Rocky Mountain Park is famous for its stunning views: the sweeping valleys, towering forests, and clear, mirror-like rivers and streams. For any photographer, taking pictures of Rocky Mountain National Park is practically a rite of passage. It offers some of the most breathtaking views in the country, with picturesque scenes that change throughout the seasons. Whether you’re an experienced photographer looking to build up your portfolio, or an amateur looking for things to do in Estes Park, Rocky Mountain Park is the place to go for astonishing landscape shots.
In the summer, the mountains are lined with lush green forests; in the fall, the trees offer a dazzling display of yellow and orange. The snow-capped mountains tower over the hills, and the waterfalls splash and cascade over the rocks. And that’s just a fraction of the scenery you can photograph at this park! If you’re searching for the best spots to take photos in Rocky Mountain National Park, here’s just a few of the places you can go to get that perfect shot.
1. Alberta Falls
If you need to add some waterfall photography but don’t feel like making the trip to Niagara Falls, Alberta Falls offers a stunning view of a waterfall that cascades across the rocks and spills into the river below. The churning, frothing water looks almost bright white in the sunlight. Surrounded by moss-covered boulders and towering pine trees, this scene looks like something from a picture book. When you visit Rocky Mountain National Park, don’t miss your chance to capture one of the most iconic waterfalls in the United States.
2. Sprague Lake
You’ve probably photographed a lot of lakes in your career, but you’ve never seen one as breathtaking as this. Sprague Lake is so clear that it practically reflects a mirror image of the sky and mountains. Rows of towering trees are huddled along the shoreline, with the famous Rocky Mountains in the distance. Pair this scene with a clear blue sky, and you’ve got an entire day’s photoshoot on your hands. If you’re lucky, you might even get to capture some of the local wildlife playing in the lake.
3. Gore Range Overlook
You haven’t truly seen Rocky Mountain National Park until you’ve taken the hike to Gore Range Overlook. This overlook gives you a sweeping view of the park below, including the hills, valleys, grasses and even the mountains in the distance. You’ll feel like you’re standing on Mount Everest when you’re perched on top of this overlook. And anyone who views the photos that you take will probably feel the same way.
4. Moraine Park
If you’d prefer something a little less intensive, take a stroll through Moraine Park. This flat area is covered with grassy meadows. The Big Thompson River cuts through this area of the park, making it the perfect place to spot local wildlife like elk. In the winter, the plains are covered with dry, barren grasses; in the summer, the meadow is alive with bright green shrubs and grasses. You can visit this area of the park any time of the year and always be able to capture a breathtaking scene.
5. Gem Lake
When you take pictures of this lake, you’ll find it difficult to separate the skies from the waters! Gem Lake reflects a near-perfect mirror image of the sky. The towering bluffs cast a shadow over the clear, glittering waters that are framed by grasses and pine trees. This area of park looks practically prehistoric–and you might find yourself wondering if you’ve accidentally stepped back in time.
6. Bear Lake
This is what people think of when they think of lakes in Colorado. This lake offers a picture-perfect shot of a clear lake with pine trees in the shoreline and mountains in the background. It’s almost too good to be true–but this stunning lake is all too real. Go in the daytime when the sky is blue, or visit at night when the stars are reflected in the waters. You might find that you’re so entranced by the beauty of this lake that you don’t want to leave.
7. Dream Lake
Dream Lake certainly lives up to its name. The waters are cool and clear, with a beautiful view of the mountains surrounding the lake. In the evenings, the mountains appear reddish like something you’d seen in the Arizona desert. The shore is covered with boulders and pine trees, and there are plenty of places to hike, swim and relax and enjoy the view. You might be so entranced by the beauty of Dream Lake that you forget that you came here to take pictures! Many couples have held weddings in this section of the park, due to its natural beauty.