24 Most Beautiful Places and Best Views in Colorado to See in 2024

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Colorado is a gorgeous state that offers the most beautiful places to take scenic photos.

With so many national parks, rocky mountains, and green forests there is never a shortage of photo opportunities and epic scenic drives.

Visitors and locals alike travel from miles around to take a peek and grab a picture.

Here are some of the best views in Colorado and where exactly to snap the perfect outdoor photo!

1. Garden of the Gods

garden of the gods colorado springs

Located in Colorado Springs is Garden of the Gods, which offers some of the most epic Colorado views you will see in the entire state.

It’s no wonder that this destination is typically listed as one of the most beautiful places in Colorado.

Bright red rocks reach for the crystal blue sky, with the white snow cap of Pikes Peak towering in the background.

Garden of the Gods is a popular destination for climbers, hikers, sightseers, and everyone in between. You’ll often see climbers scaling the towering red rocks.

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There are actually several different locations within Garden of the Gods to capture an awesome photo.

You’ll find some of the best views near Denver when visiting the:

  • Visitor and Nature Center
  • Gateway parking lot
  • Balanced Rock
  • Siamese Twins Arch

To visit Garden of the Gods from I-25, take exit #146 for Garden of the Gods Road. Then head west for 2.5 miles, turn left on 30th Ave, and continue a mile to the Visitor Center.

2. Colorado National Monument

colorado national monument

The Colorado National Monument is part of the National Park Service and is located near Grand Junction. Most Coloradans think of it as our own version of the Grand Canyon.

Canyon walls cut into the landscape for miles showcasing gorgeous granite rock formations, sandstone, and other natural deposits.

The towering canyons spread out over 20,500 acres and can be as tall as 450 feet in some areas.

Some of the wildlife you can expect to see in the area are bighorn sheep, eagles, mule deer, coyotes, and lots of ground animals.

Bringing a camera is a must when visiting this location!

We suggest taking a photo at one of these spots:

  • Ute Canyon View (a marked spot)
  • Upper Ute Canyon Overlook
  • Monument Canyon View Overlook

To visit the Colorado National Monument, head west into the mountains on I-70 towards Grand Junction.

As you approach the western border into Utah, take a left onto Highway 340 in Fruita, Colorado and then follow the signs.

3. Maroon Bells

the maroon bells

Maroon Bells is one of the most photographed locations in Colorado for good reason.

In the Elk Mountains, the two peaks and crystal clear Maroon Lake in between form a picturesque destination.

This classic alpine scene is showcased thanks to a mirror-like lake framed on either side by towering mountains and surrounded by foliage and fauna.

This destination is a popular centerpiece of Colorado-inspired art and photography, and will always grab attention.

Because of the popularity of this destination, access is limited during high-traffic seasons like summer and fall.

Reservations are required to visit the scenic area, and we recommend visiting on a weekday if possible to reduce congestion.

A few of the most photographable locations can be found at:

  • Crater Lake Trail
  • Maroon Lake Scenic Trail
  • Maroon Creek Trail

The Maroon Bells wilderness area is located about 10 miles outside Aspen.

During summer months, Maroon Bells is easily accessed by public bus from the Aspen Highlands Visitor Center.

Pay to park at the visitor center and take the paid bus or hitch a ride on the free bus that runs from Aspen to Aspen Highlands, called the Castle/Maroon bus.

4. Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

royal gorge suspension bridge

Thrill-seekers will meet their match with the towering Royal Gorge Bridge!

The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is a striking 1,200 foot high bridge that stretches across a red rock canyon.

It is the highest suspension bridge in the country, and offers unbelievable views from the middle of the bridge.

If you’re not brave enough to walk across the bridge, you can still see the heights from the safety of the gondola!

Great photos can be taken from nearly anywhere near the bridge. We suggest aiming for:

  • Denver and Rio Grande Train (viewing platform)
  • Point Sublime
  • Near the Theater
  • Visitor Center

The gorge and bridge is located west of Cañon City. From the Front Range, head south on I-25, then follow CO-115. From here take US-50 W to the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park.

5. Manitou Incline

manitou incline colorado

A long time ago, the Manitou Incline carried a cable car loaded with supplies up Manitou Mountain.

After it was decommissioned in 1958, and a rockslide damaged the rails in the 90s, the incredible incline remains.

And it is one of the most physically challenging hikes in Colorado. There are other intense hikes in Colorado, especially fourteeners.

The railroad ties make up a staggering staircase that reaches 68% incline toward the top, and slices through the landscape like a razor-thin streak.

A photo from the peak of the incline would be remarkable, but there is lots to see from every spot on the incline.

