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Locations Guide (Summer and Fall)

Updated: Jun 20

Over the years we've had the pleasure of exploring many beautiful mountain locations in the place we call home. In the summertime and fall there are lots of places open that can't be accessed in other seasons. Below we will provide some sample photos and important information about each location so you can choose the best place for your session! We categorize each location based on the general area- for Breckenridge and Summit County locations start at the top. If you're looking for Fairplay and Park County locations you can scroll down a bit. We regularly add new spots, and are open to your recommendations if you have any.


 

Breckenridge


Sawmill Reservoir

Will work for any type of portrait session


This is great location for large families and extended families! The view of the slopes over the reservoir makes it clear you’re in Breckenridge. It does require a steep hike to get to the water but once you are there it is mostly level ground for the walking path around the reservoir. It could be accessed in any season, although it’s particularly stunning in the summer. There are ample pine trees but only a few aspens. It is somewhat heavily trafficked but there is a fair amount of parking at the trailhead.



Blue River Arm Trailhead

Will work for any type of portrait session


This beautiful spot on Lake Dillon is accessible in any season and is very close to town. It can be windy but it doesn’t require hiking- just a short walk out to the lake. There aren’t really trees, but it has big bushes and views in many directions and there is nice long grass and some fences/rocks to sit on. There is plentiful parking.




Warrior's Mark/Maggie's Pond

Best for groups up to 12 people


This location is ideal if you are hoping to walk to your photoshoot after dinner or another activity in downtown Breckenridge. It is a thick forrest of evergreen trees and has a stream running along some of the trail. At the end is the opportunity to take your group photo in front of the pond with the view of the slopes in the background (pictured below.) Because of the location, this area is more crowded which is important to consider.




Sawmill Museum Hike

Will work for any type of portrait session


This hike is pretty short and is an easy location to get to for aspen photos! Although it is heavily frequented it has a fair amount of parking and is an easy hike to a nice view with hills and mountains in the background. It is somewhat rocky but is not steep and is great for any type of portrait session, including large extended families.




Boreas Pass*


Not recommended for groups larger than 9


This is a great spot in all seasons but is particularly beautiful in the fall because of all the aspens. It can be heavily trafficked. There is a small parking area with about a .5 mile steep hike to the breathtaking view of the mountains and some beautiful rock formations. Any type of portrait session would work here other than extended families with groups larger than 9. The majority of sessions taken here would take place on the dirt road, which is something to consider for families with children or if you plan to bring your dog(s) along. On a weekend it may be best to opt for another location if you have a large group with you.




Frank Stanley Bench*

Would work for any type of session ***not accessible until usually late May


This spot is absolutely beautiful! It is SUPER important to note that this location is NOT for the faint of heart. The dirt road to get there is overlooking a steep drop off and it is only for those comfortable with backroad driving and cliffsides. There is no hike to the view, with a big grassy field spread out in front of a stunning view of the mountains. It's located along Boreas Pass road, close to Breckenridge. There are lots of various yellow and purple wildflowers (still in bloom in late summer usually) and it is somewhat secluded, although you'll likely see some passerby's here. Parking isn't great, but it is worth it if you're up for the challenge. View a nice 360° photo of this location by clicking the link below!





 

Blue River


Blue Lakes Trailhead

Not recommended for groups larger than 7

***Not accessible until late May or even June


This spot features views right when you get out of the car! It has a good amount of parking and is pretty popular so it’s best to avoid weekends and holidays. The road usually opens in June and closes in November. There is the option to hike two different directions depending on what type of scenery you’d prefer. One way takes you about a mile until you reach a small waterfall. The other direction is about a mile but pretty steep. Even as locals we get winded with the elevation gain, but if you take your time it isn’t bad. The road can be hiked to another scenic backdrop and at the top there is a second alpine lake. Up there it tends to be more secluded. This location is fairly versatile and would work for nearly any portrait session- except large groups.



Lower Mcculough Gultch

Will work for any type of portrait session


This location has a good amount of parking and is a short and pretty level hike to the open area with a nice hilly view. There is a thick forest area and a small bridge which can make for some nice pictures. This would work for any type of portrait session in any season. For the more adventurous, it looks like a nice hike would lead you to some stunning views.



Montgomery Reservoir/Magnolia Mill

Not recommended for groups larger than 6

***Requires a hike during the months of April and May


This spot features a beautiful waterfall without much of a hike. The mill is a rustic backdrop option but does take a pretty rocky and uneven hike to get there. We don’t recommend large groups because there isn’t an abundance of flat ground, but for couples and small families this is a beautiful, scenic location.




 

Silverthorne/Dillon/Frisco


Swan Mountain Pull Off



Great for any type of session


This spot is right on the side of the road and doesn’t require any hiking! It features long grass and a beautiful view. There is plenty of parking. The only downside is it’s along the road so you’ll see cars driving.



Swan Mountain Trail



Great for any type of session


We love this location because of its scenic views, pine trees and the fact that it’s a more secluded area for photos. The parking area has plenty of spots and although it requires a walk to get to the view, it is a very even dirt road without elevation gain. Below is a professional image from this spot. It was taken in winter time but gives a great idea of the view. Below is a link to the parking area.




Sapphire Point Overlook

Not recommended for groups larger than 10

Please note there have been periodic closures announced during 2024 and part of the hike may be entirely inaccessible this year


This scenic location is ideal in any season. Although it its best for seniors, couples or families up to five individuals. It is has stunning views over Lake Dillon right when you get out of the car. It is heavily trafficked but has a good amount of parking. It does have steep portions that require carrying toddlers and young children. It has lots of pine trees! As stated above the hiking area is mostly closed this year, but the viewing area pictured above should still be accessible for photos.



