Planning the Perfect Surprise Proposal in Colorado

If you are planning to propose to your significant other here in Colorado I have some tips on how to make it the best day ever! I know that planning a surprise proposal can feel overwhelming, so allow me to help you get started. This guide has some of my best advice and tips! Read more to find out how to plan your surprise proposal here in Colorado.

Man down on one knee proposing to his girlfriend on top of a mountain during their proposal in colorado
girl looking at the camera while hugging her fiance during their proposal in colorado

Why Propose in Colorado?

Colorado has such a diverse environment that makes it a unique place for couples to come and get engaged. Colorado has mountains, waterfalls, canyons, alpine lakes, forests, and even urban settings. With all these landscapes to choose from Colorado can provide the perfect setting for a proposal.

Choosing the Best Location for a Proposal Photoshoot in Colorado

As mentioned above, Colorado has no shortage of amazing locations to choose from. However, there are several factors you may want to consider when narrowing down your choice. Some of those factors include: accessibility, privacy, permitting, and the season. All of these logistics can really effect your experience, so it’s important to think them through and do plenty of research on the location ahead of time. If you aren’t sure how to get started or feel overwhelmed by doing all this research on your own definitely reach out to a Colorado photographer. Most photographers here in Colorado are very familiar with great locations for photoshoots and can tell you most of these things off the top of their head!

couple facing away from the camera towards the mountains kissing during their proposal in colorado

Popular Proposal Photoshoot Locations near Denver

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater

This location is just a short drive from Denver Metro. While Red Rocks is famous for their amazing outdoor concerts, the surrounding landscape is breathtaking. The park has several hiking trails and rock formations you can check out. I personally go hiking here atleast once a week! Red Rocks also offers panoramic views of the city skyline and the rolling mountains in the background. Propose against the backdrop of towering red sandstone rocks for a memorable and scenic experience.

Mount Falcon Park

Located in the foothills west of Denver, Mount Falcon Park features a variety of trails and overlooks perfect for a proposal. Choose from scenic spots like the Tower Trail or the Castle Trail for breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and plains.

Lost Gulch Overlook

Situated in Boulder, about 30 minutes from Denver, Lost Gulch Overlook offers panoramic views of the Front Range and downtown Boulder. Lost Gulch sits along Flag Staff Mountain which has several other lookouts and trails to explore. I am a huge fan of this location due to the variety it offers! Plan your proposal during sunrise or sunset for golden lighting and dramatic vistas that will take your breath away.

Lookout Mountain Park

This location is nestled in the foothills near Golden, Colroado. Lookout Mountain Park provides sweeping views of Denver, the plains, and the mountains beyond. Propose at one of the park’s scenic overlooks, such as Boettcher Mansion or Buffalo Bill’s Grave, for a romantic setting with historical charm.

Evergreen Lake

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city with a proposal at Evergreen Lake, located just 30 minutes from Denver. Whether you choose a lakeside picnic, a paddleboat ride, or a stroll along the scenic trail, this picturesque setting offers tranquility and natural beauty ideal for a romantic proposal.

newly engaged couple with their heads together looking at the camera during their proposal in colorado

Popular Proposal Locations Outside of Denver


Located approximately 80 miles west of Denver, Breckenridge is a charming mountain town known for its historic Main Street, outdoor activities, and scenic beauty. Propose amidst the colorful buildings and festive atmosphere of downtown Breckenridge, or take a scenic gondola ride to the top of Peak 8 and proposal on top of the world!

Garden of the Gods

Situated about 70 miles south of Denver in Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods is a stunning natural park known for its towering sandstone rock formations and dramatic landscapes. Choose a secluded spot among the red rocks to pop the question, with the 14er Pikes Peak as your backdrop.

Mount Evans

Just 60 miles west of Denver, Mount Evans is one of Colorado’s famous “14ers” and offers breathtaking views from its summit. Take a scenic drive up Mount Evans Road, stopping at scenic overlooks along the way to capture the perfect proposal moment with the Rocky Mountains stretching out before you. Note: This location is not open year-round, check their website.


Located approximately 100 miles west of Denver, Vail is a world-renowned destination for outdoor adventure and scenic beauty. Propose amidst the charming alpine village atmosphere of Vail, with its cobblestone streets, upscale boutiques, and stunning mountain backdrop. Alternatively, take a scenic gondola ride to the top of Vail Mountain for panoramic views and a romantic proposal at high elevation.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Situated about 70 miles northwest of Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park offers unparalleled natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities. Enter the park through the Estes Park entrance and explore iconic locations like Bear Lake, Dream Lake, or Sprague Lake for breathtaking views of alpine lakes, towering peaks, and lush forests. Choose a scenic spot to propose amidst the pristine wilderness of one of Colorado’s most beloved national parks.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Located approximately 220 miles southwest of Denver, Great Sand Dunes National Park boasts the tallest sand dunes in North America against a backdrop of majestic mountains. Propose amidst the surreal landscape of rolling sand dunes and golden sunlight for a truly unforgettable moment.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Situated about 250 miles southwest of Denver, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park features steep cliffs, narrow gorges, and the roaring Gunnison River. Choose a scenic overlook along the South Rim Drive or hike to one of the park’s viewpoints for a dramatic and awe-inspiring proposal setting.

fiancee leaning on her significant other shoulder displaying her new engagement during their proposal session in colorado

The Best Time of Year for a Proposal Photoshoot in Colorado

Choosing the right season can significantly impact the aesthetic and mood of your proposal photoshoot in Colorado. Consider the following:

Spring (May-June)

The spring comes a bit later here in Colorado versus other parts of the country. May is when the flowers are starting to bloom and things are starting to look a bit more green. Late June is my favorite time of year in Colorado. It boasts milder temperatures, fuller waterfalls, wildflowers are popping up, and most of the trails are starting to open up!

