Top 25 Places to Elope in Colorado

Top 25 Places to Elope in Colorado

Eloping in Colorado

Colorado is one of the top locations to get married in. So many people travel from near and far to have their wedding in the mountains of this gorgeous state. And you can’t blame them for wanting some epic views here! If you have gotten to this page, chances are you are on the search for the best places to Elope in Colorado for yourself or someone you know. I am going to be going over some of my favorite locations that you can elope here in the state.

What is an Elopement

Ok so for those of you couples who are considering an elopement and looking for the best places to elope in Colorado… Let’s go over what exactly it means to elope. Elopements have become widely popular over the last few years. Especially since the height of the pandemic when so many events were unable to happen. Couples were choosing to throw out the big wedding ideas and do something a little smaller. Eloping is such a wonderful way to get married. It is intentional. And it is way less stressful than planning a huge event.

According to the dictionary, elopement literally means to run away and get married and usually without parental consent. Now a days, this just isn’t the case. It is truly a more intimate way to get married and a more intentional way as well. You do whatever YOU want as the couple, and you are welcome to have people (especially your parents) witness this moment. Your elopement can take place just about anywhere you want and with who you want.

An elopement typically consists of just you two as the couple, and/or maybe a few important individuals or family members who are there to witness the marriage. Every location that I will go over today is Ideal for an elopement with minimal guests. Some of these locations can be used for a small micro-wedding  and I will be sure and tell you which of these Colorado Elopement Locations can hold a few extra people. I consider a microwedding to be anything with roughly 10 people to around 30 people. When you go over that amount you really are getting into small wedding territory and a rentable venue is 100% necessary

Leave no Trace and Colorado Elopement Locations

Leave no Trace absolutely needs to be followed when you are planning for an elopement out in nature. The best places to elope in Colorado are GORGEOUS and we need to do everything we can to keep it that way. While also doing what we can to keep being allowed to use these spots for things like this.
For those that don’t know what this is, LNT is these seven principles.

  • Plan ahead and prepare.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  • Dispose of waste properly.
  • Leave what you find.
  • Minimize campfire impacts (be careful with fire).
  • Respect wildlife.
  • Be considerate of other visitors.

This means that you cannot bring in tons of people who will make an impact on the land that you are using. You must pack in and pack out everything. Waste needs to be disposed of properly. Have you ever heard the saying ‘Take only photos, leave only footprints?’ That really is the goal when planning any sort of Elopement. You need to have minimal impact on the land and respect for the others that will also be in the area Utlizing that spot. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT LNT

Self Solemnization in Colorado

Colorado is one of the best states to Elope in. And the reason I say this is because you literally can go marry yourselves here in this state. You legally do not need an officiant and you legally do not need a witness. If you and your loved one want to go hike up to some cool waterfall or lake or find the best spot on the mountain. Just hang together and read some vows and exchange some rings and call it a day… You can do just that. Take as much time as you want together and not be rushed to get all the photos and start a reception. And just be present with each other. It truly is one of my favorite things to photograph because of just how much intention comes with Eloping.

So just how do you do this? Start with a Colorado Marriage License. Here, you do not need to get the license in the same county that you get married in. You can apply online to help speed up that process and you can do so for the Denver office HERE. Once you do this then you and your partner go to the county clerks office, Bring your IDs, Pay the 30.00 fee, and you have it! Colorado is cool in the fact that there is no waiting period for when you can get married. You can get your license and sign it the same day. You just have to have it signed within 35 days of getting it. Also, if you are wondering how to fill out that piece of paper.. Just ask the county clerks office employees and they can show you exactly how. Witness or no Witness. Officiant or no officiant. They got you covered!

Now that you have a little bit of an idea of what encompasses eloping in this gorgeous state. Lets talk about those epic locations!

 


Best Places To Elope in Colorado
Foothills Locations

These locations are going to be spots within 1 Hour from Either Denver International Airport or the Colorado Springs Airport. Located on what we call the foothills of the mountains. They are closer to town and more easily accessible than most Mountain Locations.

1. Mount Falcon West

Best Places to Elope In Colorado Mount Falcon in Morrison, CO

This location is one of my favorites in the state. Just about 30 minutes from the heart of Denver, you have these beautiful views. CLICK HERE TO SEE A FULL ELOPEMENT FROM MT FALCON WEST

LOCATION: Morrison, Colorado

ELEVATION: 7800 Ft. If you are traveling from out of state, be sure and come a few days early and give yourself time to acclimate and drink plenty of water.

PERMIT NEEDED: YES. 

You can find permit info on reserving your day and time for an elopement HERE. You have to apply online for a general use permit from Jefferson County. And your photographer must also have a Jefferson County Photo Permit (Oh hey! I have that!!)

ACCESSIBILITY: This location could potentially be handicapped accessible if you do not hike down very far from the trail. I have seen someone in a wheelchair go down the main trail and I feel like it could be doable. This trail isn’t super steep and takes about 5 minutes to get to where the pretty views are. Although the trail is accessible year round by car to the parking lot, it is a steep windy road up to this spot and icy roads could make it hard to access.

IDEAL TIME OF DAY FOR ELOPEMENT HERE: Just Before Sunset.

BATHROOMS ON SITE: YES.

DOGS ALLOWED: YES!! Your furry friends can totally come and be a part of your wedding day here!