  • Memorial Park in Manitou Springs
  • Lower Return Trail (bailout zone)
  • Barr Trail (top of the peak)
  • Starting point at the bottom of the Incline

From I-25, take exit 141 for US-24 W. Keep right toward US-24 W/W Cimarron Street and continue right following signs for Manitou Springs/Pikes Peak/Woodland Park.

Parking is free at the 10 Old Man’s Trail in Manitou Springs.

Pick up the frequent free shuttle (route 33) to the trailhead. The free shuttle operates from 6am to 8pm daily and goes between the parking lot and the incline.

6. Pikes Peak

pikes peak at garden of the gods

When it comes to recognizable and photographable mountains, you can’t miss Pikes Peak.

If you’ve ever heard the song “America the Beautiful,” then you’ve heard about this purple mountain’s majesty.

This beautiful Colorado Springs peak inspired the poem that became the song!

Pikes Peak is often purple in color, with a sprinkling of white snow on top. It can be seen from as far away as Denver, but is most remarkable when seen up close.

There are many ways to find the perfect picture at Pikes Peak, from ground level while you hike or bike, from the seat of a Jeep tour, or from aboard the Pikes Peak Cog Railway!

If you want an incredible view of Pikes Peak and the city of Colorado Springs, check out Palmer Park.

Pikes Peak is most easily accessed from Colorado Springs. Head up US-24 W toward the mountains and turn left onto Fountain Ave toward Pikes Peak Highway.

7. The Paint Mines

Paint Mines trail in Calhan CO

While many beautiful and scenic destinations will send you to the foothills of the Front Range and beyond, The Paint Mines are not in the mountains.

You may have seen rock and sandstone before, but the orange-red of other formations has nothing on the stunning multi-colored sandstone.

The stones vary from shades of bright white and gray to pink, red, orange, yellow, and many other colors in between.

The rich colors and funky formations were created by alternating layers of sandstones and other rocks, carved away by water and wind erosion.

This park is ideal for visitors on foot, since motor vehicles, pets, and bicycles are prohibited.

The Paint Mines Interpretive Center is a popular destination for hikers and photographers who are looking for the meaning behind the phrase “colorful Colorado.”

From Colorado Springs, head east on US-24 until you reach Calhan, CO. There are multiple routes from Denver to the Paint Mines, and all take about 90 minutes or more depending on traffic.

8. Colorado Ice Castles

Ice Castles Trip

If you’re visiting Colorado in winter, we highly recommend the gorgeous and awe-inspiring Colorado Ice Castles.

The Ice Castles are an award-winning attraction that makes for a winter wonderland that adults and kids will enjoy.

The sculptures are bigger and more elaborate than any other carved ice display.

Each castle is made of over 20 million pounds of ice, with towering ice blocks making up the walls, archways, and crawl spaces.

Anywhere inside the Ice Castles makes a great photo opportunity. But we suggest grabbing a photo at the:

  • Front entrance
  • Any of the hashtag signs
  • Giant ice block chair
  • Back exit when leaving

Tickets usually become available in December for the following January through February(ish) season. That makes the ice castles in Dillon a great post-Christmas winter activity!

And they are an ideal day trip destination to add to your Colorado bucket list.

The Cripple Creek Ice Castles are (obviously!) located in Cripple Creek about an hour drive outside of Colorado Springs.

9. Hanging Lake

hanging lake colorado

At the end of a steep, rigorous backcountry hike you will find Hanging Lake. This sparkling, blue-green gem of a lake is an iconic place to take photos.

The dazzling mountain lake is fed by multiple waterfalls from the travertine rock surrounding the lake.

Due to this gorgeous spot being so popular, the trail is reserved only and does require a permit, so plan ahead accordingly.

The trail is short, but very demanding and rocky. However, it’s well worth getting an epic picture if you choose to make the trek!

Bikers can also reserve a permit, so you can hike or bike your way to the top.

Permit holders can utilize the shuttle from the Hanging Lake Welcome Center to the trailhead during the regular season May through October.

Hanging Lake trailhead is about 3 hours from Denver off I-70.

10. Rocky Mountain National Park

rocky mountain national park

If you’re visiting Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park will make you feel like you’re on top of the world.

This spectacular national park has so much to see and to photograph! You could easily spend a day, a week, or even longer exploring all this park has to offer.

RMNP features extensive mountain trails, clear alpine lakes, fearsome rock formations, and a variety of mountain plants and animals.

With over 415 square miles of park to tour, you’ll find a million and one photo opportunities here!

There are two entrances to Rocky Mountain National Park, via Estes Park and Grand Lake.

To access Rocky Mountain National Park from the east side of the park, head north on I-25 from Denver or north on US-36 from Boulder toward the city of Estes Park.

To access Rocky Mountain National Park from the west side of the park via Grand Lake, head west on US-6 from Denver, then take I-70 to exit 232 (Empire) to US Hwy 40 to Granby to US Hwy 34 to Grand Lake.

