Pro Photographer Dream Destination Series: Colorado
With a stunning landscape and variety of ecosystems, Colorado is a photographer’s paradise. But with so much to see and shoot, it can be hard to know where to start. From high mountain lakes with snow-capped peaks to towering sand dunes covered in wildflowers, we have handpicked our favorite must-photograph spots in Colorado.
Garden of the Gods
The Garden of the Gods is a stunning geological formation in Colorado Springs. It features different colored sandstone rocks and boulders that have been shaped by erosion over millions of years. There are also many trails for hikers and runners that weave their way through the site.
The main rocks are easy enough to photograph, but it’s well worth exploring the surrounding area to find other striking spots to capture. Just keep in mind that the Garden of the Gods is a popular tourist destination, so it can get pretty busy during the summer months.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most photographed places in Colorado, so it’s no wonder that it made this list. This park is known for its variety of landscapes, including alpine forests, open grasslands, and wildflowers. The scenic park is also home to countless native wildlife species and rare plants.
Rocky Mountain National Park is a busy place, so you may want to consider visiting on a weekday during the summer months when schools are in session. You should also plan to visit either early in the morning or in the evening when the park is less crowded, and you’ll have better access to ideal natural lighting.
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a steep-sided canyon that provides a dramatic backdrop for photographers. It’s the deepest canyon in Colorado and has the second-fastest recorded river flow in the world. This canyon is a photographer’s dream destination thanks to its stunning mix of colors and rock formations.
The best time of year to visit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is from April to October. While visiting in the spring is great for wildflowers, you’ll have to brave the crowds of tourists that come with it. The fall is a great alternative as there are fewer people, and the aspens will be changing color.
Aspen is one of the most beautiful places in Colorado. It is famous both for its natural beauty and its high-end ski resorts. It’s hard to find a more idyllic setting than the Colorado Rockies in autumn. The colors of the trees in the background and the crisp blue sky provide a stunning backdrop for your photos.
Aspen is a very popular town, so it can get quite busy. It’s also a very popular tourist destination, so you should plan your visit at the start of the week to avoid the crowds. You’ll find the best spots for photography once you’re there. There are plenty of beautiful landscapes to explore, and you can even take a walk through the aspen groves.
The Royal Gorge
A visit to the Royal Gorge is a must-see for any photographer who loves a challenge. This is a place where the Colorado River winds through a giant, narrow cliff that’s more than 1,000 feet tall. It’s a dizzying sight that’s best photographed from a distance, but if you’re feeling brave, you can venture out onto a bridge at the entrance of the gorge to get a close-up view of the action.
You’ll want to avoid visiting in the winter as the water flow is much higher and the river is too dangerous to cross. The best time for photography is in the morning when the sun is hitting the gorge, making it look even more spectacular than usual. But, if you want to capture a wide-angle shot, then visit in the afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky and casts a long shadow across the gorge.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
The Great Sand Dunes National Park is in Southern Colorado and the perfect destination to capture shots of the dunes. Starting out the day at the park you will want to head to the top of High Dune, a roughly two-hour round trip, will lead to the best view of the entire park. It’s best to make this hike in the morning as in the afternoon the wind may roll in which wouldn’t be best for your camera.
If you’re looking for a less busy area of the park, head down Medano Pass Primitive Road which will lead to a shorter hike allowing you to reach the center of the dunes. In this area you will find less traveled dunes and be able to capture the natural ripples of the sand.
Pike’s Peak is one of the most famous landmarks in Colorado. It’s a 14,000-foot mountain that’s a very popular destination for hikers, mountain climbers, and professional photographers. While you can visit the peak at any time of year, you’ll need to factor the weather into your planning for a successful visit.
The road to the top of the peak is open to cars from mid-June to October. After this, it’s only open to people on foot, so you can experience the spectacular fall colors. From the top, you can either visit the summit on foot, or you can take the elevator up the Manitou Incline. The short hike offers stunning views of the surrounding area and the city of Colorado Springs off in the distance.
If you’re a photographer looking for some amazing spots to add to your portfolio, then be sure to check out Colorado. From the majestic Rocky Mountains to the beautiful flower fields, amazing photo ops abound in the centennial state. Whether you’re a landscape photographer, a wildlife photographer, or just somebody that loves taking great photos, Colorado has something to offer everyone at every turn.
Pro Prints is a leader in professional photo printing and custom canvas prints. So, after you capture those amazing shots of the Rocky Mountains be sure to check out Pro Prints when you’re looking to print your art.