Summer (July to August)

Summer in Denver can be pretty hot, that’s why many of us escape to the mountains seeking cooler temperatures. Experience long daylight hours and warm temperatures perfect for outdoor adventures and photoshoots. July is when wildflowers are at their peak!

Fall (September to November)

Fall in the mountains starts to bring cooler temperatures and fall foliage. Colorado is famous for it’s yellow and orange Aspens that turn the mountain valley in to a blaze of color.

Winter (December to February)

Winter in Colorado is beautiful and comes with several outdoor winter activities to enjoy. Embrace the snow-covered landscapes and enjoy playing in the snow.

newly engaged couple holding hands and spinning around smiling during their proposal in colorado

Legalities and Permitting for Photoshoots in Colorado

Planning a proposal in Colorado’s outdoor landscapes often entails navigating the legal perimeters set forth by the forest service. Many popular or protected locations require permits to regulate access and preserve their integrity. Check on the government website for the location to find out if a permit or timed entry is required in order to have your photos taken there. If you are working with a photographer they may be able to help your navigate these logistics as well.

Permits: Some locations, especially those in national parks or protected areas, may require permits for professional photography sessions. Research and obtain the necessary permits beforehand to avoid any legal issues.

Timed Entries: This may be an additional requirement separate from a photography permit. Timed entries have become popular in the past few years in popular destinations to limit how many people can enter a park at a time. This helps ease the flow of traffic and ensures that the landscape is being protected by limiting how many people can access that park per day/yr.

Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment and preserve the natural beauty of Colorado’s landscapes. Don’t know what LNT is? Check out their website here for more info.

fiance holding his hand to his girl friends chest smiling at each other during their proposal photoshoot in colorado

The Element of Surprise

Timing is critical when orchestrating a surprise proposal. Consideration of factors such as weather conditions, tourist traffic, travel time, and optimal lighting can elevate the overall experience. Consider enlisting the help of friends and family to help you coordinate and communicate with your photographer. You don’t want your significant other to get suspicious! Additionally, you need to figure out how they are getting to the location, if you will be waiting for them there or if you will be driving together. Thoughtful planning really helps to ensure everything goes off without a hitch.

Other Ways to Prepare for Your Session:

Logistics: Consider transportation, accommodation, and any necessary reservations to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience.

Practice your speech: Rehearse what you want to say during the proposal to ensure it comes across as heartfelt and sincere.

Prepare for surprises: Anticipate unexpected scenarios and have a backup plan in place to adapt to changing circumstances.

newly engaged couple holding hands and smiling at each other as they run in a field together during their colorado engagement session

What to Include During your Proposal

Personal touches: Incorporate elements that are meaningful to your relationship. This could include participating in one of your favorite activities, sharing a meal together, or decorating the area with your partners favorite things!

Bring Props: Consider including surprise elements like handwritten notes, meaningful gifts, flowers, champagne (one for popping & one for drinking!), a picnic with dessert, or even your dog to add sentimental value to your proposal.

Capture the moment: Hire a professional photographer to capture the emotions and reactions during the proposal for lasting memories.

cute country couple sitting in the back of the pickup truck during their proposal in colorado

What to Wear for Your Proposal in Colorado

Dress appropriately: Choose attire that suits the location and season of your proposal. Whether it’s formal attire for a romantic dinner or a casual outfit for an outdoor adventure. Don’t forget to consider footwear too!

Comfort is key: Opt for comfortable clothing and footwear that allow you to move freely, especially if your proposal involves outdoor activities or hiking to a scenic spot.

Pack the Essentials: Pack a bag for everything you might need to stay comfortable throughout your proposal adventure. Snacks, water, layers, head-lamps, champagne, bug spray, and sunscreen!

fiance dipping his girl friend while kissing her in a field during their proposal in colorado

Why you Should Hire a Professional Proposal Photographer

Enlisting the expertise of a professional photographer is invaluable when planning a proposal photoshoot. Beyond capturing the moment itself, a skilled photographer can offer assistance throughout the planning process.

Many proposal photographers offer to scout locations to help you find the perfect spot. Additionally, photographers can assess the lighting so that you propose at the right time of day for optimal lighting conditions. They can really help create a more artistic and enhanced proposal experience. On the day of the proposal, a professional photographer ensures that every emotion, reaction, and detail is expertly captured. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event you want an expert on your team!

Their discreet presence allows couples to focus on the significance of the occasion while knowing that their love story is being beautifully documented. Also, photographers can offer guidance on posing, composition, and wardrobe choices to ensure that the resulting images are not only stunning but represents the couple authentically.

finace swinging his girlfriend around in a field smiling during their proposal in colorado

Post-Proposal Celebration Ideas

If you’ve hired a photographer you’ll most likely spend an hour or two getting photos, but what about after that? There are so many ways you can celebrate your proposal in Colorado! Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Enjoy a Romantic Dinner at a Local Restaurant
  • Meet-up with Friends/ Family or Facetime your Favorite People
  • Pop some champagne and Eat a Sweet Treat
  • Relax in a Hot Spring or Hot Tub
  • Have a Campfire and Stargaze
cute newly engaged couple giving each other eskimo kisses during their proposal in colorado

Ready to Get Started Planning Your Surprise Proposal in Colorado?

Planning a surprise proposal in Colorado is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can ensure that your proposal is complete magic. Let Colorado’s natural beauty be the backdrop for your love story. Want to work together? I’d love to help you plan an epic proposal experience, reach out here to get started.

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