One thing is for sure: Colorado has no shortage of UH-MAZING spots for engagement photos. From some hidden urban gems and trails in the foothills, to sweeping mountain vistas in places deeper in the mountains, there are so many great options for an engagement session that you’ll love.
Check out our top list of locations across Colorado for engagement portraits below, all sorted by type of scenery and/or region!
These are all within the Denver metro area and super easy to access:
Despite a $100 fee per session to use the Denver Botanic Gardens, this is a gorgeous location with a variety of backdrops to use for engagement portraits. There’s a greenhouse (which I LOVE!) with all the Costa Rica / Hawaiian vibes, beautiful architecture and manmade lily ponds, as well as several small trails perfect for flowers in spring/summer or autumn colors in the fall.
The best part? It’s right in the heart of Denver, and can even double with another spot on the same block: Cheesman Park. Here’s a sample engagement session we did at Denver Botanic Gardens last year!
Between some really awesome bridges (like on Wewatta) and the wide range of colorful street art, the River North and downtown districts of Denver may be perfect for you if you’re seeking a truly urban vibe for your engagement photos. You might even consider strolling down some of the alleyways for more unique spots, or bar-hop through some of the breweries and distilleries there!
A little hidden gem my husband and I stumbled upon while living in Greenwood Village for a year, Orchard Hills Park is located along some bike/walking paths weaving in and out of some of the neighborhoods there. Especially beautiful in summer and fall, there’s lots of trees and tall grasses in this area, as well as a pretty (yet small) pond. It’s an easy to get to spot in the Denver metro area and doesn’t require a permit. Here’s an engagement session we did at Orchard Hills during the summertime.
For another metro-based location without the urban vibes, we can head to Belmar Park, where there’s a beautiful mix of lake views, tall trees, and wide open fields. Also no permit required here either!
On the west side of town just barely in the foothills are a few trails on Mount Falcon. The east side gives you some views of Red Rocks in the distance, with many open fields. The west side of Mt. Falcon is (in my opinion) even better, with a great mix of mountain views, fields, and forested areas that make it a gorgeous spot during golden hour before sunset. See some samples of what it looks like for engagement sessions during fall.
These two tabletop mountains right near Golden are some of the closest options in the Denver area for a small hiking engagement session with beautiful mountain views. South Table Mountain has plenty of sunflowers that grow in summer, and North Table Mountain has so many cool rock features and cliffs that make it so unique.
For some really cool red rock features without having to deal with the concert schedules of Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Roxborough State Park makes for a great engagement photo location. There is a permit, so advance notice is required, but it can be well worth it to plan ahead.
One of the easiest spots to get to for engagements in Boulder, Chautauqua Park is a popular favorite. In spring the grasses here get SUPER green and in summer a few of the trees bloom some gorgeous flowers. Keep in mind that this place does get really busy on weekends, so it may be a better location for a weekday morning.
The views from Flagstaff Mountain from spots like Lost Gulch, Artist Point, and Sunrise Amphitheater are stunning, and are just a short drive away from downtown Boulder. They are also very popular on weekends, so if you’re willing to wake up early for the sunrise, it just might be worth it! Here are some of my favorite engagements and wedding portraits taken up along this road:
Many people don’t know that if you continue driving up Flagstaff Road towards Nederland, you can get some pretty epic views of Gross Reservoir along the way. It can make for another dreamy engagement session location spot for sure! Take a look at Kaylee + Kagen’s wedding portraits for inspiration.
Farther north near Fort Collins, Horsetooth Reservoir has a few hiking trails that can make for some adventurous engagement photos. I also love any location that combines water with mountains, and this area does just that.
On the north side of town near Boulder, Coot Lake is a fairly easy to get to spot for water and mountain views. I didn’t know about this hidden gem until Lindsay + Alex asked if we could do their first look and wedding portraits there last fall, and now I’m in love with the idea of using this location for engagements!
I have yet to experience it myself, but I’ve heard that the morning alpenglow on Lake Isabelle is one of the best in Colorado during sunrise. The whole Brainard Lake recreation area is filled with lake and forest backdrops, complete with tall mountain peaks all around, giving it a truly epic feel. Best bet for this location is on a weekday, since weekends can be jam-packed with people and parking is limited.