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: MAX TOTAL OF 14 PEOPLE. This is one of those locations that does allow a few more than a typical elopement. But currently as of Summer of 2021, they are not allowing groups of more than 14 people. This includes you as the couple so please keep that in mind!

CLOSEST AIRPORT: DENVER INTERNATIONAL

 

2. Brothers Lookout



This spot is beautiful with a perfect view of Mount Evans off in the distance. Located about 45 minutes or so from Denver.

LOCATION: Evergreen, Colorado – Alderfer Three Sisters Park East Trailhead

ELEVATION: 7,800 Feet

PERMIT NEEDED:  YES. This is the same permit as Mount Falcon (linked above) for this park (Three Sisters Park). It Is also located in Jefferson County. Again, your photographer will need a permit to shoot here as well!

ACCESSIBILITY: NO. This location is not handicapped accessible. It includes roughly a 30 minute 1 mile hike up to the lookout and is about 300 feet of elevation gain. It is accessible year round but icy trails can make the hike up a little more difficult.

IDEAL TIME OF DAY FOR ELOPEMENT HERE: Just Before Sunset.

BATHROOMS ON SITE: YES.

DOGS ALLOWED: YES. Your pups can hike on this trail no problem!

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: 14 Max for Jeffco Parks Currently. However, this spot is somewhat smaller than mount falcon in terms of space and the county might want you to keep the grouping smaller. I recommend under 10 for this location.

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver International

 

3. Chautauqua Park in Boulder

Chautauqua Park best places to elope in colorado
Top 25 Places to Elope in Colorado Chautauqua Park Boulder
Colorado Elopement at Chautauqua Park Best Places to Elope in Colorado

Talk about one of the most Iconic spots in Colorado. Chautauqua park and the flatirons (those gorgeous mountain formations behind that couple) are one of the most popular spots to get married at. And definitely one of the best places to elope in colorado. I mean why would you not want that background right!? VIEW THIS FULL ELOPEMENT HERE

LOCATION: Boulder, Co

ELEVATION: 5800-6000 feet or so

PERMIT NEEDED:  NO. For a small elopement with minimal people, i’m talking about 5 guests or less you as the couple does not need a permit to go on the trails here and elope. Your photographer does need a permit for this location as it is on Boulder OSMP land and anyone running a business or service on their land requires one. You bet I have that permit and update it annually!

ACCESSIBILITY: Not Handicapped Accessible on Trails. Year Round for driving in! This gorgeous location is accessible year round. And with minimal hiking for the views.

IDEAL TIME OF DAY FOR ELOPEMENT HERE: Just Before Sunset.

BATHROOMS ON SITE: YES.

DOGS ALLOWED: YES. You can totally bring your dog on these trails! YAY!

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: On Trail: Under 10 total including couple. If you are looking for a micro-wedding or larger amount of people you can still get married here, you just have to contact the city of boulder and rent out the Lawn at chautauqua. It is SO beautiful on that lawn as well, and you can bring in chairs and do a whole wedding set up. The Chautauqua Dining hall is a great spot to host the reception after and walkable from the lawn!

Here is what the lawn looks like:
Chautauqua Park Wedding Location in Boulder

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver International

 

#4 Eldorado Canyon State Park

Summer at Eldorado Canyon:


Eldorado Canyon Best Places to Elope

Snow in Late Fall at Eldorado Canyon:


Best Places to Elope in Colorado State Parks

This canyon can make for a great location with minimal hiking depending what time of year and what area of the park you say your vows. Or you can hike up one of my favorite trails – Rattlesnake Gulch – to a really pretty spot here as well. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THAT SNOWY NOVEMBER PROPOSAL IN ELDORADO

LOCATION: Boulder, Colorado

ELEVATION: 6,000-7,000 feet depending 

PERMIT NEEDED:  YES. You do need to get permission from the state park to get married here. And your photographer will need to reach out to them directly as well to get a permit for photo also. CLICK HERE FOR ELDORADO CANYON PERMITTING INFO

ACCESSIBILITY: Some locations near the back of the park near the picnic tables are handicapped accessible. Otherwise, no. other spots around the park are not and the Rattlesnake Gulch hike is not. The hike up Rattlesnake would be ideal for only elopements with no guests. However near the picnic tables in the back you could have under 10 unless otherwise permitted from the park itself.

IDEAL TIME OF DAY FOR ELOPEMENT HERE: Just Before Sunset.

BATHROOMS ON SITE: YES.

DOGS ALLOWED: YES.

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: 10 or under depending where.

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver international

 

#5. Settlers Park

Romantic Bride and Groom Portraits in Settlers Park at Boulder Colorado Elopement

Boulder Colorado Elopement at Settlers Park
Bride and Groom Kiss at Boulder Colorado Elopement at Settlers Park

If you like those red rock vibes but want a Boulder location that’s way more chill than Chautauqua Park, Settlers park is your jam! This location is rarely busy during the week and makes for a wonderful elopement spot right in the town of Boulder. Definitely worthy of being on the Top 25 Places to Elope in Colorado List! CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS FULL SETTLERS PARK ELOPEMENT

LOCATION: Boulder, Colorado

ELEVATION: 5,500 Feet 

PERMIT NEEDED:  No Wedding Permit Needed. This location is great in the fact that you can just hike up to this spot and get married without having to reserve the location. If you hire a photographer (come on hire me!! I LOVE shooting here!) they will need the boulder OSMP photography permit. But that isn’t something you need to worry about getting for them.