11. Boulder Flatirons

chautauqua park

The Flatirons at Chautauqua Park are especially photogenic given their darker, foreboding color and striking, jagged shape.

The Flatirons which tower over Boulder are a popular destination for rock climbers, hikers, bikers, and sight-seers.

The peaks are among the most distinctive shapes and features of Colorado. Because of this, the Flatirons are always a beautiful subject for mountain photographers.

Chautauqua Park is the most popular place for snapping a photo and is easily accessible from the parking lot or any of the hiking trails.

Parking is limited at the park, but can be found in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Another good option is to take the free bus from Denver to Boulder, which leaves Union Station Gate B17 and stops at Broadway & Regent Drive in Boulder, just a few blocks from Chautauqua Park.

12. Union Station

denver union station

For a very photogenic urban site, we love visiting Union Station in Denver. The Crawford Hotel at Union Station is one of the most important historical landmarks in Denver.

The hotel was originally opened in 1881. And today, this beautiful building is home to many restaurants, shops, and of course, the Crawford.

This tall Romanesque Revival building is both beautiful and ornate. It has a substantial, old-fashioned feeling with all the modern amenities.

Epic photos can be taken anywhere near Union Station or take a walk down to the 16th Street Mall, which is nearby.

And we absolutely have to mention that Milkbox Ice Creamery is located inside Union Station!

Union Station is conveniently located in downtown Denver, just south of the junction between I-70 and I-25. It’s about a 30-minute drive from the Denver International Airport via I-70.

13. Red Rocks Amphitheater

Red Rocks Amphitheater

Whether visiting in the day time or at night, Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater is a beautiful place to sightsee and more.

This naturally occurring amphitheater is formed by the beautiful and erosion-carved red stones which give this area its name.

Red Rocks Park is open year-round (when shelter-in-place orders don’t exist) for everything from concerts, to film on the rocks, to morning yoga.

Featuring a beautiful view stretching over Denver, Red Rocks Amphitheater offers long horizon vistas day or night.

See the sun rise and set the stones aglow, or stay late and watch the city of Denver sparkle to life. There are also plenty of activities to enjoy in the park.

Bring your hiking boots or bicycle (and your camera!) to tour the orangey-red stones and see wildlife and native plants throughout the park.

Red Rocks Amphitheater and Park is just east of Denver in the city of Morrison. If you’re in Denver visiting Union Station, you can continue your tour of Denver at the Amphitheater!

Take I-70 W toward Grand Junction, and exit 259 toward Jefferson County 93/Morrison. Continue on County Road 93 to Red Rocks.

14. Skyline Drive

skyline drive colorado views

A scenic drive that is one of the most beautiful in all of Colorado is Skyline Drive, and it does not disappoint.

This historic one-way road is extremely narrow and sits on top of a high razorback ridge.

The 360-degree stretches out for miles and miles and makes it one of the most beautiful places in Colorado.

There are no guard rails or markers to abstract your views, just steep drop offs along the narrow road.

There are several pull-offs and overlooks along Skyline Drive, so be sure to stop, get out, and take a photo.

Not only that but it’s full of history, thanks to the dinosaur fossils and footprints found along the Dinosaur Trackway.

The entrance to Skyline Drive is located on the western side of Canon City close to Royal Gorge Mountain Park.

And remember, this is a super narrow one-way drive so drive slowly and carefully.

Skyline Drive is located in the Royal Gorge area. Just take I-25 south from Boulder, Denver, or Colorado Springs. Connect to Highway 115 south through Penrose, Colorado. 

15. Telluride

telluride colorado in fall

It’s no secret that Telluride is a beautiful mountain town in Colorado as it’s tucked away in the heart of the San Juan Mountains! 

The main reason it has some of the best views in the state is the fact that the town is located in a box canyon. This gorgeous canyon surrounds the entire city with vertical walls, making it a beautiful sight all year long.

It’s home to Bridal Veil Falls, which is the tallest free-falling waterfall in Colorado coming in at 365 feet high. 

Telluride also features the San Miguel River, which is a gorgeous waterway that covers 80 miles featuring the Alpine trees all the way to the sandstone landscapes.

16. Great Sand Dunes National Park


When seeking the absolute best views in Colorado, a truly unique experience is visiting the Great Sand Dunes

This National Park and Preserve is known for massive amounts of sand and huge sand dunes that are unlike any other landscape in North America.

The park is open all day and all night, and makes for a wonderful star-gazing experience. Not to mention tons of scenic things to do like sandboarding, sand sledding, hiking, RVing, and biking.

During the early-to-mid spring kids and adults will love splashing in the Medano Creek which flows freely for this short season.

17. Crested Butte

wildflowers and mountains in Colorado

Known as the “wildflower capital of the world” it’s no wonder that Crested Butte makes our list of the best views in Colorado. 

