- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, nps.gov/blca: Located just outside Montrose, this Colorado gem often can be overlooked. But those who take the time to tour the national park will be rewarded with stunning views. Visitors can hike or drive along the rim or explore the depths of the canyon along the Gunnison River.
- Colorado Balloon Classic, balloonclassic.com: For 37 years, during the early morning hours of Labor Day weekend, Memorial Park has become its own little world of shapes and colors. One by one, hot air balloons grow into giants, floating upward. Every moment is a photo opportunity, especially the evening Balloon Glo.
- Garden of the Gods, gardenofgods.com: These breathtaking red rock formations reach toward the blue sky with Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop. Check out the Kissing Camels, the llama's head and other geologic formations from the deck of the visitor center. Then take the short drive to Balanced Rock.
- Maroon Bells, aspenchamber.org: This is considered the most photographed spot in Colorado and with spectacularly good reason. The two majestic peaks reflected in Maroon Lake are so popular with photographers, they start gathering well before sunrise to find a spot. During the summer, it's accessible via shuttle, bike or hike.
- Rocky Mountain National Park, nps.gov/romo: There is so much to see and experience in the 415 square miles of national park: mountains and valleys, streams and lakes, wildlife and wild beauty. Climbing skyward, Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the country, and it provides continuous chances for photos.
Linda Navarro, The Gazette