits always make lovely presents for the upcoming holiday season!
Until next time,