Insider Tips From Local Experts

Scottsdale Stories

Most Instagram-Worthy Adventures in Scottsdale

If getting the perfect shot is what motivates you to get outdoors, we support that! In fact, we think the Sonoran Desert was built for Insta-worthy moments. So, whether you want to hike, float or paddle through lush desert landscape, here are some great ways to capture the perfect shot.


McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Here’s the formula for Insta-worthy hiking photos from Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve:

  1. Head out at sunrise or sunset for the best lighting.
  2. Identify the stateliest saguaro or most expansive mountain vista you can find.
  3. Strike your pose.

Be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks, wear sunscreen and keep your wits about you, even when you’re angling for the perfect shot. Critters and cactus thorns don’t care about your photo!

Hot Air Ballooning

hot air balloon

Whether you choose Rainbow Ryders or Hot Air Expeditions to take you up into the peaceful blue yonder, you’ll be almost as mesmerized by the vibrant, larger-than-life balloon being prepared for flight as you will by the views from the air. Be sure to have your camera at the ready prior to your departure - pre-flight selfies in front of the balloon have to happen quickly before take-off! 

Kayaking the Lower Salt River

Salt River Kayaking

Book your tour with REI Co-op Experiences and you'll enjoy knowledgeable guides with an eye for fun and safety, sturdy inflatable kayaks and Mother Nature at her absolute best. This is the side of Arizona many never see, and the time you spend kayaking the scenic Salt River will not only be ‘grammable, but memorable. Keep your eyes open for the herds of wild horses that graze along the shoreline.