Colorado offers so many gorgeous location options for engagement photo sessions. From Rocky Mountain National Park to Summit County locations, you really can’t go wrong. But what if you opt for a winter engagement session? That is where it can get a bit tricky. Between pass closures and unpredictable weather conditions, a winter engagement session may seem limiting. It doesn’t have to be though! With some great snow tires and my knowledge of accessible winter locations, I’ve got you covered. 🙂
I personally love photographing in winter – there is just something so magical about snow. Snow also provides what photographers call, “a natural reflector.” Light bounces off the snow and back upwards, creating super even tones in photos. Keep reading this post to learn about some of my favorite Colorado winter engagement session locations.
Sapphire Point Overlook is an extremely popular Colorado photo location, but for good reason! It offers breathtaking 360 views and you don’t have to hike far for beautiful backdrops. Sapphire Point is located between Keystone and Breckenridge on Swan Mountain Road in Summit County. The main overlook is only a five minute walk from the parking area and offers gorgeous views of Lake Dillon. There is a small loop trail here as well that is only 0.6 miles. In the winter you can expect snow on the trail, but it’s typically packed down since this location is popular. Sapphire Point is a great winter engagement session option because the road up the mountain is usually plowed well, and you don’t have to walk through miles of heavy snow for great views.
In Colorado, ski engagements and even ski weddings are pretty popular (or snowboard engagements and weddings… I didn’t forget about you all too. 🙂 ) I think any of the Colorado ski resorts work well for these sessions. If possible, I recommend picking a weekday instead of a weekend for your session. The less people, the less obstacles.. especially if I am taking photos on skis. The photos below were shot at Arapahoe Basin. At A-Basin, my personal favorite location for portraits was the East wall. Ski engagement sessions work best if scheduled as late as possible before the resort closes (softer light) or on an overcast day. Are you engaged and are considering booking a ski or snowboard engagement session? For the 2023-2024 season I will hold both Ikon and Epic passes, so we can go to any Colorado resort you desire. 🙂
If you are not thrilled about driving up a mountain in less than ideal weather conditions, but are still want beautiful mountain views, consider a Lake Dillon engagement session. Lake Dillon is a great spot for portraits because it’s pretty large (which means it most likely won’t be crowded at your selected spot), there are plenty of accessible parking options nearby, and it offers both greenery and stunning mountain views. If you visit in the winter, you can even walk on the frozen lake!
The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens are one of the world’s highest botanical gardens, located just 5 minutes away from the famous Vail Village. Although there will not be flowers in the winter, this is still a great winter engagement session location due to it’s close proximity to the highway and the Vail Village. There is a parking lot right on site, and the main paths are plowed in the winter. Upon walking around, you will discover a picturesque river, both covered and standard bridges, and of course beautiful mountain views! This session was actually a winter proposal/engagement session. Pro tip – If you propose in Vail, choose someplace other than the Vail village for a more secluded, intimate experience.
Want to see more photos from these Colorado winter engagement sessions? I have written stand alone blog posts that feature a few of these sessions. Check them out!