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9 Best Places to Elope in Colorado (Updated for 2021)!

9 Best Places to Elope in Colorado (Updated for 2021)!

Colorado is one of the most popular elopement destinations in the world, and for good reason! The state has some of the most elopement-friendly marriage laws, and the landscape is ripe with opportunity to capture stunning mountain backdrops. It can be overwhelming to choose a spot to say your wedding vows, so I put together a list of the best places to elope in Colorado. This list will be updated as I visit more places!

Don’t forget – If you are eloping or getting married in Colorado, please research and get the appropriate permit/access and practice “Leave No Trace” principles. 

Help keep mother nature as you found her.

Here are the 9 best places to elope in Colorado, with a short summary of what you’ll need to know before you go:

1.) Rocky Mountain National Park

Photography Permit: Yes! Click HERE for more information.

Hiking: Yes and No! There are many locations within RMNP to take photos. The ceremony locations are accessible by vehicle but you can hike further for bride and groom portraits if you obtain written permission from the park.

Season: Year Around (many areas of the park are not accessible during the winter)

Rocky Mountain National Park is a varied, gorgeous, and memorable landscape for an elopement. It is also extremely popular, and you’ll want to ensure you’ve attained the correct permits and choose a date or time when fewer people are crowding the popular viewpoints. The park limits the amount of ceremonies to 6 per day, so spots tend to book up quickly. Do not wait to obtain your permit if you plan to elope here! As of 2020, the park is only accepting a limited number of weddings and elopements on an annual basis.

Bride and groom read their elopement vows next to Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park for their spring elopement in Colorado.
Bride and groom share a first dance in Moraine Meadows or Rocky Mountain National Park
Couple kisses at sunset on top of Trail Ridge rd in Rocky Mountain National Park
Couple stares into each others eyes during their engagement session on top of Trail Ridge Rd in Rocky Mountain National Park
Couple kisses during sunset on top of a mountain in Colorado, one of the best places to elope

2.) Great Sand Dunes National Park

Photography Permit: Yes! Click HERE for more information.

Hiking: Yes! While there aren’t many established trails in this park, you won’t want to miss the chance to hike out into the dunes.

Season: Year Around (that winter wind is COLD)

Great Sand Dunes is the least stereotypically “Colorado” destination on this list. Massive dunes are a far cry from the green forests and snowy peaks this state is known for. While the photos may look like a hot desert, the dunes get cold in the winter and you’ll want to prepare for the season as you would any Colorado elopement. It’s an incredibly unique environment, but be prepared to find sand in all your nooks and crevices for days after! In my opinion, this is definitely one of the best places in Colorado to elope, and I highly suggest this location for the beautiful sunsets!

There is no doubt this is one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen. The tall sand dunes leading up to the towering mountains in the Great Sand Dunes National Park. When it comes to diverse landscapes, this may be one of the best places to elope in Colorado.
The towering sand dunes in Great Sand Dunes National park make humans look very small if you take the photo just right. This photo truly shows the scale of the sand dunes compared to humans. One of my favorite places to take couples to elope in Colorado.
Couple dances and laughs on top of a sand dune at sunset

3.) Lake Isabelle near Nederland

NOTE: AS OF 2020 A RESERVATION SYSTEM HAS BEEN PUT IN PLACE. YOU MUST HAVE A RESERVATION IN ADVANCE TO ENTER THE PARK! More information can be found at this link.

Photography Permit: No! However, there is an entrance fee in order to make a reservation and park – read more HERE.

Hiking: Yes! This trail is 4.4 miles round-trip and rated as moderate difficulty. Be sure to park at the parking lot for Long Lake/Lake Isabelle. If you park at Brainard lake you will add a little bit of walking to your overall mileage.

Season: Mid-June to Mid-October (sometimes early November). There is a winter trail but it adds several miles.

Lake Isabelle is a perfect early-summer hike to a mirror lake! If you’re looking for an elopement with a little more adventure, this is definitely one of the best places to elope in Colorado. The lake is framed by Niwot Ridge, which boasts two thirteen’r peaks in the background. The lake itself is actually a reservoir that gets drained in late August, so the water levels will be significantly lower in late-summer. The parking area at the trailheads tends to get VERY busy during the summer, and I highly recommend this spot for a sunrise elopement due to the lighting and amount of traffic. The parking lot tends to fill up before 730AM on weekends. PS – This is one of my favorite sunrise hikes in Colorado and I wish I could hike it more often. Well worth the early wake up call!

