Fall is one of my favorite seasons for engagement photos in all of Colorado! There is something so magical about those beautiful orange and yellow (and red if you’re lucky!) leaves mixed with the mountain backdrops. Fall is a bit of an elusive beast though, sometimes Fall is here in early September, sometimes you won’t see a single colored leaf until October. Sometimes we have a month of gorgeous color, sometimes it explodes in a weekend and is gone by Monday.
When my couples reach out about wanting fall colors for their engagement photos I am always set realistic expectations and encourage my couples to choose a location they love even if the fall colors don’t pan out. That being said, if my couples express really wanting fall foliage in their photos I will do everything in my power to make that happen! I have scoured all over the state for a variety of fall photo locations so if our first choice spot doesn’t work I will always have backups.
Big note for all of this, I am not a meteorologist or an arborist (though that’d be really cool!) My expertise is limited to a few resources, like this really great map with predictions for colors and my experience from previous years. Flexibility is key when you’re wanting fall colors in your engagement photos!
Lower Elevations: Things start to cool off in September, but don’t expect fall colors to pop off just yet, typically we need to wait for October for Denver and Boulder to start seeing some changes.
Mountains & Higher Elevations: Fall has arrived! Fall colors start to really show mid September at the higher elevations. The higher you go, typically the sooner you can expect to see the colors.
Lower Elevation: Fall has arrived! In most locations, early October will bring fall foliage all around. Towards the end of the month you’ll still be able to find some great color but it will likely be a lot more sparse– big sweeping shots likely won’t be possible rather close ups in the available trees/brush.
Mountains & Higher Elevations: Once you get towards the end of the month, most locations in the mountains will be past peak with the leaves either brown or completely fallen off.
Note for the mountains: October can be misleadingly chilly in the mountains. It can easily be 30 degrees colder than in Denver, so make sure to check the temperatures of your specific location and not the closest town. You might travel up a mountain pass and lose 20 degrees in 10 minutes.
Below is an example of just how quickly the fall colors can change! The first photo was a bit before peak in late September and then less than two weeks later we were at peak.
There are so many gorgeous neighborhood parks that have beautiful fall colors! Within Denver you’ll also have a lot more time for fall foliage since it typically snows a bit later in the year rather than the higher up mountain passes.
Boulder has some gorgeous fall colors around Chautauqua. These tend to show up later in the year and are typically a bright yellow display.
45 MINUTES FROM DENVER
Below is one of my favorite spots for fall engagement photos! It has a mountain view, aspens and some beautiful orange shrubbery. This spot is incredibly popular in the fall, so expect crowds. But in my opinion, it’s so worth it!
There are some gorgeous mountain passes with high elevation aspens, Kebler is one of my favorites! These spots require a bit more planning since they’re further away and almost alway swamped during leaf peeping season. But if you’d like the true Colorado fall experience, they are the places to go!
This engagement session was during sunrise (which is why there’s all that frost on the ground!) It was definitely chillier but we got some beautiful alpine glow AND this normally popular area was completely empty. This session was taken on October 6th and was likely at peak.
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