The Best Places to Elope In Colorado - Updated for 2021
Updated: Mar 1, 2021
Where should you elope in Colorado? There are TONS of options. I handpicked locations that I love that are easily accessible (maybe with a drive) and made epic images. If these don't suit your needs, don't fret I'm always happy to scout out an elopement location that fits your dreams and build an excellent experience!
The Best Places to Elope in Colorado
1. Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement
Where in the park? EVERYWHERE. Everywhere you turn, you'll see photo opportunity. However, there are designated areas that vows can be exchanged, and a permit is needed. Located an hour and a half northwest of Denver, the national park is a popular tourist location that you could get lost in for days (but don't actually get lost). It has everything from epic mountain tundra views, lakes, forested areas, open valleys, creeks, and more. Permits to exchange vows are $250.
Are you planning to stay the night? There are adorable bed and breakfasts in Estes Park.
Check out Dream Lake in RMNP, The Lost Mirmaid blog lists this as one of the 10 best day hikes near Denver, and I could agree with her more!
I actually have a complete guide to eloping at Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. It helps you with all of the details you need! Want more RMNP inspiration? Check out this dreamy photo shoot of Janisse at Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park.
2. Crested Butte Elopement
If you decide to elope in Crested Butte you have to do so in July! The wildflowers are absolutely insane at that time of year, and the landscapes are crazy green. While I recommend having a summer elopement there if you're an avid skier you may pick winter instead. The above photo is from one of my favorite ceremony sites, the Crested Butte Mountain Wedding Garden.
3. Sapphire Point Elopement
If you're looking for an elopement or intimate wedding location that can host a small group of people without a hike, I love Sapphire Point. This adorable location overlooks Dillion Reservoir, with mountain views, nearby trees, and a short drive to the "beach' of the reservoir. Sunset is EPIC at this location, and I highly recommend scheduling your photos during golden hour at this location. Most of my clients with families joining them appreciate this location because it's just a short drive to Breckenridge, Keystone, Dillion, and Silverthorne is meaning plenty of options for lodging and a nice dinner. If you want to use the location, it has to be reserved for $110. Check out my full guide on how to elope at Sapphire Point.
***Pro tip: if you plan to have a winter elopement at Sapphire Point, make sure you bring crampons for your shoes, the trail is short but it becomes slick!
4. Lost Gulch Overlook - Boulder Elopement
I love Lost Gulch Lookout! It's a cool rocky area with a stunning view of the mountains, that pairs well with golden hour. This accessible boulder location is easy to get to with epic mountain views. However, it is busy at sunset, so I highly recommend getting up early (bummer) and opting for a sunrise elopement instead. You'll have the place all to yourself! There are a handful of other locations great for photos as you drive back down the mountain.
Check out my complete guide for eloping at Lost Gulch Overlook here.
5. Chautauqua Park Elopement - Boulder Elopement
In all reality, you could do Lost Gulch and Chautauqua Park at the same time (I suggest doing both if you do one). The flatirons make this scene instantly recognizable but they're still stunning. This is a highly trafficked trail, so I don't recommend saying your vows here, but do stop for pictures!
6. Sunrise Amphitheater - Boulder Elopement
Sunrise Amphitheater is the ideal Boulder location for a planned elopement. While you might not use all the built-in seating. You will get awesome views of the city of Boulder and the valley. I recommend utilizing this spot during golden hour for the best lighting. Note, this location must be reserved.
7. The Great Sand Dunes Elopement
Colorado is home to the most massive dunes in the United States, spanning over 26 square miles. Like you would assume, it's sandy, but you've never seen a more epic landscape in an unsuspecting place (it doesn't fit in with the rest of Colorado). There's a nearby waterfall that adds the magic. If you choose to elope the Sand Dunes, you'll want to keep in mind the closest lodging is generally an hour away - however you can camp onsite and nearby. I highly suggest getting up before the sun rises for a sunrise photo shoot. No one else will be up, and you'll get epic views. However, wear warm shoes and socks if you do that, even in the summer because the sand gets icy cold!
8. Maroon Bells Elopement
Marron Bells is the most photographed mountain range in Colorado. I highly advise getting there before sunrise for that Alpine glow and no crowds. Permits for Maroon Bells are $200.
9. Garden of the Gods Elopement
This is a popular location located in Colorado Springs. The red rocks and greenery make it a stunning place. However, you will be fighting tourists and crowds - it's a heavily trafficked area. I highly recommend eloping at the Garden of the Gods on a weekday and at sunrise so you have more seclusion. If you plan to have your elopement here, there is plenty of places in Colorado springs for lodging and dinner. ***Pro tip: Parking lot #2 and #6 have the most parking!
10. The Paint Mines Interpretive Park Elopement
Want to get married on Mars? Some of the landscapes and rock formations at the Paint Mines almost look terrestrial. This incredibly unique landscape is an easy walk from the parking lot but still feels adventurous. It's an hour outside of Colorado Springs, and I do warn there's not a lot around, so bring a snack! (Oh hey, that's me in that picture there!)
Check out my complete guide to eloping at the Paint Mines Interpretive Park. I cover everything you need to know from ceremony locations, the best time of day and year to elope in the park, permits, and much more.
