Where to Elope in Colorado - https://capturedbymarcela.com/

 head due north

captured by marcela

Where to Elope in Colorado

May 25, 2020

Colorado has SUCH a diverse landscape. We have snow-capped mountains, turquoise alpine lakes, sand dunes, canyons, wildflower meadows, hot springs, arches, and canyons! With 4 National Parks, 8 National Monuments, and 3 National Heritage Sites, Colorado has limitless elopement locations. You could choose to say your vows on a mountain top, or go hiking all day to reach an alpine lake where privacy is cherished and the world feels all yours. Or, you could elope in Great Sand Dunes and friends who see the photos will think you got married in Morocco! Mountain, lake, dune, or meadow – Colorado has an elopement location perfect for your dream wedding!

 

 

Colorado Elopement Locations Considerations

As you choose where to elope in Colorado, consider the activities you want to take part in during your elopement.

  • Do you want to go for a hike?
  • Would you rather have a chill day on the shore of a lake?
  • Do you like running barefoot in the sand, or would you prefer the feeling of grass underfoot?
  • Maybe you want your dog to act as Best Man or Maid of Honor, and a pup-friendly trail is a top priority.

 

Below, I’ve listed my Top 10 favorite Colorado elopement locations and detailed what you’ll need to know to elope at each. Wherever you choose, it’ll be beautiful! 

 

 

Permits

Almost EVERY location in Colorado requires a permit and they can take anywhere from 5 mins to 5 months to obtain. Some of these permits are free and some cost $300. While this may be surprising, it’s a lot less than what most venues cost and the money supports the land that we all love! If you’re unsure if a location requires a permit, you can reach out to a ranger in that district. Better yet, get in touch with me and I’ll help answer all your questions. Even more, I include permit costs in all of my elopement packages!

 

Want to elope but not sure where to start? Check out my How to Elope page.

 

Elope at Rocky Mountain National Park

RMNP is certainly the first place that comes to mind for many couples considering a mountainous Colorado elopement. For those who obtain permits, it’s the idyllic wild location you might be looking for! However, the increasing popularity of RMNP as a wedding location has led the park to become more restrictive. If this is where you want to elope, try reaching out to secure your permit immediately! 

 

Region: North Central Colorado

Best Time of Year: Late Spring – Early Fall

Permits: Yes! Click HERE to learn more, but a RMNP permit requires a $250 processing fee and ceremonies are restricted to 12 certain areas within the park. 

Length of Hike: Varied! From drive-up locations to short hikes, the list of allowed RMNP wedding locations varies in accessibility.  

Dog Friendly: No-ish. There are only two ceremony locations that allow dogs. Dogs are also not allowed on trails in RMNP and I’d suggest a location outside the park boundaries if your furry friends will be joining you. 

 

 

Elope at Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park is the perfect Colorado elopement location for desert lovers! In the spring, you can hike out to patches of wildflowers growing amongst the dunes, discover locations where snowy mountains are backdrops to sandy ceremonies, or find yourself on Mars at places where you’ll see nothing but sand as far as you look.

 

Region: South Central Colorado

Best Time of Year: Year-Round!

Permits: Yes! Click HERE to learn more about acquiring a wedding permit for Great Sand Dunes.

Length of Hike: Varied! Great Sand Dunes has various elopement locations of all levels of accessibility, and hiking farther out into the dunes will lead you anywhere from 3 to 8 miles out. 

Dog Friendly: Somewhat! Great Sand Dunes is one of the few National Parks where dogs are allowed, even on-leash. However, there are areas where your pup is NOT permitted, so plan your day accordingly.

 

 

Elope at Brainard Lake

The Brainard Lake Recreation Area is a beautiful bit of wilderness just south of RMNP. It makes a perfect place to elope for its accessibility, various hiking trails, and incredible backdrops. Depending on how secluded you want your elopement to be, Brainard Lake would make the perfect start-off point for a day hike or the perfect place for an early morning elopement on the shores of the lake.   

 

Region: North Central Colorado

Best Time of Year: Late Spring – Early Fall

Permits: No! Though, there is an $11 entry fee to the recreation area.

Length of Hike: Varied! You can access the shore of the lake a short hike from the road, or reach incredible views on hikes up to 7 miles through the recreation area. 

Dog Friendly: Yes! On-leash only.

