Our summer vacation this year was EPIC:
      3 weeks
      4500 miles
      15 states
      2 little kids
      1 car
      Countless moments of fun

      It sounds insane, but we truly loved it. It was a dream of a vacation that we will always remember.

      Our main destination was a family reunion in Frisco, Colorado. The four of us met up there with my parents, my brother and his family, my aunts, my uncle, my cousins, and their families. We stayed for a week of spectacular adventures together.

      Colorado is particularly special to Mike and me, because we lived there before our kids were born. For our 12th anniversary, we were back in Colorado, reminiscing about the adventures we had during the six years that we lived there. This time we were traveling as a family of four, eager to show our kids all the places they’ve heard us rave about. We were delighted to discover that they love Colorado, too.

      Here are some of the many photos I took during our week in one of the most beautiful states in the country.

      The four of us at Wilkerson Pass, South Park

      The four of us recreated a photo at Wilkerson Pass that Mike and I took when we first started dating 14 years ago. I like the new photo even better.


      Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Colorado Springs

      We spent our 12th wedding anniversary hiking in Red Rock Canyon Open Space, where we used to walk our dog every day. I knew it would be fun to return to our special place, but I never expected that the best part of the day would be seeing how much the kids love it there, too.


      Frisco, Colorado

      We sat by Lake Dillion for hours and took it all in.


      Sapphire Point, Dillon

      Sapphire Point, Colorado: Where the chipmunks are so friendly that they walk right up to your camera.


      My parents on Keystone Mountain

      We took the gondola to the top of Keystone Mountain. I have photographed weddings in that very spot, and this time I got to photograph my family there.


      Sapphire Point

      The kids were brave and adventurous, and it made me so happy to seem them enjoy this beautiful place as much as I do. I’m pretty sure Daniel is at least 50% mountain goat.


      The trail to Rainbow Lake, Frisco

      Katie is about to turn four, and still prefers to ride in the hiking backpack instead of walking. I think she needs to get used to hiking, but Mike kinda likes holding his little girl. So sweet.


      Frisco Nordic Center

      My little cowgirl learned some new skills.


      Along the Sapphire Point trail

      Along the hiking trail at Sapphire Point, there are at least a dozen stick houses! Building huts like these are one of Daniel’s favorite things to do at home, so he was in heaven here.



      The cousins had a horseshoe match surrounded by majestic views.



      I watched these happy kids flourish in the wild and wonderful Colorado setting. One of my favorite memories was just hanging out in a random field near Frisco and watching them pick wildflowers.


      Sapphire Point trail, Dillon

      Our family loved hiking at Sapphire Point near Frisco and Keystone. It’s an easy, short, and family-friendly hike with spectacular views. I love these people and this view.


      Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs

      I have stood in this spot many, many times taking photographs of clients. It’s a dream come true to be able to photograph my own family there.


      Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs

      Daniel loved the Garden of the Gods so much that he never wanted to leave. Seriously. He said he was going to live in that park. It’s not such a bad idea, really.


      Happiness at Lake Dillon

      The sunshine, blue skies, blue water, and mountain views were almost too much to take in. Almost.



      We met a friendly burro in at Country Boy Gold Mine in Breckenridge.


      Breckenridge Resort

      We found a giant pile of snow in Breckenridge, and the kids got to slide down it in the middle of summer.



      The kids had fun cousin time at a cool mural in Frisco.


      Keystone Mountain

      The four of us loved the view on Keystone Mountain, high above Lake Dillon.


      Keystone gondola

      Mike and I were thrilled to be able to return to Colorado, where we lived for 6 years before the kids were born. It felt like coming home.


      To see more of my travel and scenic photography, follow me on Instagram @charlottegearyphotography and browse the galleries in my online SHOP.


      Related posts:

      Our epic American road trip, part 2: The magic of Montana

      A whirlwind trip to majestic Montana, including Glacier National Park

      Some of my favorite scenic photos from 2016

      Scenes from our vacation to the gorgeous Southwest of England

      What I’ll Miss About Colorado: Red Rock Canyon Open Space

      Sunset over the Garden of the Gods

      Camping trip in Moab, Utah

      Charlotte Geary


      Lifestyle, event, and portrait photographer with a vibrant, joyful style and 17 years of professional experience.

      Located in Reston, Virginia near Washington, D.C. and available for travel.