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

couple holding hands at their sprague lake wedding in rocky mountain national park near sunset
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, adventure wedding photographer, 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.

Echo Lake

Distance from Denver: 1.5 hours

I LOVE the Echo Lake 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.

Sprague Lake

couple holding hands at their sprague lake wedding in rocky mountain national park near sunset

Distance from Denver: 2 hours

Sprague Lake is one of THE approved places to have your wedding in Rocky Mountain National Park. Rocky Mountain has a lot of rules and regulations so if you’re in love with this area as much as we are check out our Sprague Lake Wedding Guide to make sure you know how to have the best wedding there!

Twin Lakes, Colorado

Distance from Denver: 2 hours

You cannot go wrong at Twin Lakes. Alpine lakes that you can swim in (which is not the case for all alpine lakes in Colorado). I love this area too because its lesser known that most areas. Its a bit out of the way but near Leadville and Buena Vista. 

If you hire us to be your adventure wedding photographers we’ll let you in on some epic spots you can hike to or drive to for more adventures! I’ll give you a clue: you can see more of these ares at this Surf Hotel wedding

Dream Lake

Distance from Denver: 2 hours

Ah, Dream Lake, if you’ve ever been you’ll know why they call it this. While we SERIOUSLY wish you could have your wedding or elopement here you cannot, sadly. So make sure to check out our Dream Lake wedding & hiking guide to learn about how to have your wedding or elopement in Rocky Mountain National Park!

This place is SO magical winter, summer, spring, you name it. Make sure to do your research for this hike better yet check out our guide!

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

couple's water reflection in riverside during winter in Vail Colorado a good place for weddings or elopements

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 | Indian Peaks Wildneress

Distance from Denver: 1.5 hours

Brainard Recreation Center a part of Indian Peaks Wildneress 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.

Loveland Pass Lake

couple near loveland pass lake for their colorado alpine lake elopement

Distance from Denver: 1 Hour

Loveland pass lake is absolutely gorgeous. You can only access this alpine lake in the summer because in the winter it will be snow covered and part of backcountry skiing/snowboarding. To see what we mean check out this Loveland Pass winter wedding elopement. 

You can see more of this Loveland Pass anniversary session  here!

Secret Spots 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 us to find out where it is!

couple kissing each other as the sunsets in the mountains behind them in Colorado

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

We haven’t photographed at these places but they are on our 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)

  • Kebler Pass Irwin Lake

  • Timber Lake Trail

  • Ruby Lake

  • Clinton Gulch Dam Reservoir (We just photographed here last winter and will update photos soon on our blog. Needless to say we’re glad we went here its SO beautiful!)

  • Officers Gulch

  • Corona Lake

  • Silver Dollar Lake

  • Radium Hot Springs

  • Mitchel Lake

  • Alpine Lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park

Want more Colorado elopement locations? Check out our best mountain spots!

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.

Not sure if the mountains are for you?

Check out our places to get married on the Oregon coast, specifically consider having a Cannon Beach Elopement!

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We would also adore coming alongside you to help you navigate all the rules, permits and locations around the park for your wedding experience as your guides and photographers.

Brittany and Emmy, Colorado and oregon elopement photographers in a beautiful location

We believe that your wedding day is meant to be cherished as an experience and not just an event. We’d love to help guide you in crafting a wedding day experience that you’ll never forget. Learn more about hiring us as your Colorado elopement photographers.

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  1. Pingback: Best Winter Mountain Colorado Elopement Couple Locations Part 4 | Denver, Colorado Mountain Wedding Photographer | Couple Photographer - Celebrate Again

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emmy on mountain to laughing
Hey, I’m Emmy, the main voice behind Celebrate Again. Here you’ll find ways to live the Celebrate Again lifestyle. I want to help you to embody the joy of life by learning to Celebrate Again in everything from the practice of intentional breath to taking on major life events. I believe your life should be full and be what you make it. Whether you’re joining me to plan your wedding, celebrate an anniversary, adventure around the USA, stay connected to your beloved, practice yoga or whip up a plant-based recipe, I’ve got you covered, friend.
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