ACCESSIBILITY: No, this is not handicapped accessible. It requires about a 15 minute hike up. Some areas are a little steep but not super intense.

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: Just Before Sunset

BATHROOMS ON SITE: Yes , on the sanitas trailhead north parking lot. 

DOGS ALLOWED: YES!

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: 10 Max

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver International

 

#6. Lost Gulch Overlook

Romantic Bride and Groom Elope at Lost Gulch in Boulder
Boulder Colorado Wedding in the Mountains at Lost Gulch Overlook
By far one of the most gorgeous and popular locations in all of Colorado that is as easily accessible. This spot is to die for. If you want that ‘I got married literally on a mountain top’ vibe but don’t want to hike. Well this is it!! CLICK HERE FOR THIS FULL LOST GULCH ELOPEMENT

LOCATION: Boulder, CO

ELEVATION: 7300 feet

PERMIT NEEDED:  NO wedding permit- Just your Photographer will need a permit for themselves to shoot up here.

ACCESSIBILITY: No, not handicapped accessible. This overlook is super rocky and not the easiest to walk on. Also not the greatest spot for someone who is scared of heights as there are some drop offs. But it is just a few steps from the parking lot. Technically it is drivable to year round but the road up the mountain is steep and windy and I do not recommend it if the road is icy.

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: Summer and Fall. AT SUNRISE!! Ok this is something I highly recommend. If you are eloping here I only really push for my couples to do sunrise to avoid the crowds. On a weekday evening while the crowds are less, there are still tons of people and others shooting engagements and elopements. On the weekends it is next to impossible in the evening to make this spot work with how many people are present. Mid day works best if you don’t want sunrise, but then you do not get that really pretty golden light and take a risk of your photos being super bright. You may get lucky though and have some cloud coverage which can help with that!

BATHROOMS ON SITE: NO – something to keep in mind. I usually recommend stopping at the Chautauqua park ranger cottage on the way up the mountain if you need to use the facilities.

DOGS ALLOWED: YES

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: Minimal – Best for Self Solemnizations or No Guests. 

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver International Airport

 

#7 Garden Of The Gods Park

Wedding day in garden of the gods Colorado Springs

Romantic Rainy Colorado Springs Engagement Session
One of the most iconic and beautiful locations in all of Colorado is Garden of the Gods. CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS FULL SESSION! Hella popular though and the crowds can get pretty busy in peak seasons and great weather. However it is a huge park and there are so many good spots you can self solemnize or elope just the two of you. Keep in mind if you are having guests you do need to stick to certain locations in the park. CHECK OUT MY GUIDE TO GETTING MARRIED IN GARDEN OF THE GODS FOR MORE IN DEPTH INFO

LOCATION: Colorado Springs, CO

ELEVATION: 6400 ft.

PERMIT NEEDED:  NO. This is the best part about weddings here. You do not need a permit and your photographer doesn’t either!

ACCESSIBILITY: YES. There are many spots here that are handicapped accessible which is amazing. However not all are. This location is also available to access year round!

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: Sunrise and Sunset depending on the day

BATHROOMS ON SITE: YES at the visitor center and at some spots throughout the park.

DOGS ALLOWED: YES

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: 0-50 depending on where in the park.

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Colorado Springs Airport

 

#8. Red Rocks Canyon Open Space

Red Rocks Canyon Open Space Best Places to Elope In Colorado
Red Rocks Canyon Open Space Best Places to Elope In Colorado
Red Rocks Canyon Open Space Best Places to Elope In Colorado Springs

Want some Garden of the Gods vibes but without the craziness of driving through and dealing with crowds at Garden of the Gods? Then this is the spot for you. Just a few minutes away from GOTG park, there is Red Rocks Canyon Open space. It makes for such a gorgeous backdrop for an elopement and is pretty unique.

LOCATION: Colorado Springs, CO

ELEVATION: 6200-6800 feet

PERMIT NEEDED:  NO

ACCESSIBILITY: NO. These trails are not handicapped accessible. But the trail is a fairly easy loop throughout the whole park.

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: Both Sunrise and Sunset

BATHROOMS ON SITE: Yes. Portable Toilets on Site (not suitable for changing clothes)

DOGS ALLOWED: YES

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: Minimal Guests Suggested (Less than 10)

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Colorado Springs Airport

 

#9. Red Rocks Park in Denver



If you are a concert lover then you know all about Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater in Denver. It is one of the most popular amphitheaters in the country. But did you know that on the surrounding trails you can totally say I-do? You can and you should! It’s pretty gorgeous here.

LOCATION: Morrison, CO

ELEVATION: 6400 ft

PERMIT NEEDED:  NO – but you must keep it to under 5 people total on the trails or you have to apply for a special use permit with the city of denver.

ACCESSIBILITY: Depending where, maybe. While there are handicapped parking spots here and the amphitheater is accessible, the trails in which you can elope are not. While there may be some areas someone could see from a parking lot or accessible spot. Not all are and I do not recommend this location is you need something handicapped accessible.

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: Year Round Accessibility here! I suggest Sunrise to avoid crowds here at this location but evenings on the weekends work ok too

BATHROOMS ON SITE: YES at different areas of the park

DOGS ALLOWED: YES on a leash on the trails only.

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: 5 MAX.  Elopements only and no micro-weddings on the trails here.

