Colorado is home to some of the most majestic and beautiful locations in all of America. So take a minute with me and enjoy this list of 18 epic Colorado Engagement Photography Locations!
You might be reading this because you are researching locations and are looking for recommendations. With so many gorgeous locations to choose from, how do you pick the best one for your elopement or engagement photography session? Well you should most definitely pick a place that’s gorgeous (duhh), and adventure to get to, and far enough away that tourists won’t be in the background of your shots!
The state of Colorado is so diverse for photoshoot locations – it has the incredible Rocky Mountains, lakes, snowy areas, aspen and spruce trees, cliffs, sand dunes, all within a day’s drive. While it can be overwhelming to pick the perfect location for your engagement session, we wrote this blog post so you can see some photogenic (and easy to get to) locations from the Boulder – Denver area!
These are 18 epic engagement session locations in Colorado’s state parks, national parks, public lands, public parts, ect. Please research appropriate permits/access before scheduling a shoot. Always practice “Leave No Trace Principles” and leave the environment better than how you found it!
1. Rocky Mountain National Park
RMNP is more than 415 square miles of protect spectacular mountain environments. It has over 300 miles of hiking trails, wildflowers, wildlife, starry nights, and fun times. It’s close proximity to Boulder and Denver help make it the 3rd most visited National Park in the US.
Many people stop by Kind Coffee in Estes Park for a fresh coffee or smoothie before heading into the park for their photos!
Pro Tip: Photography sessions in RMNP require a photo permit which is currently only $50. Make sure your remind your photographer that a permit is required in the park. You certainly don’t want to be put in an uncomfortable situation with a Park Ranger.
2. Great Sand Dunes National Park
Great Sand Dunes National park is truly one of the most interesting natural phenomenon in the state and is only a 4 hour drive away from Denver. With the beautiful mountains as the backdrop, the humongous Dunes make a wonderful location for a photoshoot with your fiancé. If you’re a real adventurer, it would really pay off if you hike up to the top of one of the dunes to catch the sunset. The sunsets here are seriously amazing, just like the top of the dune sunset I photographed a few summers ago.
The Medano creek is easy to get to from the parking lot, so it also can be crowded. Make sure you come during a weekday to get the most of our your experience. And on your way back to 1-25, try and make a stop in Blanca, CO at Lu’s Main Street Cafe for some delicious lunch or dinner.
Pro Tip: You’ll be sweating together from hiking up sand hills and you’ll have sand in places you never knew you had, so have fun and make it a memorable experience instead of harping on the little negatives!
3. Lost Gulch Overlook
Lost Gulch Overlook is a very popular spot for the adventurous types in Boulder. This location is just up Flagstaff mountain, only a 15 minute drive up a beautiful winding road. Once you’re there, you can make your way to the rocky edge of the overlook and be amazed at how far you can see. From the eastern plains to the jagged, snow-capped peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Lost Gulch Overlook is easy to get to from the parking lot and it offers a few other nearby scenic spots for variety in your session. This location does get a little crowded with CU Boulder students, especially at sunset on the weekends.
A great meeting spot is at the Starbucks that is located on the corner of Baseline Rd and Broadway in Boulder.
Pro Tip: Bring a pair of tennis shoes to change into to get to the lower overlook spots, you will be scaling down some small boulders. Not extreme at all, but it can be harder with very formal shoes.
4. South Mesa Trail
South Mesa Trail is an incredible and slightly hidden gem of a location, the views just don’t quit. It is a bit out of town so most of the other visitors are either doing a photo shoot or they are informed hikers. The variety of shots you can get on this trail simply cannot be beat by any other location on this list. From scenic vistas, to aspen grooves, to flowing creeks, blooming shrubs, and even a cute pioneer home!
This trail is dog friendly trail but they must be leashed.
Pro Tip: In the fall, this trail is so colorful. The trees, the blossoming red vegetation, it’s amazing. Please co-ordinate your clothes so they complement the seasonal colors!
5. Confluence Park (Denver)
Confluence Park is a unique and scenic park that has a lot to offer for photography sessions. Conveniently located in Denver, right off of I-25 and right next to the Denver REI store. The Cherry Creek and South Platte River meet here to create an interesting intersection of nature and downtown Denver views. There is a nice variety of locations in this confluence area that will surely make your session memorable and interesting.
The REI store and the Starbucks that is attached to it is a great place to hangout and meet your photographer.
Pro Tip: Don’t be scared to politely ask someone to excuse themselves out of the way of one or two of your photos!! Your engagement session only happens once, people are generally nice and will get out of your photo if you ask kindly!
6. Sandstone Ranch Park (Longmont)
This is one of my favorite locations from the entire list because of so many photogenic things that Sandstone Ranch offers. The historical barn, fences, mature trees, open fields, creeks, sandstone cliffs, wildlife bird sanctuary, ponds, hiking paths, public Victorian house with a beautiful backyard, the list of features goes on and on at Sandstone. Who doesn’t love a rustic barn?! Want to try a fun theme for your session? Dress up as a bird watcher, binoculars and all!
The parking is limited in this location but it generally isn’t an problem. There are lots of friendly wildlife and bird watchers on trail throughout the day, so please remember that this is a wildlife sanctuary area and to respect the area. This location is nearby our home and we are often hiking this trail to view the beavers, owl nests, and have even spotted a huge mother snapping turtle laying her eggs.
7. McKay Lake (Broomfield)
McKay lake in Broomfield is a popular spot for locals to get away from the hustle and bustle! The McKay lake and it’s dock provides a nice backdrop for romantic couples along with uninterrupted views of the mountains. The mature cottonwood and willow trees along the path provide a great setting for intimate portraits like we did during this engagement session!
Like most of the places on this list, McKay lake is dog friendly so bring your (leashed) fur children to join you on your engagement photography session!
8. Doudy Draw (Boulder)
Doudy Draw is one of the most epic locations on the list because of the incredible vista views that it reveals of the Flatirons of Boulder. In the colder months of the year you might get snowed on, like we did for this engagement session!
This is definitely a location that I would recommend that you bring a pair of comfortable shoes, hiking required.
Pro Tip: Just like all outdoor locations, the wind can get rather strong so either be willing to just “let it flow” or grab some hair-spray.
9. Chautauqua Park (Boulder)
A photography location list would not be complete without including the most popular spot in Boulder. Chautauqua Park is indeed beautiful and the views never get old. If you’ve never explored here, what are you waiting for? If you have time, you can hike up the trail and find a lovely patch of evergreens like we did for this morning session. But be willing to get your exercise on, it’s a steady elevation gain on the trail there.
This area is very busy with hikers and other photographers so good Photoshop skills to erase distractions in your shots are a must!