In a rare moment, the wind was calm and the water was reflective in this afternoon picture of Lake Isabelle. This is one of the best places to elope in Colorado if you are hoping to elope at sunrise. It's truly a magical experience.

4.) Maroon Bells near Aspen

Photography Permit: Yes! Click HERE for more information.

Hiking: Yes and no! It is a very short walk from the parking lot to Maroon Lake where you have a stunning view of Maroon Peak. There are plenty of options for hiking no matter what your skill level is.

Season: Typically June to October

Maroon Bells isn’t the place to go during peak season if you want privacy.. I kid you not, I visited the Maroon Bells on a weekday in early October at 5:30AM and shared the views with 50 other travelers. Obviously there is a reason this place is so popular – The views are stunning and very accessible by driving or shuttle. It is in fact one of the most photographed mountain ranges in Colorado! Those who want to go for a longer hike will be able to find some space for themselves even during the summer months. The US Forest Service manages a small amphitheater, but plan ahead! These spots are typically reserved for at least a year in advance, are not rentable on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, and come with an additional fee.

Maroon Bells captured at sunrise during the warm summer months. It's crazy to think this is one of the most photographed mountains in Colorado, but I understand why. Maroon Bells also offers a small space for elopements, and is the perfect spot if you want these majestic mountains in the background for your photos.

5.) Guanella Pass near Georgetown

Photography Permit: No! 

Hiking: Maybe! One-way hikes take you into the mountains around the pass, or you can choose to witness the view an easy walk from the parking lot.

Season: Typically Memorial Day – November

Guanella Pass is beautiful in the summer, but fall is when this place bursts with color! The drive up winds through bright gold forests and expansive fields. This location is multi-faced and accessible for couples looking to view the mountains and expansive Colorado valleys during their elopement. 

Guanella Pass is also one of the best places to elope in Colorado if you are looking for mountain views and the option to hike or just drive to the location. Pictured here is a calm summer night with Mt. Bierstadt reflected in a small pond at the base of this gorgeous Colorado 14'er.
Newlywed couple poses together in front of Mt. Bierstadt on this calm summer night at the top of Guanella Pass. It was their first option when they were choosing a place to elope with their dog.
Couple celebrates eloping at the top of Guanella Pass with a champagne explosion and their dog right at their feet. It was the perfect sunset and warm summer night.
Couple walks down wooden path at the top of Guanella Pass for their sunrise elopement. This is one of the best spots to elope in Colorado if you want to skip the hike and have all the mountain views.

6.) Mt. Evans near Idaho Springs

Photography Permit: Yes! Click HERE for more information.

Hiking: Yes! While the view from the parking lot is also stunning, it is a .25 mile hike to the summit. It is rated as “easy” but consider the altitude before attempting.

Season: May – October

Mt. Evans is a fourteener and probably not the first choice for couples coming from sea level. However, it is one of the most accessible mountain peaks above 14 thousand feet, with a road that takes you only a few hundred feet from the summit. For those who can handle high elevations, this is an extremely accessible alpine location. Keep in mind the weather can be extremely unpredictable. I have seen it snow in the middle of July at the summit

Mt. Evans is one of the best places to elope in Colorado if you are looking for a spot that has stunning mountain views and is accessible without hiking. The weather can be unpredictable at this elevation, and this photo during the summer of the clouds hanging over the tops of the mountains definitely proves that.

7.) Loveland Pass near Dillon

Photography Permit: No (however a wedding permit may be required, be sure to check with the White River National Forest – Dillon Ranger District. Email is best).

Hiking: Yes and no. There are 2 main locations on Loveland Pass to stop: Loveland Pass Lakes and Loveland Pass Summit. Loveland Pass lakes will not be accessible during the winter, while the top of the summit is open year around as long as the road is open. There is a hike at the top of the summit that runs along the ridge. On a windier day it would be better to visit the lakes and explore the short hiking trail that runs along multiple small alpine lakes. Be sure to stay on trail!

Season: Summer recommended, but typically accessible year around.