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver International Airport

 

#10 Roxborough State Park – Lyons Overlook



This gorgeous overlook is located just south of Littleton, Colorado and can be rented out in a few hour increments. It reminds me a ton of Red Rocks Park but with a slightly better view. This park all around is gorgeous and makes for a wonderful spot to elope. Best part is, you can also do a full microwedding here!

LOCATION: Littleton, Colorado

ELEVATION: About 6k ft.

PERMIT NEEDED:  YES. In order to rent this space out you do have to contact Roxborough State Park and pay a rental fee. Even though you rent this place out, you cannot block the area off from the public. As this is a public hiking trail (CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON RENTING AND PRICING)

ACCESSIBILITY: NO. This particular spot is not suited for wheelchair access. There is a small amount of hiking. Nothing too strenuous. About a 15 min hike from the parking lot up to this overlook.

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: Evening just before sunset. This particular location is gorgeous at sunset as the sun sets behind this overlook.

BATHROOMS ON SITE: Yes at the visitor center just before the trailhead

DOGS ALLOWED: NO. No Dogs allowed at this park.

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: 25 TOTAL MAX people allowed for lyons overlook. This is a great option for those of you who want something to hold a little more people than if you were to elope. Micro-wedding suitable for sure!

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver International

 


Best Places To Elope in Colorado
Mountain Locations

These locations are going to be spots located more in the heart of the Rockies or farther away from Denver and the front range. Not Quite as quick to get to compared to the locations listed above. But 1000% worthy of being on this Top 25 Places to Elope in Colorado List! Seriously we couldn’t have this list without them.

#11 Rocky Mountain National Park

Moraine Park Wedding Portraits after Sprague Lake Elopement

Top places to elope in colorado estes park
Ok when it comes to where to elope or have a small micro-wedding in Colorado this is by far one of my favorite locations. There are tons of amazing places to elope in colorado but RMNP tops that list for me. Within the park there are 12 sites you are allowed to say your vows at. And you must get a wedding permit in order to get married here. CLICK HERE TO VIEW A FULL RMNP ELOPEMENT

LOCATION: Estes Park, CO

ELEVATION: 7500 ft and up depending!

PERMIT NEEDED:  YES. In order to get married here you as the couple need a wedding permit from the national park. You technically can bring a photographer to that wedding site and they can take your photos without a permit there. However if you plan on taking more photos around the park anywhere else asides from where is listed on your permit, your photographer needs a RMNP photo permit. YOU CAN CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON BOOKING YOUR WEDDING IN RMNP. 

Keep in mind right now the park is only issuing a certain number of permits per month. You can apply 1 year in advanced for each month. So if you are planning a AUG of 22 wedding at RMNP, you need to apply Aug of 2021. I recommend reaching out ASAP as the wedding permits run out quickly!

  • May- October maximum number of permits issued is 60 per month for all issued permits on a first come – first serve basis
  • Nov.- April maximum number of permits issued is 40 per month for all issued permits on a first come – first serve basis

ACCESSIBILITY: SOME. Not all sites are wheelchair accessible but some are! As for getting into the park, it is open year round and makes for gorgeous summer and winter elopements and small weddings.

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: Both Sunrise and Just Before Sunset

BATHROOMS ON SITE: YES at different trailheads around the park but not always at the wedding site locations.

DOGS ALLOWED: NO. unfortunately our furry friends are not allowed on trails, the tundra, or meadows here in RMNP

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: As of 2021… Up to 30 MAX. And that is DEPENDING on the location. Some have a smaller limit. Click here to see up to date limits and locations 

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver International

***PLEASE NOTE YOU CAN NOT GO ELOPE ON TRAIL RIDGE ROAD, AT DREAM LAKE, AND OTHER NON WEDDING SITES***
There are many posts still highlighting on other photographers websites elopements happening at these locations. Yes, prior to 2018 this was allowed. So please make note most of those elopements you see are either old, or they are people breaking the rules. Please don’t be the latter. I truly enjoy working in the park and in order to keep us legally able to do so following their guidelines are necessary! Lets make sure we can keep Rocky Mountain National Park on the Top 25 places to elope in colorado list!

#12 Hermit Park

Top places to elope in colorado estes park hermit park
Hermit park elopement best places to elope in colorado
Hermit park elopement best places to elope in colorado
A top contender for sure on this list. It is outside of Rocky Mountain National Park so not quite as busy but still has some epic views.  CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS FULL HERMIT PARK ELOPEMENT. 

LOCATION: Estes Park, CO

ELEVATION: 7800-8800 ft.

PERMIT NEEDED:  YES.  there is a wedding permit you can get for Hermit park with Larimer County. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON WEDDINGS HERE. You photographer also needs a Larimer County photo permit!

ACCESSIBILITY: Not Handicapped Accessible. This location is only accessible during certain parts of the year also. It is closed from Mid December until March.

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: Evening for that gorgeous sunny glow behind yah!

BATHROOMS ON SITE: YES at certain trailheads

DOGS ALLOWED: YES

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: For Eloping on trail, Minimal guests only. But you can rent out a pavillion and set up a full sized wedding at their designated site here as well! Awesome for those who want more than just a few witnesses!

