5 Best Photo Opportunities in Salt Lake City

Photo Opportunities Salt Lake City

Lee Van Grack

Salt Lake City, Utah, is in a valley surrounded on all sides by the majestic Wasatch Mountains. If ever a city was designed to be photographed, it is this picturesque town.

Here are five can't miss photo opportunities in Salt Lake City for any shutterbug.

1. The Romantic Photo: Snowbird

Snowbird is a scenic resort within 30 minutes of downtown Salt Lake City, in Little Cottonwood Canyon. In 2008, Outside Magazine named Snowbird and its sister resort Alta as the number one ski resorts in North America. The resort began construction in 1970 and opened in December 1971, and the view is absolutely breathtaking. The snow covers the peaks of the mountains year round and pine trees line the mountain sides in a colorful display of green.

While the resort is perfect for skiers and sightseers, it is also a wonderful place for a romantic getaway. The highest point is a 11,000-foot Hidden Peak and the lowest point is the bottom of the Baby Thunder chairlift at 7,760 feet. In addition to skiing, Snowbird offers snowmobiling, ice-skating and snowshoe tours in the winter, and hiking, horseback riding and even an alpine slide in the summer. No matter what you want to do, you'll find it here.

Looking out from the mountaintop, you view the breathtaking visions surrounding Salt Lake City and everywhere you turn is another opportunity for countless photos. There is not a better place for you to cozy up with a loved one and the photos will always be a sight to behold. To find out about the current weather conditions, call 801-742-2222.

2. The Quirky Photo: Metaphor: The Tree of Utah

If you want quirky photo opportunities, Salt Lake City offers a good one with"Metaphor: The Tree of Utah." This is an 87-foot sculpture that sticks out like a sore thumb in the Bonneville Salt Flats, west of Salt Lake City. European artist Karl Momen created the tree in the 1980s. It was dedicated in 1986, and called "a hymn to our universe whose glory and dimension is beyond all myth and imagination."

The "tree," the only thing for miles in either direction, offers an interesting photo opportunity. It is located on the north side of I-80 West at mile marker 26, 95 miles west of Salt Lake City. The sculpture is made of 225 tons of cement, almost 2,000 ceramic tiles, five tons of welding rod and more tons of minerals and rocks native to Utah.

This is an opportunity to take a photo of an abstract, bizarre work of art. It is impossible to get close enough to pose with the sculpture, as a metal barbed-wired-top fence surrounds it. Luckily, there are places to pull over for "emergency" reasons, and from here, you can snap all the pictures that you can handle of this strange "tree." It is definitely worth the drive to see and photograph it.

3. The Family Photo: Hogle Zoo

Hogle Zoo is Salt Lake City's zoo and features a number of photo opportunities for the entire family. It is located at the mouth of Emigration Canyon and is the number one paid tourist attraction in Salt Lake City. The zoo, spread out over 42 acres, in 2010 began offering up-close animal encounters that allowed kids and parents alike to get close and personal with an array of some of the more popular animals. You can even feed a critter or two.

An amazing giraffe house presents you with the chance to climb to the second floor and gaze at a giraffe eye to eye. The entire time we spent at the giraffe house, the animals remained inside and provided numerous chances for some unique photos.

The zoo also presents an interesting exhibit with some of the strangest animals you will ever see. The exhibit, known as Nature's Nightmares, gives you a chance to get some pictures alongside some of the most grotesque and scary creatures on the planet. Add to that the adorable baby elephant and penguin exhibits and you won't find enough time to snap all the photos you want.

The zoo is open from March 1 through October 31 from 9AM to 6:30PM MT and from November 1 through February 28 from 9AM to 5:30PM MT. Adults get in for $9 while kids under 12 get in for $7.

4. The Scenic Photo: "This Is the Place"

"This Is the Place" is a Heritage Park hosting numerous activities for community, business and private organizations. The 450-acre state park near Emigration Canyon is meant to preserve and promote the heritage and history of Utah. It is a step back in time, allowing visitors to experience the way life was when the settlers made Salt Lake City their home.

However, it is not the park itself that provides the best photo opportunities, although there are a number of activities that lend themselves admirably to film. What struck us as the best opportunity to snap photos is the amazing view of the town of Salt Lake City from the memorial grounds.

Standing on the side of the mountain, the view of Salt Lake City is magnificent. The mountains act as a kaleidoscope behind the houses and buildings of the city. As you stand and look out over the bustling community, it provides a sense of awe as you remain just on the outside looking in. When the sun lowers and the city's lights begin to flicker to life, the view is amazing and the photo opportunities are virtually endless.

5. The Classic Photo: Temple Square

You can't come here without taking advantage of the historical photo opportunities Salt Lake City has to offer. A group of Mormon pioneers led by Brigham Young founded Salt Lake City in 1847. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has since made the city its home and anyone visiting definitely needs to see the architecture that forms the Temple Square complex, located in the heart of Salt Lake City.

Inside the square is the Salt Lake Temple, the Salt Lake Assembly Hall, the Seagull Monument and the home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. You can't walk more than ten feet without finding something new to shoot. The North Visitors' Center even sports a replica of the famed "Thorvaldsen's Christus" statue of Christ in a room surrounded with large windows and vivid paintings of stars and planets, creating a fascinating photo op.

The buildings are all immaculately designed, some with steeples stretching high into the sky. A pond rests in front of one building. The crystal clear water of the pond reflects a mirror image of the building behind it. Temple Square is the most historically significant of all the sights in Salt Lake City and provides the greatest chance for your perfect photo opportunity.

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