The Different Landscapes of Colorado
Few states have the topographical diversity of Colorado. While the soaring peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park tend to steal the show, the landscape of Colorado shifts dramatically depending on the region you’re visiting. This makes it a splendid state to explore and a top choice among couples who want to elope.
Whether you’re a Colorado native looking to expand your horizons or from out-of-state and want to experience all the state has to offer, this is your guide to the immense diversity of Colorado’s landscapes. From snowcapped mountains to massive sand dunes (yes, really!), Colorado has so much to offer, and I’m here to shed light on the incredible sites that sometimes get overlooked.
If you’re searching for an elopement location that speaks to your soul, this is a good place to start. No two elopements are the same, and the landscape you choose will undoubtedly be a reflection of your personality, your relationship, and the love you share with your partner. So, if you’re ready to find the ideal spot to exchange vows and kickstart your life together, you’ll want to keep reading!
There is no place like Colorado. Sure, there are parts of the country and even other nations that have some overlapping similarities, but none of them quite match the diversity of landscapes that Colorado so casually contains.
It’s a grand state, and it seems no matter what the landscape you’re diving into may be, the sheer scale of everything is borderline unbelievable. As an elopement photographer, it’s a dreamland where my clients can embark on the adventure of a lifetime as I capture the beauty of the moment.
Whether it’s in a small mountain town nestled in the Switzerland of America or off a trail in the iconic Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado has a host of landscapes that are practically tailored to epic wedding locations.
With dunes reaching up to 750 feet tall, this national park hardly feels real. Great Sand Dunes National Park is home to the tallest dunes in North America. While in the area, you can hike the dunes, test your sandboarding skills, conquer a primitive road, and enjoy this massive park and the quirky nearby town of Crestone.
The dunes themselves provide a stunning backdrop for a wedding ceremony. They appear unearthly due to their size, constantly changing sand patterns, and gorgeous golden hues. If you’re adventurous and crave a magical environment for your elopement experience (and photos), this Colorado park should be high on your list.
The San Juan Mountains
Known as the “Switzerland of America,” the San Juan Mountains are among the most impressive landscapes in the world. Massive peaks rise in seemingly every direction, creating views no matter which way you look. Nestled in those mountains are charming towns that range from historic western communities to upscale towns brimming with world-class accommodations and mouthwatering dining establishments.
Here, you can hike, rent a 4×4 vehicle to take on a legendary off-road trail, or lean into the winter wonderland of the area becomes in the winter. No matter your preferred method of exploring, there’s no question the San Juan Mountains are an idyllic place to elope. From the slopes of Telluride to the quaint downtown of Ouray, every area within this region is special in its own way.
Exchange vows beside an alpine lake, take a Jeep to a remote mining area, hike through mountains known for their incredible red and orange hues, or enjoy the luxuries at a ski resort atop a mountain. You truly cannot go wrong when choosing a place to elope in this region, especially if you plan to explore the San Juans more thoroughly while you’re there!
Rocky Mountain National Park
Located near the impossibly charming town of Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park is known for its massive mountain peaks, crystal alpine lakes, and proximity to Denver. The Continental Divide runs through the park, and the Colorado River originates here, making it a truly unique place to visit. You may even spot some elusive wildlife within the park’s boundaries.
It’s a picturesque place to elope, whether you opt for a dreamy winter elopement with towering, snowcapped peaks in the background or a summer wedding surrounded by wildflowers and clear lakes.
For hikers and vehicle-based adventurers alike, RMNP is a destination that doesn’t disappoint. You can even choose an alternative form of transportation, such as skiing, snowshoeing, or mountain biking—the choice is yours.
The proximity to Denver and welcoming accommodations and amenities in nearby Estes Park make RMNP an extremely accessible elopement location for those who live in Colorado and those venturing from elsewhere.
Canyons and Red Rocks
The mountainous regions in Colorado tend to steal the public spotlight, and the Sand Dunes are no strangers to curious visitors. However, Colorado is home to some overlooked landscapes that would undoubtedly be the star in some other states. Most notably, it has regions filled with mesas, desert canyons, and red rock structures.
Areas like Grand Junction and Gunnison are home to towering mesas, deep desert canyons, and winding rivers that contrast the otherwise arid environment. Colorado Springs boasts Garden of the Gods, a unique landscape littered with compelling geological features and colorful sandstone. All of the above are wonderful areas to explore, bask in the state’s natural beauty, and (of course) get married to your best friend.
Elope in the Landscape You Love
As a Colorado girl and elopement photographer, I love this state and its diverse landscapes. No matter what geographical features speak to your heart, there’s a good chance Colorado has an area that will appeal to you and provide the perfect backdrop for your wedding day.