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver International

 

#13 St Mary’s Glacier

Colorado Elopement in the Mountains at St Marys Glacier
Couple Kisses after colorado mountain Elopement
Wedding Couple hikes to St Marys Glacier in Colorado

Ummm who wouldn’t want to get married along side an actual glacier?! If you want something unique like this for your elopement I highly suggest this spot. Just remember your LNT principles when planning an elopement here! CHECK OUT THE FULL ST MARY’S GLACIER ELOPEMENT HERE

LOCATION: Idaho Springs, CO

ELEVATION: 11,200 ft.

PERMIT NEEDED:  NO

ACCESSIBILITY: NO. Not handicapped accessible. This location includes a moderate hike for a little less than a mile to get to the lake. With the elevation as high as it is, allow yourselves good amount of time to get up there if you or your guests are not used to hiking at this elevation

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: Both Sunset and Sunrise. Early in the morning is great because you beat the crowds. If you are opting for evening I suggest NOT doing it on the weekend. As it is just too crazy with people. Instead opt for a weekday and aim for about 2 hours before sunset to start the ceremony and then it will give you time after for portraits.

BATHROOMS ON SITE: YES AT TRAILHEAD  but they are portable ones not super fancy.

DOGS ALLOWED: YES

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: Keep it under 10 MAX. There isn’t really a rule on how many people can be held up here, however it is an area that is very popular and can get crowded fast with lots of hikers and people recreationally enjoying the area. Since this area is mainly rocky ground surrounding the lake, I suggest keeping your amount of people below 10 total. And trying to opt for times of day when it is less busy.

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver International

 

#14 Loveland Pass

Best Places to Elope in Colorado loveland pass
Best Places to Elope in Colorado loveland pass

This spot is just simply dreamy. AND accessible with minimal hiking but you feel like you are on top of the world. Just beware, it can get SUPER windy and really cold. You are up at like 12,000 feet so that’s to be expected. Speaking of you will want to consider the weather. Anywhere in the mountains at higher elevations are at higher risk of quickly changing weather. While evening and later afternoon is gorgeous, Storms usually roll in through the mountains in the summer after around 3pm or so.

LOCATION: Clear Creek / Summit County

ELEVATION: 12,000+ feet!

PERMIT NEEDED:  No

ACCESSIBILITY: No. Not Handicapped Accessible. 

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: Sunrise or Sunset/Evening. WEEKDAY! This spot is gorgeous but keep in mind this trailhead is also a popular spot for a few 13er peaks in the summer and for backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the winter. (Year round accessibility) The parking lot fills up fast in the morning so Sunrise is your best bet if you are doing a morning elopement. At sunset the parking can still be kind of scarce but much easier to find a spot on a weekday. I do not recommend spots this popular to elope at on a weekend. Period.

BATHROOMS ON SITE: NO. (Keep this in mind when planning your elopement. the closest one would be down in town somewhere and could be up to 30 minutes away)

DOGS ALLOWED: YES. 

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: Keep it minimal. Talkin 5 ppl or less. You want to keep in mind the parking up on this pass really only holds like 25-30 cars all together. And if you are bringing more people than will fit in one vehicle your chances of finding parking drop down exponentially. This is best for elopements only and not micro-weddings!

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver International

#15 Brainard Lake Recreation Area

Brainard Lake Elopement Best Places To Elope in ColoradoBOTH OF THESE BRAINARD PHOTOS TAKEN BY FELLOW PHOTOGRAPHER AND FRIEND, KATIE O’DOCHARTY
Brainard Lake Elopement Best Places To Elope in Colorado

Wowwwzaa I love this spot you guys. And also looovee these shots taken by my friend Katie O’docharty.  While I have never actually shot at Brainard, I have been countless times and it is one of the most gorgeous spots and a great hiking location.  It has a parking lot directly next to it which makes it an ideal elopement location. As of 2021 Brainard recreation area is now requiring timed entry permits for parking. So you must book those in advanced in order to have your elopement here. This is required for anyone who will be entering the park including your guests unless you can all fit in one car. CLICK HERE FOR TIMED ENTRY PERMIT

LOCATION: NEDERLAND, CO

ELEVATION: 10,300 ft.  You are really high up there. Make sure you give yourselves and your guests time to aclimate!

PERMIT NEEDED:  No. Just your timed entry into the recreation area.

ACCESSIBILITY: YES. Some parts around Brainard lake are handicap accessible. But only in summer months when the road is open right up to brainard. Keep in mind if you are eloping right next to the lake,  it can be really hard for a wheel chair to get right up to the shore, but there are spots where they can be close by with views.

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: BOTH SUNRISE AND SUNSET. This spot is gorgeous both at sunrise and sunset. however this lake is a very popular recreational area which is why they have gone to timed entry to minimize the amount of people. I actually like the timed entry as it keeps it a little less busy. When eloping here definitely opt for a weekday to avoid the crowded times!

BATHROOMS ON SITE: YES

DOGS ALLOWED: YES

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: Keep it small! I like to keep it under around 5-6 total people if possible up at this location. This is best for elopements only and not micro-weddings!

CLOSEST AIRPORT: DENVER INTERNATIONAL

 

#16 Guanella Pass



If you are thinking about all the dreamy fall colors throughout Colorado and want to incorporate them into your elopement, then Guanella is a perfect spot to consider. CHECK OUT THIS FALL COLOR SESSION ON GUANELLA HERE.