 

 

Elope at Loveland Pass

Loveland Pass is a high mountain pass at nearly 12,000 feet, and one of the highest passes to remain open all winter. In the summer, this makes for a popular mountain scenic drive, and in the winter this area is popular for all levels of snow sport. 

 

Region: Central Colorado

Best Time of Year: Year-Round! Though, extremely snowy November-March.

Permits: Yes.

Length of Hike: None! Of course, there are hikes beginning at Loveland Pass that are accessible from this parking area. However, no hiking is necessary to access the stunning views.

Dog Friendly: Yes! On-leash only.

 

 

Dillion Reservoir

Dillion Reservoir is located in Dillon near Silverthorne and Breckenridge and has amazing mountain vistas. You can even rent a sailboat and set sail at sunset and say your vows on the water. There is even a pavilion that can be rented at the Marina for those who want to elope with some guests.

 

Region: Western Colorado

Best Time of Year: Year-round

Permits: No! 

Length of Hike: None!

Dog Friendly: Yes! On-leash only.

 

 

Elope at Lake Isabelle

The picture of pristine Colorado wilderness, Lake Isabelle is a perfect elopement location for couples willing to make the trek to this beautiful alpine lake. A bit harder to reach in the winter months, Lake Isabelle will not disappoint you with its stunning mountainous backdrop, blue waters, and pine trees. Camp there and wake up for a sunrise elopement in the summer – you’ll be amazed by the alpenglow turning mountains bright orange in the first light of day!

 

Region: North Central Colorado

Best Time of Year: Year-Round

Permits: No! Though, there is an $11 entry fee to the recreation area.

Length of Hike: 8 to 11 miles, depending on the time of year. The lake is only accessible via skis or snowshoe in the winter months.

Dog Friendly: Yes! On-leash only.

 

Lake Isabelle, Lake Isabelle Elopement, Leave No Trace, Colorado Elopement, Colorado Mountain Wedding, Colorado Mountain Elopement, Places to Elope in Colorado, Colorado Wedding, Colorado Elopement Ideas, Places to Elope in Colorado, Sunrise Elopement, Sunrise Wedding, Morning Elopement, Morning Wedding, Adventure Elopement, Elopement Ideas, Elopement Inspiration, Elopement Photographer, Adventure Elopement, Elopement Photos, Colorado wedding photographer, Colorado mountain wedding, small wedding ideas, Elopement planning

 

Don’t forget to check out my blog about How to Elope in Colorado.

 

Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake is located near the quaint alpine town of Crested Butte. Not only is this lake accessible by car (so you can avoid getting too hot and sweaty during a hike) but it also has the most adorable red canoe that is free to use. In the springtime, the area is COVERED in wildflowers, and in the fall, the trees engulf the landscape in beautiful yellows and oranges.

 

Region: Western Colorado

Best Time of Year: Late Spring – Early Fall

Permits: No! 

Length of Hike: This lake is a 5-minute hike/walk from the parking lot.

Dog Friendly: Yes! On-leash only.

 

 

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Viel Falls is an amazing location is nestled in Telluride. The 365-foot waterfall at the end of the box canyon is the largest waterfall in Colorado. It’s easily accessible by a high clearance 4WD (preferable a Jeep style vehicle) and is absolutely STUNNING in the fall. There are also so many other amazing views located nearby!

 

Region: South Western Colorado

Best Time of Year: Late Spring – Early Fall

Permits: No! 

Length of Hike: The waterfall can be accessed via high clearance 4WD or a 45-minute steep hike from a parking lot.

Dog Friendly: Yes! On-leash only.

 

Bridal Veil Falls, Bridal Veil Falls Elopement, Leave No Trace, Colorado Elopement, Colorado Mountain Wedding, Colorado Mountain Elopement, Places to Elope in Colorado, Colorado Wedding, Colorado Elopement Ideas, Places to Elope in Colorado, Sunrise Elopement, Sunrise Wedding, Morning Elopement, Morning Wedding, Adventure Elopement, Elopement Ideas, Elopement Inspiration, Elopement Photographer, Adventure Elopement, Elopement Photos, Colorado wedding photographer, Colorado mountain wedding, small wedding ideas, Elopement planning

 

Secret Location 1

This secret location is up a rocky, steep drive that is not for the faint of heart. But the views are so worth it! It’s located in between two gorgeous mountain peaks and overlooks a valley. It also has a small alpine lake and campsites that make it a perfect location for multiday elopements.

