Images That Reveal Why Colorado Really is One of America’s Happiest States

Colorado Wildflowers - Lower Blue Lake Beauty

Photo Credit: Rob Greebon Photography

Colorado is renowned for its Rocky Mountain highs that draw tourists from far and wide to visit (and we’re not talking the relatively new marijuana industry, though admittedly, that plays a part too). Conducted since 2008, the Gallup-Healthways report analyzes the overall feelings of motivation, support, personal safety, physical energy, financial satisfaction and general happiness in all 50 states, and, not surprisingly, Colorado was among the top. In fact, it’s one of only two states to finish in the top 10 throughout the seven-year history of the index, the other being Hawaii.

It’s hard not be happy when you’ve got scenery like this. Pictured above, is the Blue Lakes Pass area in Mount Sneffels Wilderness near Ouray, where incredibly turquoise lakes sit nestled in dramatic glacial cirques and wildflower-filled alpine meadows ringed by craggy peaks and ridges.

Maroon Lake

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Photo Credit: colorado.com

Maroon Lake near Aspen is perfectly positioned to reflect the famous image of the Maroon Bells, which lures photographers, and fishing enthusiasts from around the world.

Hanging Lake

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Stunningly green Hanging Lake appears to cling to the edge of a mountainside near Glenwood Springs. It’s surrounded by moss-covered rocks, while wisps of water gently cascade quietly off the cliff into its tranquil waters.

Garden of the Gods

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Photo Credit: Josemaria Toscano/Fotolia.com via Huffington Post

Garden of the Gods is home to otherworldly red-rock formations in the shapes of kissing camels, cathedral spires, praying hands and sleeping giants.

Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park

Beauty from Ashes

Photo Credit: Erik Stensland/imagesofrmnp.com

Climbing the highest paved through road in America, drivers can see all the way to Wyoming in the north, to Colorado’s vast plains, Longs Peak to the east and all the way to the headwaters of the Colorado River in the west.

Independence Pass

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Photo Credit: philhawkinsphoto.com

Famous for its gorgeous fall foliage as well as expansive views and more fourteeners (peaks that stand more than 14,000 feet above sea level) that can be seen from this spot than any other place in the state, including three of the five tallest: La Plata Peak, Mount Massive and the tallest, Mount Elbert, driving Independence Pass is a must experience.

Sky Pond, Rocky Mountain National Park

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Photo Credit: Steven Bateman/303magazine.com

There are plenty of lesser-known hidden gems too, like Sky Pond in Rocky Mountain National Park, an emerald-hued glacier lake.

Boulder and The Flatirons

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Photo Credit: infoscapes.com

Even in the city, residents enjoy magnificent scenery. The Flatirons are home to endless hiking trails and are located just minutes from downtown Boulder.