During the spring and summer, you’ll find entire mountainsides covered in wildflowers and valleys full of color.

There are plenty of things to do in winter too, thanks to Crested Butte being a gorgeous ski resort town with world-class skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, and more.

And you won’t find any hotel chains or large corporate restaurants here, as the town is home to a population of about 2,000 people. It’s the perfect spot to getaway in nature while taking in the beautiful, untouched views.

18. Mesa Verde National Park

manitou cliff dwellings in colorado

The state of Colorado was founded and built upon the history of the native people known as the Ancestral Puebloans. 

And one of the best displays of this history is known as the Cliff Palace, located at Mesa Verde National Park.

The stunning sandstone houses, sitting rooms, and pathways are expertly carved into the side of the cliff. YOu’ll get a real sense of what life was like for these historic people.

Built more than 1,000 years ago, this geological discovery is a sight to see and like nothing else in the state. 

However, if you want to see replicas that are similar to this historic sight, check out the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, located in Colorado Springs.

19. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

eldorado canyon state park

Often forgotten and one of the least visited national parks in Colorado is Black Canyon of the Gunnison. But it’s none-the-less beautiful and definitely deserves a spot on our list.

The Black Canyon surrounds a steep gorge that’s been carved by the powerful Gunnison River, offering dramatic views of the Painted Wall Cliff.

Like most national parks you can enjoy camping, hiking, biking, and many other outdoor activities. Thanks to a lack of tourists, you’ll also see plenty of wildlife, ground animals, and native birds. 

At night, get ready to see the evening sky light up with gorgeous stars and vivid constellations due to the lack of light pollution. 

You’ll no doubt want to bring your camera to capture these panoramic views!

20. Million Dollar Highway

Colorful fall drives in Colorado

U.S. Route 550, also known as the Million Dollar Highway, covers over 300 miles of winding road from New Mexico to the western part of Colorado.

Not only is the road a sight to behold with narrow turns, winding paths, and no guardrails in certain areas, but the highway provides spectacular views. 

Get ready to get your heart pumping as you drive along steep cliffs with nothing but miles of alpine trees, aspens, and tundra below.

The Million Dollar Highway is one of the most beautiful views in Colorado during the fall season due to trees showcasing their vibrant colors.

21. Glenwood Springs

glenwood gondola

As a native who has lived in Colorado all my life, Glenwood Springs holds a special place in my heart. 

Not only do I love visiting the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool to soak in the naturally hot mineral water, but the drive through Glenwood Canyon is like nothing else.

Get ready to enjoy stunning scenic views as you drive along the Colorado River and take in the sights of the canyon walls on all sides.

At the end of your destination you’ll be rewarded with the world’s largest natural hot springs pool, as well as a newly-remodeled therapy pool for complete relaxation.

Or take the Glenwood Gondola up to the top of Iron Mountain and take in the views of the valley and mountain ranges for miles and miles.

22. Broadmoor Seven Falls

silver cascade falls colorado overlook

Located in Colorado Springs, the Broadmoor Seven Falls is a natural beauty that features seven cascading waterfalls, making it a popular tourist attraction.

Get ready to view this magnificent series of waterfalls that’s located inside a 1,250 foot box canyon with stunning valley views below.

And while you’re here, take a moment to stop in at Restaurant 1858, which sits at the base of the climb and offers delicious food and a warm atmosphere.

If you’re staying at the Broadmoor Hotel nearby, be sure to check out one of the best views in Colorado at Seven Falls.

23. Crestone


If you plan to visit the Great Sand Dunes, you’ll likely stay at Crestone, which is about an hour from the National Park. But that’s not all it’s known for.

The small town of Crestone is nestled at the base of the Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range. You’ll find no shortage of miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, or camping. 

Plus, if you stay in a luxury AirBnB like this GeoDome, you’ll wake up to incredible views every morning while drinking your cup of coffee. 

24. Dinosaur National Monument

florissant fossil beds colorado

This national park has everything you’d expect from a Colorado monument and even more. During the summer you and your family can enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, rafting and camping. 

But the real draw to Dinosaur National Monument is the local quarry that’s filled with historic dinosaur fossils. There’s even a nearly complete dinosaur skull that was unearthed and found here. 

Even if dinosaur fossils aren’t your thing, Dinosaur National Monument sits in the middle of a gorgeous canyon, making it one of the most beautiful places to visit in Colorado.

Finally, you can turn your photos into high quality photo tiles that stick and re-stick with Wallpics.com.

If you’re looking for some of the best views in Colorado, we hope this list inspires you. 

The state is full of the most beautiful places and scenic places to visit to snap an epic photo.

There are so many awesome places to take Colorado photos in 2023! We hope this list inspires you to get out and visit an epic photographable location.

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