LOCATION: Georgetown, CO area

ELEVATION: Up to 11,600 ft

PERMIT NEEDED:  No

ACCESSIBILITY: No. Not handicapped Accessible. There are so many gorgeous locations up here to stop and say your vows. You will want to make sure and park in designated areas or on pull offs specifically for parking

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: I think Sunset is Gorgeous here. But when you are on top of the pass Sunrise is really pretty too. For those pretty fall colors your peak color time will depend on the year. But typically mid to end of september is great. This road does close for the season usually in November sometime and typically re-opens on memorial day weekend. So that makes this spot best for Summer and Fall Elopements

BATHROOMS ON SITE: Some up at the top near the Bierstadt Trailhead and down in Georgetown at the visitor center

DOGS ALLOWED: YES

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: Minimal. I usually say don’t bring more people than can fit in a standard size SUV to keep parking impact to a minimum. This is best for elopements only and not micro-weddings!

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver International

 

#17 Sapphire Point

Sapphire Point Elopement Best Place to ELope in Colorado

UPDATED IN 2021 – They now have added fencing around some of the main trail leading down to  Sapphire Point. So some areas where you could previously access for views at sapphire are no longer accessible. Even with the fencing though there are plenty of gorgeous locations still on site and around the nearby area to go take photos at if you elope at sapphire! CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL ELOPEMENT FROM ABOVE
One of my favorite secondary spots for portraits near sapphire is just down on the shore of Lake Dillon not 5 minutes away. Check it out:

LOCATION: Dillon, CO

ELEVATION: 9500 ft.

PERMIT NEEDED:  Wedding Permit YES! Photo Permit No. You can reserve sapphire point for your wedding HERE and they are set up to rent in two hour time increments.

ACCESSIBILITY: YES. This is a wheelchair friendly area. This spot is available year round as well. Just keep in mind ice and snow can make it hard to get around on.

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: Sunset is really ideal. I suggest renting it out for the two hours leading up to sunset or closest to that time as you can get

BATHROOMS ON SITE: YES, nothing fancy but they are there.

DOGS ALLOWED: YES

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: up to 30! Great for those micro wedding vibes

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver International 

 

#18 Windy Point Campground



Ok while I know this is already on my list of Top Breckenridge Wedding Venues, I am adding it to my list of Places to Elope in Colorado because it would make for a wonderful spot to elope or have a small micro wedding at. The views are incredible. Very similar to Sapphire Point as it is also on Lake Dillon and so close to both Breckenridge and Keystone. CHECK OUT A FULL WINDY POINT WEDDING HERE

LOCATION: Dillon Colorado

ELEVATION: 9000 ft

PERMIT NEEDED:  YES. Wedding permit needed. No Photo Permit needed. You can CLICK HERE to be directed to the site to rent this space. There are two spaces you can rent. Site 1 is the upper area of the campground with gorgeous views and site 2 is the shelter pavillion down below. I recommend renting both sites if you are doing a larger wedding with 30+ people and want a reception held there. If just the ceremony, the upper site 1 will suffice.

ACCESSIBILITY: No not to the upper site. Only open May 21- October 3rd annually

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: Sunset is just gorgeous at this spot, but sunrise would be pretty too!

BATHROOMS ON SITE: YES but I suggest renting better bathrooms if you are doing a large group.

DOGS ALLOWED: YES

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: 0-100 people. Bring on the weddings and micro weddings!

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver International 

 

#19 Hoosier Pass

Best Places To Elope in Colorado in the Winter

This year round road will have some gorgeous views no matter what time of year. Deep snow in the winter came keep you from being able to walk very far out on the trails though. So keep that in mind with winter elopements.

LOCATION: Summit County

ELEVATION: 11,500 ft.

PERMIT NEEDED:  NO

ACCESSIBILITY: NO

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: Year Round. Sunrise or Sunset will both make for gorgeous ceremony times.  This road is open year round and you can drive right up to the top and park up there. I love this area in the winter, but REALLY love it in the summer and early fall. There is a loop trail that you can take that brings you back around to this lake in the summer that’s really gorgeous. Or you can just hike around up there and find a spot that is best suited for you!

BATHROOMS ON SITE: NO

DOGS ALLOWED: YES

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: Keep it Minimal. Under 5 guests is best! This is best for elopements only and not micro-weddings!

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver International

 

#20 Blue Lakes Breck



Located just about 3o minutes south of Breckenridge this gorgeous spot is accessible by an All wheel drive (at least thats what i recommend) higher clearance vehicle. While it isn’t crazy off roading.. the road can get washed out over time through the season and can be very bumpy with lots of ruts.

LOCATION: Blue River, CO

ELEVATION: Around 11,000 ft

PERMIT NEEDED:  No

ACCESSIBILITY: No, not handicap accessible

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: Both Sunrise or Sunset. WEEKDAYS RECOMMENDED for this spot as it is a popular location in the summer and fall for people to come hike around and see mountain goats. The road closes also seasonally so in the winter it would pretty much only be accessible by snowshoeing up a few miles.

BATHROOMS ON SITE: NO but there are some down at the beginning of the road at the trailhead for Mt. Quandary. They’re just portable ones.

DOGS ALLOWED: YES

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: Keep it under 10. There is a little more area for parking up here once up at the top, but try and keep your group size to a minimum since we are in forest land. This is best for elopements only and not micro-weddings!

