I spend a lot of time scouting for beautiful locations in the area to take photos, and I do not publicly post them, so that I may keep them nice. I follow leave-no-trace practices, and take care to keep nature as raw and unpolluted as possible. I update this list when I find new places that I love. If you know of a place that you would like to have photos taken, please feel free to offer suggestions. If you have additional questions or would like to see more photos of any of these locations, please reach out. Many of these locations have a variety of places to take photos, so your gallery will be varied in its scenery.
Red Rock Canyon Open Space is off of Highway 24, west of I-25 and just South of Garden of the Gods. It offers breathtaking views of the mountains, as well as the beautiful red rocks for which it is named. To achieve this view, there is a 5 minute hike up a long, but not steep, hill on the Eastern side of the park. Preferable to GotG for its lack of crowds and easy parking.
Cheyenne Mountain State Park is off of Highway 115, directly across from Fort Carson. It is $9/day to get into the park itself. However, I like to park at the visitor center just outside the park and take photos on the nearby path. Close to parking and an easy walk, Cheyenne Mtn. State Park is a lovely choice for dramatic mountain backgrounds, with no shortage of trees and foliage as well.
High Point Overlook is on the South side of Garden of the Gods. It offers stunning views of the Rockies from atop the beautiful red rock formations. Often very crowded, Garden of the Gods is a free tourist attraction that people flock to, especially during the summer months.
Castlewood Canyon is about 30 minutes North and East of Colorado Springs, off of Highway 83. It features a variety of backdrops, including this little waterfall. To get to this waterfall, it is about a 10 minute hike from the parking lot, and we had to squeeze through some brush to get to the water. If you're up for an adventure, this is a fun spot to go.
Mesa Overlook is just up Mesa Road across from Garden of the Gods. It features the stunning red rock formations and a great view of the Rockies behind them. Right off the parking lot, this is an easy location if you don't want to walk very far for beautiful scenery.
The Paint Mines in Calhan is a gorgeous nature preserve, that features beautiful striations in the stone, carved by nature into unique formations. This location does require a $100/session permit from El Paso County. About 40 minutes East of Colorado Springs, it is worth the drive and extra cost to have photos unlike any other.
Helen Hunt Falls is up Cheyenne Canyon Road, and offers a gorgeous creek that runs along the road, flowing from a waterfall at the Visitor Center. I often like to meet people at the visitor center and walk the trails to find places along the creek for photos.
Fox Run Park is on the North side of town, nearly to Monument. It is a large park, offering several playgrounds, fields, even a lake. This park is nestled in and surrounded by a forest of lodge pole pines. With ample parking, and clearly marked trails, if you are after a forest look, this is the place to be.
Palmer Park is right in the heart of Colorado Springs, at Academy and Maizeland. It features lots of trees and rocky outcroppings, with spectacular views and dramatic skylines. This location is easy to reach and only a short walk from the parking lot.
Quail Lake is on the South side of Colorado Springs, near I-25 and Lake Avenue. This stunning view is literally only steps away from parking on the East side of the lake. There is also a small trail on the South side of the lake that features trees and shoreline views.
Ute Valley Park is located in West-Central Colorado Springs, near I-25 and Woodmen. Though parking is limited, this park is large and offers beautiful mountain views, as well as an abundance of evergreens and open space. It is an easy walk, and you don't have to go far from the parking lot to get great scenery.
Black Forest Regional Park is located off Highway 83 and Shoup Road. It offers a dog park, a playground, a field, and horse-friendly trails on the North side of the park. This location offers beautiful spots for photos right off the parking lot, as well as hiking trails to get to the less manicured parts of the park.