Sunset Cathedral Rock Engagement SESSION
Cathedral Rock is one of the most popular hiking trails in Sedona. The views during sunset are immaculate and the experience of having to hike and climb to get to the top is unique. Karina & Kegan wanted to adventure for their Cathedral Rock engagement photos from top to bottom so that is what we did!
We started our adventure away from the other hikers. Bell Rock is a special place to K + K so I wanted to capture the Bell Rock trail area in their engagement photos and avoid the harsh sunlight has the sun started to set. After adventuring at the base of the mountain, it was time to start our climb.
After a slow and steady pace we finally made it to the top of Cathedral Rock! Karina & Kegan brought a picnic blanket to enjoy the breathtaking scenery and catch their breath from the climb up. Of course I had to capture some intimate and cuddly photos while they were enjoying their time together.
The sun started to set and Golden Hour was upon us. After adventuring around the top and taking some super cute photos around the rim of the mountain, we finished our day together by celebrating K + K’s engagement with a champagne spray. In order to leave no trace I made sure Kegan popped the cork and held onto it before spraying with excitement.
After the celebration was over we packed up all of our belongings and climbed back down Cathedral Rock before it was too dark. Surprisingly, Karina’s white vans stayed pretty clean and didn’t pick up a lot of the red sandstone mud!
TIPS FOR SUNSET ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS AT CATHEDRAL ROCK IN SEDONA
GO DURING AN OFF-PEAK TIME
Adventure during the week day and not during tourist season. I can’t stress this enough! An average of 3 million tourists a year visit Sedona and with Cathedral Rock becoming more popular it can be difficult to enjoy your time adventuring with so many people around you.
Vising during a quieter time like a week day or during a slow month like March or November is my favorite time to explore Sedona. Plus, you’ll want your Sedona engagement photos to feel intimate and just you two! Having crowds around you may feel awkward and not as fun.
PREPARE FOR DIFFUCULT PARKING
The parking situation when the trailhead is open for parking can fill up within minutes, so plan accordingly and arrive earlier than you need to be. Thursdays – Sunday you are required to take the shuttle bus and cannot park at the trailhead. The shuttle bus is complimentary. They pick you up every 15 minutes and stops running before sunset, so during late sunset hours you either have to miss the sunset or walk 2+ miles back to your car at the shuttle bus stop.
PLAN AHEAD FOR WEATHER
Sunny or cloudy days are the best days to visit Cathedral Rock. The sun can be harsh so take extra time to plan on what times are best for photos. Do not plan to visit when there is any rainfall in Sedona. Cathedral Rock is highly dangerous to climb when wet and you can easily slip and fall. Plus, the trailhead is a flash flood zone and you can get either washed away or trapped on the other side trying to get back to the parking lot.
WEAR THE PROPER SHOES
Cathedral Rock in my opinion is more of a 1 mile climb than a hike. Wearing shoes with good ankle support and tread will help you climb the large rocks easier and you’ll have a less chance of slipping. If you want to wear cute shoes for photos plan to put them on before the climb.
PACK THE ESSENTIALS
Bring lots of snacks, water, a first aid kit, and a headlamp or flashlight. The climb to the top of Cathedral Rock can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on how many times you need to take a break – this trail is a workout! Bring snacks to reenergize yourself. More water than you need. A first aid kit because you may scrape your leg while climbing. And a headlamp or flashlight for if it gets too dark and you need extra light.
LEAVE NO TRACE
Pack it in, pack it out! Do not leave any trash or food behind. It is disrespectful and harmful to wildlife and nature. And please stay on the trail and do not adventure off trail and step on any flowers, vegetation, plants, or soft surfaces.
Cathedral Rock is definitely a bucket list location to explore when visiting Sedona. If you remember to plan ahead and to Leave No Trace our world will stay beautiful for years to come! If you are wanting to take Cathedral Rock engagement photos, reach out! I would love to help capture your adventure!
HEY, I’M KELCEE!
+ INTIMATE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
I’m here to help you with all things adventure & weddings. Planning your wedding day is one of the most exciting and biggest decisions you will make in life and you are not alone!
I’ll help you plan your best day ever, take away any stress you are experiencing and support you as your new best friend.
Your wedding is the experience of a lifetime and you deserve not only the support for doing what you love but also the best quality photos that tell your love story that will last a lifetime.
What a breathtaking location, I love the gentle colours! Thank you for sharing your beautiful images and this very helpful guide 🙂
What a beautiful cathedral rock engagement session! You captured their love so well.
What a fun Cathedral Rock engagement session! This location never disappoints, but added with their adventure at the bottom – so fun! Great tips for visiting this popular destination 🙂
What a freaking killer sunset engagement session!
You documented this sweet engagement amazingly well! Lucky couple
Cathedral Rock looks like a rad location for an engagement session! That first shot is amazing. I love it!
Gosh, I need to visit Sedona so bad! Such a gorgeous engagement session location and you captured the beauty so perfectly!
All of these images are just gorgeous! Beautiful spot too! I especially love all the compression in your shots at Cathedral Rock!
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