 

Region: Secret

Best Time of Year: Late Spring – Early Fall

Permits: No! 

Length of Hike: No hiking involved!

Dog Friendly: Yes! On-leash only.

 

 

Check out my month-to-month breakdown of Colorado’s weather to find out the When to Elope in Colorado!

Secret Location 2

This secret location is easily accessible by car. There is an adorable little bridge at the end of this short, easy hike. There is also a spot for enjoying a picnic, cut a small wedding cake, or celebrate with some champagne.

 

Region: Secret

Best Time of Year: Early Summer – Late Fall

Permits: No

Length of Hike: This end of the lake is a 30-minute hike/walk from the parking lot. 

Dog Friendly: Yes! On-leash only.

 

 

Looking for a Different Elopement Experience?

Colorado isn’t just all-day hikes and exhausting 14ers (though those adventures are wonderful in their own way), there are many easily accessed views, lakes, and elopement locations perfect for couples of all skill levels. Reach out and I’ll help you find the perfect Colorado elopement location for your dream outdoor wedding!

 

 

Leave No Trace

Wherever you choose to elope in Colorado, you’ll be sure to have an adventure! But in order to keep Colorado beautiful please make sure to follow all Leave No Trace Principles. As an adventure wedding and elopement photographer, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t remind you! These seven principles help reduce the impact of our natural spaces and protect the wild places we love so much!

 

You’re not alone! I’m here to help you craft the elopement experience of your dreams, leaving you with more time to enjoy and focus on the top priorities on your to-do list. Let’s chat about how I can help!

Hey there,

I'm Marcela!

Elopement Photographer
Here to help you plan a deeply connective and intimate elopement of your dreams!

Popular Posts:

Telling family + Friends you're eloping

7 common elopement mistakes

where to elope in colorado

Ready for the adventure of your life?

Reach out! I'm here for you every step of the way - wherever your love takes you!

CONTACT »

Join the Facebook Community, Mindful Elopements, filled with free resources, free videos, engaging conversations and questions, and other couples that are exactly like you, in the same place, trying to book an adventure elopement and intimate wedding photographer.

JOIN MY FREE ELOPEMENT COMMUNITY

JOIN THE COMMUNITY

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Chris, Anniversary SESSION

"The photos we just got back from Marcela are giving me CHILLS!! They are absolutely stunning!!!

She did SO MUCH more than just photograph us — she created special moments that I’ll cherish forever. She encouraged Con & I to genuinely interact & share intimate moments together. She prompted us to tell each other things that we love about one other, ways that the other person inspires us, & how being together has positively changed us.

It was more than just a beach shoot. We ended up giving each other precious, heart melting encouragement & that makes these photos all the more treasured to me. "

ANDREA, WINTER VAIL ELOPEMENT

"We had a pre-meet with her before the big day which definitely helped me feel more relaxed going into the wedding day. She gave us great suggestions and things to think about to be ready with on the wedding. On the day of she showed up early to help scope out the venue. She was creative to try and pull extra joy into our photographs.

When I look at these photos I see more than just beautiful images. I feel the moments that Marcela helped us experience and the connection we had.

I can't thank Marcela enough! We will treasure these moments forever!"

Lauren, Great Sand Dunes

"We loved every moment of the day she helped create. Marcela was the perfect photographer for our adventure elopement! She worked tirelessly to make our adventure into marriage happen after our first options were snowed in! Great Sand Dunes felt like the perfect unique place for two Floridians who met in the mountains.

She made us comfortable to be ourselves throughout the whole day while making her job look effortless and fun. Our cheeks hurt from smiling, laughing and a few tears.

Marcela captured every precious moment! Her photography is absolutely stunning every way! I highly recommend Marcela for your elopement or wedding!"

Amy, BEACH ADVENTURE SESSION

"Instead of telling us how to pose or interact with each other, Marcela gave us prompts that seemed simple but made a huge difference.

She asked us to talk about our first date. We discussed the weirdest things we loved about each other (which made us laugh) and how we could fulfill each other’s love languages. Amy and I played games with each other and Marcela captured the energy that happened naturally between us.

I love this shoot because it perfectly captures the love we share. It’s incredible to see that love and admiration encapsulated in a photo! Thank you for this!"

explore more

CLIENT REVIEWS