The Sonoran Desert covers large parts of the southwestern United States (in Arizona and California), as well as Sonora in northwestern Mexico. As avid trailrunners of the desert near Phoenix, Arizona we are constantly scouting for new photo opportunities. is one of our favorite places for landscape photography. The wide views, rugged rock formations and unique flora and fauna inspire us to fill up our water bladders and go out into the Sonoran Desert very early morning or late in the evening.

Our favorite spots for photography in the desert

There are many gorgeous spots, but we know the area surrounding Phoenix best. Our favorite places near Phoenix are the South Mountain Park, the Superstition Wilderness northeast of Mesa, the McDowell Mountain Regional Park and Mountain Preserve near Fountain Hills and the centrally located Papago Park just north of Tempe.

Custom Sonoran Desert Photography

The Sonoran Desert is such a huge place with many beautiful places. If you know of any places that we haven’t photographed yet, we can create custom artwork for you.

Hiking in the Sonoran Desert near Phoenix

Close to home, we like to run in South Mountain on the National Trail. This 16 mile trail traverses the length of South Mountain and offers great options for sunrise and sunset views stretching across the Sonoran Desert.

In the Superstitions, one of our favorites is the loop over Dutchman Trail (who figured…) to the Peralta Trail.

Finally, in the McDowell Mountain Preserve, we spend a lot of time on the Pemberton Trail, but our favorite is the Dixie Mine trail further back in the park.

Be Prepared – the desert can be a dangerous place.

Whether you go out for photography or a run, the Sonoran Desert is not forgiving place. In addition to snakes, scorpions, Gila monsters and spiky cactuses, the Sun is trying to bake you alive most of the year. The difference between the low and high temperatures is much greater than in any other place. When you go out to explore the desert, please make sure to bring enough (1 liter per hour at minimum) water and bring additional electrolytes. See this great article on how to hike safely in the Sonoran Desert.