Whether you want to hike to the summit of a thirteen’r, or simply marvel in the views a short walk from the car, Loveland Pass is one of the more accessible locations on this list. It is also very popular location, and you’ll want to either plan for a bit of hiking or arrive on a less popular day to find some space to yourselves. If you choose this as your Colorado elopement location, then I recommend choosing a backup location nearby in case of road closure, high winds or dangerous weather.

Bride and groom share a kiss with Loveland Pass mountains and the sunset behind them
Photo of Loveland Pass at sunset in the June timeframe
Bride and groom share their vows at Loveland Pass lakes with their bridal party around them for their Colorado elopement. Loveland Pass is one of the best places to elope in Colorado simply for the views and year around access!
Bride and groom share a kiss at sunset on top of a mountain in Colorado called Loveland Pass

8.) Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs

Photography Permit: No!

Hiking: Yes and no! Wheelchair accessible areas are available such as Central trail. There are 6 hiking trails available for exploration at Garden of the Gods. The park is free to enter, but parking can be limited.

Season: Spring and summer recommended, but typically accessible year around.

This stunning park right outside of Colorado springs boasts unique mountain views of the nearby 14’er, Pike’s Peak. I highly suggest visiting this park around sunrise or sunset for best lighting. There are 6 ceremony locations within the park that you can get married at for absolutely free. Just note these spots are on a first come, first serve basis. I wrote an entire guide on how to elope here! For more information, visit the link below.

Aleysa & Iosif chose to have a romantic Garden of the Gods elopement during the month of March and it was a fabulous choice
Bride and groom walk down Central trail for Garden of the Gods elopement pictures
Groom holds his brides hand as she walks down the red rocks at Garden of the Gods for their intimate wedding ceremony
Bride and groom stand in cut out of unique rock formation at Garden of the Gods for their portraits

9.) Local Secrets & Backcountry Locations

This is the best category – Want to find the best spots to elope in Colorado? Hire a specialized elopement photographer (like me), to help you find the perfect location! There’s nothing like having the place all to yourself and not having to step around other explorers. Believe it or not, the trails in Colorado can get pretty busy depending on your location. Tell me your wants and your needs and I will help you find the perfect location.

I live in Colorado, and spend a lot of time exploring. You tell me exactly what you’re looking for, and I put together a 30 – 40 page location guide with 6 – 10 locations that fit your specs! Then you choose your favorite and we move on with planning your custom elopement timeline.

Here are a few amazing locations I've scouted for my couples:

Photo of bride and groom walking by a reflective alpine lake on their elopement day in Colorado. Crested Butte is one of the best locations in Colorado to elope for the views, and this photo is proof.
Bride and groom kiss after reading their vows at sunrise on top of a mountain peak near Breckenridge
Amber & Jason took a Jeep to this beautiful overlook near Crested Butte. The two of them sat in a chair next to a campfire and enjoyed the mountain views. One of the best places to elope if you can off-road!
Paige & Skyler literally crossed rivers to get to this beautiful location in the Colorado mountains. After driving a Jeep up the road, we hiked the hill and they shared a kiss right at sunset with the Colorado mountains lit up behind them.
Bride and groom cuddle and take in all the views after sharing their vows in one of the most beautiful places to elope in Colorado - Ouray. In this photo, the mountains rose up behind them and the wildflowers were as tall as they were.
A bride and groom share a kiss on a rock after hiking 4 miles to have their elopement next to a crystal clear blue lake in Colorado.
Couple walks along the rocks with towering Colorado mountains behind them. Talk about the best place to elope in Colorado!
Magical places like this exist. This is why I make it my mission to find the best places for couples to elope in Colorado!
One of the best places to elope near Colorado is this reflective lake
Couple has a picnic next to a lake at the base of a mountain in Colorado. One of the many secret spots I've scouted for the eloping couples I work with.
Sunrise elopement like this is proof of why the Rocky mountains and Colorado is your best bet for your adventurous mountain elopement
Still looking for the best place to elope in Colorado? How about under the stars in Sprague Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

I hope that helps you narrow down your list if you’re still trying to figure out the best places to elope in Colorado!

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8 thoughts on “9 Best Places to Elope in Colorado (Updated for 2021)!”

  1. Some great tips and advice here for newly engaged couples planning to elope in Colorado! These 7 top locations are truly stunning, but my favorite is the sand dunes national park. Maybe because it reminds me a bit of the desert. No doubt, when it comes to colorado elopements you are the true expert elopement photographer!

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