CLOSEST AIRPORT: DENVER INTERNATIONAL 

 

#21 Shrine Pass


Shrine Pass Vail Places to ELope in Colorado

I love exploring vail and Shrine Pass is great for elopements and other types of portrait sessions. Gorgeous views and lots of spots to pull off and hike around for portraits. WANNA SEE THAT FULL VAIL ENGAGEMENT SESSION? CLICK HERE

LOCATION: Vail, CO

ELEVATION: 11,000 ft.

PERMIT NEEDED:  No

ACCESSIBILITY: No

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: About an hour before Sunset is ideal for this area. This pass also is not able to be driven up all year round. It typically opens later June. Best for Later summer and fall elopements.

BATHROOMS ON SITE: Yes at the top of the pass. Just a vault toilet nothing fancy!

DOGS ALLOWED:  YES

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: Minimal think under 5 people total! This is best for elopements only and not micro-weddings!

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver International 

 

#22 Twin Lakes

PHOTOS TAKEN BY FRIEND AND FELLOW PHOTOGRAPHER ALYSSA CARPENTER


Another popular spot for elopements is Twin Lakes. Definitely one of the best places to elope in Colorado and had to be on this list. While I have never shot an elopement here (If you are thinking of eloping here I would love to shoot it!) it makes for gorgeous photos in one of the prettiest areas of Colorado.

LOCATION: Leadville , CO

ELEVATION: 9600 ft.

PERMIT NEEDED:  NO

ACCESSIBILITY: NO. Not Handicapped Accessible

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: Both Sunrise and Sunset make for the best time of day. This location is available year round.

BATHROOMS ON SITE: NO

DOGS ALLOWED: YES

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: 10 and under. This is best for elopements only and not micro-weddings!

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Colorado Springs Airport

#23 Clinton Gulch Dam

AMAZING PHOTOS BY FRIEND AND FELLOW PHOTOGRAPHER KATIE O’DOCHARTY

This is one of those spots I love to visit and have yet to be able to shoot an elopement there. My friend Katie with Katie O’Docharty Photo was sweet enough to lend me some photos to show you all just how gorgeous this location is! Seriously isn’t she just amazing at what she does as well?! Also.. You can check out this romantic ceremony here at Clinton Gulch that was filmed by friend Katelyn with Skyewater Photo and Film Below! So sweet!

LOCATION: Leadville, CO

ELEVATION: 9,600 feet

PERMIT NEEDED:  No

ACCESSIBILITY: No. Not Wheelchair accessible. 

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: Sunrise and Early Morning really is best for that gorgeous backlighting at this spot. However if you are wanting an evening elopement here that can be just as beautiful when the alpenglow hits the mountain. The later towards sunset the better to avoid super bright direct sunlight on your faces during the elopement.

BATHROOMS ON SITE: NO

DOGS ALLOWED: YES. Bring the pups! 🙂

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: Keep it under 10. This is best for elopements only and not micro-weddings!

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver International Airport

 

#24 Maroon Bells


Maroon Bells Engagement Session Best Places to ELope in Colorado

Maroon bells is one of those Iconic Colorado locations. Just like Garden of the gods is. However this spot is located in Aspen and is just magical. Definitely a top place to elope in Colorado. I am going to tell you all about maroon bells and what your options are for eloping here.

It’s very easy to make your reservation through the White River National Forest for the amphitheater at Maroon Bells. First head over to the reservations website. Click on availability and choose your date or click next available if you want to know what the soonest open date is. Select your date and then hit BOOK NOW. Make sure you create a log in for the recreation website if you haven’t already and then follow the prompts to pay the 200.00 rental fee.

LOCATION: Aspen, CO

ELEVATION: 14,000 ft.

PERMIT NEEDED:  YES.  See paragraph above telling you how to book. This spot is rentable only from around the end of June to October. And please note that if you want a weekend day you are limited to the summer months (JUNE JULY AUGUST).  And the only weekend day open is Sunday for reservations during those months. Everything else is Monday – Thursday for the entire time reservations are open. This is so they can prioritize public use during peak visiting times. This also means those few available sundays that are available get reserved FAST.

Reservations for a given day open up at 8 a.m. MDT exactly one year in advance. So for example, if you are looking to book the Maroon Bells Amphitheater on Aug 7, 2022, the reservation system opens up for this date on Aug 7, 2021 at 8 a.m. MDT. I highly suggest being online exactly at 8am a year in advanced if you want a particular date to try your best and book it. Or if you can be flexible with dates that is really the best since they fill up so quickly

ACCESSIBILITY: YES. The amphitheatre is fully handicap accessible which is great and there is handicap accessible parking.

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: If you are reserving the amphitheater you are good to go anytime of day that it can be accessed. You are not technically limited to a particular time slot like at other locations. However I recommend Sunrise or early morning. While evening and later afternoon is gorgeous too, Storms usually roll in through the mountains in the summer after around 3pm or so.

Keep in mind this road up here is only open seasonally. In 2019 due to avalanches the road did not open until mid June. But typically its around End of May when it opens. And it closes usually around Mid November. While it is technically able to be hiked at year round, you just might have to take a 12.4 mile hike up the road to access it when it is closed. In the winter that could mean hiking 12 miles in snowshoes. Definitely would take some time to do that!

If you are not having a group of guests and you are just eloping, you can always opt for going up to the site before the shuttle starts running to avoid a lot of people and eloping just the two of you on the trails. It may or may not be very private depending when you get up there but that is always an option.

BATHROOMS ON SITE: YES just vault toilets on site.