11. Lookout Mountain Elopement
Lookout Mountain is popular for both elopements and weddings (with at least three venues on the mountain). Sunset can be stellar there, but do keep in mind it is a densely populated area, and we most likely won't be alone. There are multiple parks on the mountain the are all great photo opportunities, usually with just a short five-minute drive in between. Check out my full guide on how to elope at Lookout Mountain.
12. Lake Molas Elopement- Silverton Colorado
Lake Molas lake is surrounded by some very cool mountain ranges! Nestled in Silverton, Colorado, and very close to the San Juan National Forest, it's the perfect place for an adventure elopement or wedding. It also has a nearby scenic view (just a literal minute up the road), and plenty of nearby hiking trails for those wild at heart. If you want to a do a sunrise elopement at the most perfect Lake before a life-changing hike this is where I would start! You can camp at the lake itself or find nearby accommodation in Silverton or Durango.
13. Stanely Lake Elopement
The reason I enjoy Stanely Lake is that it's not an overly popular location. It's also not going to be on most other photographer's lists of cool places. It's about 30 minutes out of Denver, offering views of the flatirons in Boulder and excellent sunset views. Winter is my favorite time there, looking super minimalist.
14. Steamboat Lake State Park Elopement
Steamboat Lake is a popular recreation and camping spot year-round! I love it because of the 360 panoramic views with Hahn's peak. This destination is popular for fishing, boating, and fishing, but it also makes a gorgeous backdrop for your elopement wedding. The activities at this location consist of light hiking (more of a nature walk), fishing, camping, boating, paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling. You can actually camp there year-round or stay in a private cabin, so it's an epic winter location too! Check out my full guide to eloping in Steamboat Lake State Park.
15. Andrews Lake Elopement - San Juan National Forest
Snowden Peak is just one of the many mountains that surround Andrews Lake in the San Juan National Forest. San Juan is a mountain range known for its distinguishable steep mountains in Colorado. This is a location I suggest for avid hikers and backpackers. Andrew's Lake is the trailhead for the Crate Lake trail, it's a 9.9-mile hike that takes roughly 5.5 hours. I would suggest having your elopement ceremony at Andrews Lake, then hiking to Crater Lake and camping under the stars for the night! This area is also spotted with gorgeous wildflowers during July.
16. Ouray Elopement
If you want a Colorado location that has waterfalls, the Swiss Alps, hiking, and keeping, you're going to want to elope in Ouray, Colorado. This small town is a major attraction in Colorado because of the Million Dollar Highway, the Swiss Alp like mountains, earning the town the name of "The Switzerland of America." The only thing close to town is the waterfalls, otherwise plan your elopement to have long hikes, long jeep rides, and an all-day adventure here!
17. Lost Lake - Near Buena Vista Colorado
This cute lake with serene mountain views and tons of trees is a 2.6-mile round trip hike. Intimate and not heavily trafficked!
18. Red Mountain Open Space
About as far north as you can go in Colorado before hitting Wyoming, Red Mountain Open Space has the most western views I can think of. I love the amazing mountain range as well as the grasslands.
19. Lake Isabelle in India Peaks Wilderness
This is a popular 6.3 roundtrip hike (but not like Colorado Springs Popular) that ends with majestic mountain views with a gorgeous lake. I highly suggest this spot and will be going there with or without you this summer just for the views! It opens June 1st and requires permits for hikers - but it's well worth it.
20. Colorado National Moneument Elopement
This is the only amazing elopement destination on the western slope, but it might be my favorite. It's the closest Colorado aesthetic that you can get to Moab. It's in Fruita, Colorado, and it's easy views with little hiking. I highly recommend it if you're looking for a desert feel but you don't want to do any hard work (hence why we did a maternity session there!). Check out my complete guide how to elope at Colorado National Monument. I cover everything you need to know for a successful intimate wedding, from hikes, best views, lodging, elopement activities and more.
21. Are you looking for a hiking elopement Locations?
If you're up for a hike so am! Let's plan an adventure elopement and make it a great memory. Whether it's Silver Dollar Lakes, Square Top Lake Guenalla pass, Golden Bear Peak, Lake Isabelle, or another adventure I'm up for it! Just remember that these sessions will usually take longer than two hours and maybe best around sunrise to avoid crowds, hikers, and no parking!
(Note: The last collage was provided by Kateri Kramer, all other photos in this blog post belong to me!)
Didn't see a location you're in love with? This is just a shortlist of options; Colorado is endless! I scout locations as part of my packages for my clients. Or check out my other guides on places to elope in Washington State, or how to elope in Italy, South Africa, Bali, or Tunisia.
Let's get out there:
Are you not a fan of popular locations? Cool, I'm into it. Here are a few other suggestions I haven't had an elopement at yet or another photoshoot, but I'm happy to experience with you!
Did you know you can self solemnize - meaning you don't need an officiant! In case you do want someone else to sign your marriage license (I totally get it), I'm ordained and can do that for you.
Need more information on eloping? Check out How Eloping Works.
OH HEY THERE! That's me, Colorado elopement photographer, Cassandra Vagher! If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm an outdoor enthusiast, dreamer, husky lover, hiker, and self-proclaimed badass with a camera (I'm actually a badass because I'm a second degree blackbelt!). I'm pretty amped you're here so I can share my love with the outdoors with you, and create pictures that you and your family will cherish FOREVER.