Best Alpine Lake Mountain Colorado Elopement + Couple Locations Part 2 | Denver, Colorado Mountain Wedding Photographer | Couple Photographer

Best Alpine Lake Mountain Colorado Elopement + Couple Locations Part 2.jpg

Colorado is such a diverse beautiful state, we have 14,000 ft mountains, desert sand dunes, red rocks, alpine lakes, rivers, hot springs, cute little mountain towns and a bustling city. I think the only thing we don't truly have is the ocean, but we do have a few alpine lakes and reservoirs that can help all you water lovers enjoy that aspect as well. Not only that, but we have, on average, 300 days of sunshine per yer! Okay, that may include days that have a random rain storm for two seconds, but it usually just means we see the sun that many days per year, which is amazing! 

So, when people know they want to elope, get married or plan an adventurous photo shoot here in Colorado, it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to begin to narrow down locations. So, I present to you a handful of my favorite "Best of Colorado" locations. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but includes some of my personal favorites. Some places are only accessible during certain seasons, so keep that in mind when looking through this list! 

The bonus element is that all of these locations are accessible even if you're not a hardcore hiker, meaning they are less than a mile walk or hike from a parking area to the location itself. So, if you're planning even an adventurous Colorado mountain wedding with someone who cannot hike for miles or who is subject to the very real hindrance of altitude sickness, these are great ideas!

And if you're looking for a Colorado elopement photographer, a Colorado intimate wedding photographer, a Mountain wedding photographer or just someone to capture your love story, we are your gals!

I've categorized these by type of place into these categories.

This blog post will focus on Alpine Lake locations that feature sweeping views, mountain vistas, or beautiful immersion in evergreen or aspen trees! To view the other categories click on the categories above!

As you're scrolling through here you can click on any photo to see more of that locaiton from a previous photo session.


Best Alpine Lake Mountain Locations for Elopements, Intimate Weddings or Colorado Anniversary Celebrations.


Echo Lake

Distance from Denver: 1.5 hours

I LOVE this area so much. Not only because its near Mount Evans, one of national parks that most Colorado visitors don't know about. Yes, Rock Mountain National Park is amazing, but its SO busy and crowded. Mount Evans is a bit of a hidden gem in Colorado and one of my personal favorites. 


Dillon, Colorado

Distance from Denver: 1.5 hours

Dillon is such a cool little place, its nestled in some of the most popular places in Colorado, mainly Frisco area or also known by the locals and Summit County because there are so many cute little towns within a few miles of each other. It can be a bit of a busy area because its closest to some of the most popular vacation areas but its large enough you can usually find an exclusive spot. 

If you really want to get on the water and are planning a good year in advanced you can reserve an actual boat to use on the Marina! Or there are lots of rental places around if you want to go for a cute canoe ride like these two above did. 

There is also a cute camping area you could reserve if you really are more of the adventure rustic type!


Vail, Colorado

Distance from Denver: 1.5 hours

Vail is another popular place around Colorado but also has great access to a lot of spectacular spots to do many things including white water rive rafting, skiing, snowmobiling, ATV riding, horse back riding, and well about any adventure you could think of maybe except scuba diving. 

The town of vail is pretty engrossed by trees so it doesn't have those sweeping mountain views like Dillon does but it has a down town that is the most adorable European feel. 


Brainard Recreation Area 

Distance from Denver: 1.5 hours

This place is one of my favorites because its a true hidden gem, most people living here haven't been here because they usually go to Rocky Mountain National Park if they are going to go north from Denver. Brainard is actually a camping area but you can stay just for the day. It's a state park so there is an entrance fee which is a bit of a damper for wedding guests but if you're planning an elopement or intimate wedding and you all love camping this may just be your spot!
 

There are some amazing hikes around from 1-4+ miles to to some of my favorite places in Colorado! There are real wild life around this area since its pretty tucked back from bigger cities so you have to make sure to read all signs and tips about bringing food in and out.

Bonus but maybe downfall for some of you there is NO cell phone service up there...so its as remote as you can get. 


Secret Outside of Boulder, Colorado Alpine Lake

Distance from Denver: 1 hour

So this place is actually one of my secret spots because its another gem that not many people know about. You cannot swim here but you can use any watercraft with a permit. I love the sweeping mountain scapes in the background of this area with the beautiful reflections of glittering water. 

This place has very low traffic and is only 1hr away from Denver, Colorado. It also has a camping area on site that you could reserve ahead of time if you want to stay there. 

You'll have to book me to find out where it is!


Outside of Golden Secret Spot 

Distance from Denver: 45 minutes

I love this spot because it has some cool old ruins and is pretty easy to get too from Denver, Colorado only 45 minutes outside the city and 20 minutes from Boulder, Colorado. It has beautiful views of the flatirons in the background and a cute little stream flows through the beginning of the train. 

It is technically part of Boulder, CO so there are permits and parking fees for using the area.


Other Mountain Locations

I haven't photographed at these places but they are on my bucket list!

  • Alpine Lakes around Crested Butte, Colorado 
  • Alpine Lakes around Aspen, Colorado
  • Marron Bells (Ok but this must be done on a week day and off season because its SO overcrowded)
  • Loveland Pass Lake
  • Kebler Pass Irwin Lake
  • Timber Lake Trail
  • Ruby Lake
  • Clinton Gulch Dam Reservoir
  • Officers Gulch
  • Corona Lake
  • Silver Dollar Lake
  • Radium Hot Springs
  • Mitchel Lake

Things to know about Mountain wedding, elopement or anniversary photography locations:

  • All outdoor weddings/events still require a permit with most areas. So once you do your research of where you want to go make sure you know the rules of the area. No one wants to get a fine on their wedding or celebration day. 
  • Altitude sickness is a true reality at these high altitude locations so research it and make sure to pack the right supplies or have alternative plans.
  • Alpine lakes do still have some bugs around and the Colorado sun can be pretty fierce so simple things like sunscreen and bug spray may still be necessary. We do have ticks out here! While not near anything like the mid-west I myself have already gotten bit by one camping out in these areas. 
  • Weather is variable up in the mountains, but the great part of Colorado is that it could down pour for an  hour and one hour later be sunshine with not a cloud in sight.
  • Afternoon thunder storms are a true reality. Consider an am celebration to capture the morning alpine glow or have a plan B for the afternoon. While you can wait out rain, thunderstorms especially at high altitudes shouldn't be mess with.