It's understood on any given day you can catch a truly breathtaking sunrise or sunset just about anywhere across Colorado. But if you want to capture a truly great photo, we recommend you take a trip to the following spots:
Lost Gulch Overlook on Flagstaff - Boulder, CO
Take a 15-minute drive up a steep, curvy road upon entering the Flagstaff mountain road area in Boulder to reach this breathtaking spot that’s perfect for catching that sunset view (or the view at any time of really). Just type “Lost Gulch Overlook” into your GPS or Google Maps for to get you straight there and if you are starting in Denver it’s only about a 45 minute ride. The dirt parking area will be on the right-hand side of the road after about 15 minutes up Flagstaff Road and there are signs for the trail when you enter the lot. Be sure to grab your phones/cameras before making your way to the lookout spot! You will be led straight out to the rocks and the ledges for the best views of Boulder and the Rocky Mountains.
The views from the edges are incredible, with nothing but vast mountains and forests in sight. It truly is a wonderful sight to see, just be sure to watch your steps and keep a close eye on dogs or small kids as some of the rocks are wobbly! There are plentiful spots for sitting, snacking, picture opportunities, or whatever your heart desires to do in that moment at that spot. Once you get towards the ledge, stop and take a look around you, you are likely to notice several other people scrambled among the rocks and ledges like mountain goats, just enjoying and taking in the Colorado beauty. By far some of the most refreshing views and a unique spot to relax near Denver, especially if you are on a time crunch.
North Table Mountain - Golden, CO
Only 25 minutes southwest of Denver lies one of the happiest cities in the country, Golden, Colorado. It is a unique town surrounded by mountains and upon entering Golden (if coming from Denver), a refreshing spot perfect for sunset views is just a few miles down highway 93 on the right hand side. This location is both explorable AND beautiful at any time of year. The large parking lot will lead to the actual North Table Mountain Loop trailhead or to a paved hiking path to the right side of the lot. Both routes are perfect for hikers, mountain bikers, families, and dogs of course. Just be sure to be mindful and practice the Leave No Trace principles!
For a quick, easy adventure for those with time restraints - take the paved road trail to the right side of the parking lot. This path has a fairly steep incline, but is a short cut up the mountain to get some fresh air and take in the scenic views. This is an incredibly relaxing spot at sunrise and sunset, and while the area is heavily trafficked, there is still a very secluded and peaceful atmosphere at the top. For those of you wanting to explore around the mountain and follow the North Table Mountain Loop trail, there lies about 7-8 miles of a perfect hiking/biking path (and 1,125 ft. of elevation gain) by following the trailhead sign to the left of the parking lot. The trail will eventually lead to connecting trailheads North Table Trail, Mesa Top Trail, and Tilting Mesa Trail, which will ultimately take you on a loop around the mountain. TIP: bring a hat and/or sunglasses - the area has very limited tree coverage and is mostly exposed to the sun!
Written by: Kelly Tierney