How’s your Instagram game? If you haven’t noticed by spending some time on your search page, nature shots are all the rage on the ‘gram. And why not? Take some of the most beautiful places in the world, add a filter, and type out an inspirational quote—you’ve got a likable piece of social media right there.
Arizona residents, take note: if you want more double-taps in your life, these are the most Instagrammable places in state forty eight.
You Basic: Camelback Mountain
Oh, Camelback. How would we describe our relationship, is it frenemies? It really is a unique place—a piece of nature thrown right in the middle of the valley—but such a double-edged sword at the same time. Just one trek up Scottsdale’s most popular stairmaster and you’ll see every hiking cliche under the Arizona sun. But when you reach the top, you are rewarded with an incredible view of the valley and the opportunity for the most basic ‘gram in the state.
Tip: The should call this “Selfie Mountain.” Go ahead and use that front-facing camera.
Peak Fitness: Humphreys Peak
Posting a ‘gram next to Humphreys’ famous summit sign says a few things—most notably that you’re in good enough shape to climb the 3400+ feet required to reach Arizona’s tallest point. Anyone can post up next to Horseshoe Bend or Antelope Canyon but, damn it, you put in the work. Those hearts are well-deserved.
Tip: Every picture next to the sign is exactly the same (like mine). Branch out and try doing something new at 12,635 feet.
Camera Tricks: Devil’s Bridge, Sedona
Look at me. All alone in this beautiful, desolate place. Just kidding, there are dozens of people behind and to the side of the camera. I experienced the same thing at Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah. There’s a social code to wait in line, let people take a picture alone on the bridge, and sell the illusion of isolation.
Tip: Do a CrossFit handstand to show your coordination and laughter in the face of death.
Deep Thought: The Grand Canyon
We have a natural wonder of the world in our borders, so why not ‘gram it? But it can’t just be a picture of the canyon, this Instagram post needs to mean something. Here’s what you do—sit on the edge, think about life, and have someone take a picture from behind. This shows that you love nature and are introspective at the same time.
Tip: Drive the extra few hours to the North Rim to separate your ‘gram from the other thousand.
Hang 10: The Wave
This is the most underutilized Instagram spot in Arizona. It isn’t easy to get to (there’s a strict permit system), but it’s a legitimate place to capture once you’re there. Of all the natural spots in Arizona, this is always that last one on everyone’s checklist. No snark here—The Wave is rad. Go there right now and ‘gram it.
Tip: Surfing puns, of course.
The Holy Grail: Havasupai
“THIS SECRET PLACE…” C’mon Buzzfeed, Havasupai is more famous to Arizonians than Pat Tillman. There is nothing secret about a place that sells a year’s worth of permits in 15 minutes. But, if you are lucky enough to grab a golden ticket down to this area of the Grand Canyon, it truly is one of the most incredible places on the planet. Seriously, the bright blue water and red rocks look like Photoshop in front of your very eyes. And the hike down is no slouch either—8 miles through the canyon and 2 more past the village is what it takes to reach the recognizable Havasu Falls. So bust out that yoga pose, you’ve earned it.
Tip: Make a really millennial video for YouTube. It will get lots of views.
*The the embedded Instagram posts used in this article were pulled from searching the place and using one of the most popular posts. These are public and I would not lift a picture from someone’s private account. Basically what I’m saying is—I didn’t single anyone out if any fun was being made (and most of them are me anyways).