By far the most popular spot for engagement photos on the south side of the front range is Garden of the Gods — and it’s no surprise. You get easy access with very little hiking required, dozens of cool red rock formations all around, and you can see Pikes Peak from several places in the park. Check out Kaitlyn and Dan’s engagement at Garden of the Gods, or Bre + Daniel’s elopement for photo inspiration!
One of the closest waterfalls to Colorado Springs or Denver is Helen Hunt Falls. I’m personally a sucker for any great waterfall, especially for couples who don’t mind playing around for fun and getting a little wet!
About an hour’s drive from Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak has a nearly endless amount of mountain vistas to see from a dozen spots along the road up to the top. It is open year round (yay!), but they do close portions of the road during high winds or big storms so being flexible with scheduling is key for this location.
If you’re looking for something that involves a little hiking without bigger crowds in between the Springs and Denver, Spruce Mountain Trail might be what you’re hoping for. Only about 10 minutes north of our home in Palmer Lake, this trail is full of forested areas and rocky cliff faces looking south towards Pikes Peak. It’s got an adventurous side without having to drive way out into the mountains!
Another option close to our home that many people don’t know about is Palmer Lake Reservoir. There is actually a lower and an upper lake, so two total, and although there is a steep hike at first, it levels off by the water. Definitely a dreamy hidden gem!
Not exactly in the Springs area, but totally doable within a half-day’s drive, Great Sand Dunes NP is dreamy for those looking for a desert scenery combined with mountain vistas all around. This spot is better during hedge seasons like spring and fall, since the sand gets very hot during summer. You could even combine an engagement session at this National Park with a short hike up to Zapata Falls nearby!
Definitely off the beaten path, Paint Mines Interpretive Park in El Paso County isn’t too far from the Springs and is unlike anything else in Colorado. The clay formations here have shades of pink and orange that stand out during golden hour, and if you stay long enough for it to get dark on a clear night, we can even capture some night sky engagement portraits before we leave!
There’s a reason millions come visit Estes Park each year and it’s not just for the elk rut season. Rocky Mountain National Park is a stunning place everywhere you turn, but is HUGE. Popular spots in this park for engagement sessions include Trail Ridge Road (only open during summer), Moraine Park, and Dream Lake, but there are many others if you’re willing to explore some trails.
Want views of some of the highest 14,000 foot peaks in Colorado? Guanella Pass near Georgetown gives you views of Mt. Evans and other 14er peaks and isn’t hard to get to, either. During summer you’ll even find colorful wildflowers, and the afternoon rainstorms can make the sky look all kinds of dramatic that make it perfect for engagement photos.
Near Idaho Springs, the hike up to St. Mary’s Glacier isn’t long but can feel steep to those not used to hiking at elevation. However, it’s SO worth it! You can get every kind of backdrop here, from wildflowers in summer, lake views, snow in winter, and beautiful skies over the mountains.
The drive up Mount Evans will always be one of my favorites in all of Colorado, in part because you have the chance to see animals like bighorn sheep, marmots, and mountain goats! Near the top, there’s also an area filled with old bristlecone pine trees (very twisty looking and unique for engagement photos!) near Mt. Goliath Natural Area, and beautiful lake views at Summit Lake. Not to mention the “above the clouds” and “top of the world” vibes you get from the summit itself!
This place is on my engagement session bucket list, since I’ve heard it’s such an accessible location and I love Evergreen. The Evergreen Lake House might be a great option for you two if you want an easier place to get to with lake views!
As you may already know, Maroon Bells is one of the most iconic locations in Colorado, especially at sunrise. Aspen can be pretty chilly in the morning even during summer, but is so worth waking up (and that’s coming from a non-morning person!). You might even consider combining it with Independence Pass, or driving over the pass and into Twin Lakes, which is another dreamy spot without as many crowds and (unlike Independence Pass and Maroon Bells) is open year round.
Katogenic Photo + Film is a wedding and elopement photo and video team based in Colorado. Whether you’re looking for a creative set of engagement portraits or an adventurous wedding photographer, contact Katogenic Photography for your photography needs!
Hey there! I'm Kaitlyn, owner and lead photographer at Katogenic Photo + Film.
We would love nothing more than to learn more about your love story, hear about your wedding day vision, and create some stunning images you'll rave about to all your friends and family.
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