It should be no surprise that there are so many amazingly gorgeous Colorado photography locations: Colorado is spanish for colored. During spring the foothills are filled with wildflowers which then move up into the mountains for summer. There are snow-covered mountains, deserts, deep canyons and raging rivers.
We take it all in from our home in Steamboat Springs, and love to share our pictures with the world. Here are 8 jaw-dropping Colorado photography locations not to be missed next time you are in the “The Centennial State.”
Southwestern Colorado’s Chimney Rock is home to the namesake rock, a 315-foot tall edifice, as well as numerous Pueblo II (900-1150 AD) archaeological sites. The monument lies in 4,726 acres of the San Juan National Forest. Dark night skies allow for great star photography and viewing. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, horseback riding, and hiking are also popular.
Just outside of Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods is one of the state’s most popular attractions. Its gravity-defying spires, towers of reddish and white sandstone and shale formations, and 15 miles of hiking trails are a popular draw for wildlife enthusiasts, outdoors lovers, geologists, photographers alike.
Some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and most dramatic chasm on the continent can be found in Black Canyon, a 48-miles long gouge into the surface of the earth carved over two million years by the Gunnison River. The name comes from the depth of the canyon. Some areas only receive 30 minutes of sunlight a day. Hike along either rim of the canyon or hike down to the river or take your car on one of the scenic drives.
In northeast Weld County, Colorado, 13 miles south of the Wyoming border in the Pawnee National Grasslands is the Pawnee Buttes Trailhead. The two 300-foot buttes are accessible on a 1.5-mile trail. The first is on public land, but the second butte is on private land and can be accessed as long as no sign is posted indicating otherwise. With hawks and falcons nesting on the rocky cliffs surrounding the area, it’s great location for wildlife photography though some areas are closed through June to protect the fledglings.
Contiguous with the southern border of Rocky Mountain National Park, the Indian Peaks Wilderness features seven different peaks over 13,000 feet. Brainard Lake is one of the most popular destinations, especially during the busy months of July and August. The 76,711-acre wilderness is quite isolated and wild, and permits are required for larger groups.
Interstate 70 follows the Colorado River and cuts through the Glenwood Canyon, 16-miles long with 1,300-foot high walls carved by the Colorado River over the course of 3 million years. Besides making photos here, there’s ample opportunity to hike, canoe, whitewater raft, or bike or just take in the amazing scenery!
Hanging Lake a turquoise-colored lake located high atop the cliffs of the Glenwood Canyon is a geologic wonder accessible via a rigorous hiking trail with a 1000’ elevation gain over 1.2 miles.
Bridal Veil Falls, at 365-feet, is the tallest free-falling waterfall in Colorado. It’s a 1.8-mile hike wikth an 1650’ elevation gain from a large parking area at the edge of Telluride to the top of the falls, where you can take stunning pictures of the dramatic box canyon below. Water flow is highest in May and June.
Want to take in the best Colorado has to offer? Join other aspiring photographers on a photo adventure with Jim and Lori Steinberg of Steinberg Photography. To see where we are headed next, check out our Workshops and Photo Tours!