Giberson Bay



Great for any type of session


This spot features a beautiful rocky beach with a nice view of the mountains. There are also wooded and grassy areas nearby for some variety during your session. It has ample parking. The short hike to the view is uneven, rocky and steep in parts which is important to keep in mind.




Old Dillon Reservoir Trailhead

Not recommended for groups larger than 5


This is a beautiful trail with purple and yellow wildflowers in early-mid summer along with aspens and evergreen trees. It has a fair amount of parking and although the hike is moderate there are some spots to take photos with a view of the mountains on the way to the small reservoir. We took the phone picture above when we hiked it as a family. It would be ideal for seniors all the way up to a medium sized extended family who would enjoy a hike! We haven't done a session here, check the Google reviews to see some beautiful professional images taken by a fellow photographer in the area.



Lowry Trail

Would work for any type of session


This stunning trail overlooks Lake Dillon from a slightly different angle, and it has lots of pine trees and big grassy fields. In early June there were some yellow wildflowers scattered about. It’s more secluded than other locations nearby, with limited parking, but enough for 4 cars. It does require a short hike, a little less than half a mile one way. We haven’t had a photoshoot here yet, but we think it would be perfect for the right person.




Acorn Creek Trail

Best for couples and small families

***Hike may be difficult in April and May


This more secluded location is best for summer and fall because it requires about a mile hike to the view of the Gore range on relatively steep and rocky ground. There is a bridge over a stream in the aspen grove and there are lots of wildflowers all around in June and July. There’s quite a bit of parking and it would work for any portrait session, although it might be difficult for a large extended family.


Crosscut Trail

Great for any type of session, although large groups will need to limit their party to two vehicles due to parking



This is another location we recently found. We have yet to do a session here, but we think the scenery and mountain views are gorgeous! There is lots of greenery with pine trees and various plant life. The parking area is small, located in a neighborhood. The view is ready for pictures after a one minute, flat walk. It is used frequently, so you will likely see some people during your session.




Buffalo Mountain Trailhead

Would be best for groups up to five people


We stumbled upon this trail recently while exploring Silverthorne and we fell in love with the craggy peaks, pine trees and various wildflowers stilll in bloom half-way through August. This spot has at least 10 nice parking spots and requires a super short but steep climb up to a nice little area where the entire session can take place with the view. There is also another area you can hike along for a couple minutes for some shaded photos in the trees if desired. We think this would be a great option for a couple or small family who is comfortable climbing a quick but intense hill.



 

Fairplay/Alma


Valley of the Sun



Great for any type of portrait session

***Parking is incredibly limited


This mountain meadow has a gorgeous backdrop with lots of pine trees and aspens. It does not have adequate parking for more than 1-2 vehicles. Since parking is along the side of a shoulder of dirt road, it isn’t ideal if you aren’t comfortable with that. It is a short 3 minute walk to the view. We've photographed a variety of sessions here, from couples to extended and small families. Since it's more of a local's spot, there isn't a Google link. Just let us know if you'd like to see more photos we've taken here.


Pennsylvania Mountain Trailhead


Great for any type of portrait session

***Will have snow until late May/early June


This spot is typically only accessible June-September. It features wildflowers in early-mid summer and a lovely view right when you get out of the car with no hike required. Although, if you're willing to hike a bit you'll be rewarded with some insane views as shown in the Google listing at the link below. The ground is pretty level and there are lots of pine trees along with a fair amount of parking. It is located in the Valley of the Sun and requires a drive down a bumpy dirt road to access it.



Beaver Creek Trailhead

Would work for any type of portrait session

***Usually not accessible until late May/early June


This location has lots of aspens and would be a wonderful spot during the height of golden leaves in autumn. There are also a variety of wildflowers here, a nice bridge and a serene view. It isn’t super busy here and is only easily accessible June-October. To access it there is a pretty long drive in a dirt road, but no hike is required. There is a spot for parking that can be used by 1-4 vehicles.


Here is the Google pin- it does have a nice 360° photo to view


Mt. Silverheels Trail

Great for any type of session


This spot is very close to in town of Fairplay and the dirt road to get out to it isn't bad. It's a nice open field with grass and wildflowers that bloom in early summer! On the right there is a winding dirt road and even a hiking trail with aspens, pine trees and cool rock formations. Although you can hike for more woods-y photos, you don't have to if you don't want to. We love this beautiful mountain meadow!


 

Jefferson/Como


Kenosha Pass

Would work for any type of portrait session


This scenic location features a mountain view and sooo many aspens! It's very popular in the fall, but also has lots of parking and is extremely accessible- right off of HWY 285. It doesn't require a hike to the view and is a great option for all types of portrait sessions. Since it's the top of a mountain pass it can get a bit windy out.



Tarryall Reservoir


We haven't scouted this spot personally, but we highly recommend checking out the photos and reviews in the Google listing below. If you're looking for a great location in Jefferson, this might fit your vision perfectly!



 

Hartsel


Illuminations Ranch

Great for any type of portrait session


This breathtaking wedding venue belongs to some good family friends of ours. If your date is available, it's a great spot for all types of sessions and since it's private property you won't encounter random people. No hike is required to the view- the property has bathrooms and features aspens, pine trees and wildflowers along with great views.


Wilkerson Pass*


This pass would likely work for any type of portrait session. Although we've driven by it many times, we haven't had a chance to fully scout around and hike. The views are very pretty and there is great parking.



If you'd like to see more pictures from any of the spots we mentioned just shoot us a text or email! Or, if you have a particular place in mind that isn't listed above, let us know so we can check it out. We're so excited to help you find the perfect location to capture your time in the mountains!


*We haven't fully scouted or taken professional photos at spots labeled with an asterisk. Want to be the first person we shoot at one of these locations? Just tell us and we will take a look to make sure it'll be a good option for you!


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