DOGS ALLOWED: YES

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: Up to 50 at the amphitheater.

Vehicles cannot always just drive up to the Maroon Bells visitor area, which includes the Amphitheater. vehicles are generally not allowed past the Welcome Station from about 8am all the way to 5pm at night. Most people who visit this area will take the shuttle bus that runs from Aspen Highlands Visitor Center up to Maroon Bells. Shuttle tickets are $8 per adult. YES your dogs are totally allowed on the shuttle bus!

Keep in mind though when you do make the reservation for the amphitheater you get 5 parking passes which can make it much easier on you and your guests to get up there. You can pick up your parking passes from the Maroon Bells Welcome Station five days prior to your event.

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Aspen Airport. But generally people fly into Denver International

#25 Great Sand Dunes National Park


Great Sand Dunes Places to ELope in Colorado
It was a few months after moving to Colorado when I realized we had an actual national park of sand dunes. It seriously is one of the coolest spots in Colorado I think. Can you just imagine climbing up some dunes with your loved one and having a super romantic elopement? I cannnnn.

LOCATION: Mosca, CO (Southern State)

ELEVATION: Around 8,000 ft.

PERMIT NEEDED:  YES

Special Use Permits must be applied for when wanting to host your elopement or engagement in the park. The fee is $200 (check only) and all paperwork and your check must be submitted by mail so make sure you give yourself ample amount of time to do this. Remember that your photographer (hopefully that’s me!!) will need to provide proof of business insurance for any national park elopement. Due to this I would talk to the photographer you hire (again, hope that’s me!) and work on that application together or just have your photographer submit the application for you.

Elopements and small micro-weddings can take place outside the wilderness boundary of the dunefield. The dunes you will have access too are called escape dunes right out side the wilderness area. And portrait sessions can take place anywhere that doesn’t interfere with the public recreational use of the park.

For questions about your elopement plans, you can email Dale Carver at dale_culver@nps.gov or reach the office by phone 719 . 378 . 6321. You can also get more info on ELOPING AT THE SAND DUNES HERE

ACCESSIBILITY: NO. These dunes are not handicap accessible. In fact they can be kind of hard to walk on period so keep that in mind when planning your elopement!

IDEAL TIME FOR ELOPEMENTS HERE: Mornings or later evenings before sunset are best as the sand can get really hot if you are walking on it barefoot. Spring time and Winter time (Jan-April) I don’t really recommend for the park. As it is the windiest and the snowiest time of year. When that wind blows that sand man it can hurt! lol

If you are wanting to see The Medano Creek flowing you will want to aim for mid to end of May or so. The creek is really cool and one of my favorite things at the dunes since it isn’t there all the time. Early june is fairly nice still in terms of temperature. July and Early August is probably the hottest time in the park. September and October is really the most ideal weather and temperature in the park. And in later October is usually when you start to see snowfall in the mountains around the area so you might have some snow caps around this time in the background of your photos.

BATHROOMS ON SITE: At Visitor Center and in campgrounds

DOGS ALLOWED: YES

GROUP SIZE ALLOWED: Really this spot is best for minimal guests. Hiking on the dunes isn’t suitable for everyone and really makes for a great spot for just a small elopement or portrait session.

CLOSEST AIRPORT: San Luis Valley Airport is closest. But the more common airport thats flown into to access it is Colorado Springs Airport.

 

Things to Consider at any of
the Best Places to Elope in Colorado

Ok so you’ve now seen my list of Top Places to Elope in Colorado. So here are some things for you to think about and compare with some of your favorite found locations…

– What Time Of Year Should You Elope?

No matter where you are planning to elope you need to consider the time of year. Many of those places listed above are not accessible in the winter or are really hard to get to once snow starts to fall. Winter time can also be extremely windy at higher altitudes so if your wedding is taking place above around 7 or 8k feet you can have a higher chance of a cold and blistering windy type of winter day.

– What Time of Day Should You Elope?

This really is dependent on the location. Some spots listed above will be good at either sunrise or sunset. Some will be more ideal at one or the other. I try and recommend times where the sun will be behind you when you are eloping so your eyes don’t get all squinty in photos or if you have sensitive eyes you aren’t being blasted by direct sunlight the whole time. Also, when thinking about what season you are in and what elevation you are at morning temperature can be way colder than evening in the mountains.

– Elevation and Hiking

Are you coming in from out of town or are you local? If you are coming in from out of town from a place that is what we like to call “flat land” and are normally close to sea level, you might want to consider a lower altitude location. Or you can always come out a few days in advance to give you and your witnesses/guests time to acclimate. The elevation is no joke and elevation sickness is the last thing you want to experience on your wedding day. If you plan to hike up to a location for your elopement just take into consider where you will be hiking and what you might need to bring with you. Water, Light or Heavy Jacket, Snacks.. all of the above.

– Guests

Speaking of your guests or witnesses… How many of them if any are you planning to bring along to your elopement or microwedding? Not all outdoor locations in the mountains can be a host to a lot of people. Or even sometimes a heavy handful of people. It is best to keep your elopement to a minimum amount of guests unless you are renting a spot that is ideal for a microwedding. So many spots in Colorado do not have areas to handle parking for more than a car or two. Or would not be minimal impact on the land. So we have to take into consideration the amount of people you are wanting before deciding on a location.

 

I truly hope this guide to The Best Places to Elope in Colorado has helped you in your search for that perfect spot to say your vows.


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