I know I say this a lot, but I am really excited to share this with you today. If you are new to the blog, I’m Mariah – your newest adventure buddy. I live for photographing adventurous couples in the great outdoors and if you are here, I can already guess you love to walk on the wild side. That’s why your here – researching the best places to elope in Colorado. Elopements are more popular than ever this year but to be honest, I’ve always been a fan. I love the gorgeous wilderness vibes and endless adventures. I love to live in the moments with my couples so they can really relish in it. If that sounds like something you’d be in to – contact me here to get your date booked. (No travel fees in the United States!)
Below, I have a brief description of the best places to elope in Colorado. Every effort has been made to ensure this information is accurate, but make sure to confirm the details before you elope (especially the need for permits – which can change!). In case you need even more inspiration to start your epic journey to Colorado, it’s one of the few states where you can self-marry. You don’t need an officiant to exchange rings. In each of these locations, we can plan an intimate elopement for you and yours (and me taking pictures and leading you to the best spots of course!). Okay, now let’s get to the good stuff.
Chautauqua State Park
Chautauqua State Park is in Boulder, CO, and is the perfect place to capture those earthy, picturesque views. You do need a permit for elopements and weddings, but the ease of travel within the park makes it one of the best places to elope in Colorado.
Garden of the Gods
I adore the Garden of Gods Park in Colorado. Although as a couple eloping you don’t need to get a permit ahead of time, depending on what vendors you hire, they may need one (wedding planners, for example). This is assuming what you are after is a small, brief ceremony which I find most of my couples are. If you want an intimate, romantic ceremony and endless adventure after, this is the spot for you. Keep in mind, you might not need a permit, but the “best spots” are first come first serve. Don’t worry though. I am always scouting out the best spots to elope so I can help you find the one. You can ask me anything at any time.
Okay, adventure-seekers! Loveland Pass has some of the most incredible views in all of Colorado and is located just 60 miles west of Denver. This high-elevation location will make you feel on top of the world for your wedding elopement. If you are looking for a place to start your endless adventures, and aren’t afraid to get your wedding attire dirty on the hike, Loveland Pass will satisfy all your needs for wild.
Piney River Ranch, Vail Colorado
For this dreamy Colorado elopement location, you do need a reservation ahead of time. It’s worth the extra planning though! Piney River Rach is one of my favorites for intimate elopements – you can see a real (and recent) elopement I featured on the blog here. For couples who want to elope in a private location, this is a great option (much more private than the other well-known spots!). It’s also a bit of an easier planning process, because the venue offers full catering services.
Looking for a breathless mountainside elopement location, where no permit is required? Guanella Pass is incredible. This dreamy location closes seasonally but typically reopens around Memorial Day and is available until mid-November. It’s one of my favorite wilderness locations – mostly due to the diverse backdrops. A thick forest surrounds the lake, so you can have the best of both worlds for your wedding photography.
St Mary’s Glacier
St. Mary’s Glacier is a stunning location near Idaho Springs. With snow almost year round near the glacier, this location is perfect for adventurous couples who don’t love to hike in the heat! St. Mary’s Glacier is a shorter hike (which is great if you are wearing traditional wedding attire!) but it is steep so keep that in mind. I know I say this a lot but the views are SO WORTH IT.
In most cases, you don’t need a permit to elope at Lookout Mountain (it depends on what you are bringing into the park and how many vendors/guests are attending). Lookout Mountain is on the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, so for couples who don’t envision steep inclines on their wedding day, this is a great choice.
Lost Gulch Overlook
This is another mountainside location that requires you to get a permit in most situations. Located in Boulder Colorado, Lost Gulch Overlook has dramatic cliffside views that ignite your most adventurous side. The area can be busy, but your furry friends are welcome so if you dream of an elopement with just the two of you and your dog, this is the perfect place. Not all of the parks allow dogs (unfortunately!) so that’s definitely something to keep in mind as you plan out your Colorado elopement location.
Maroon Bells is made up of two incredible snow-covered mountains (nicknamed Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak) and a stunning reflective lake between them. This is considered to be one of the most photographed places in Colorado. Of course, this is because the location is absolutely breathtaking, but keep in mind it might not be the best option for couples hoping to find some privacy to exchange their vows. If you love the views but want something more private, you can rent the Maroon Bells Amphitheater which fits up to 50 people (but it’s a great way to secure privacy even if it’s just the two of you). Maroon Bells does require a permit for weddings and elopements so make sure to secure that ahead of time.
Sapphire Point is located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, overlooking Lake Dillon (another gorgeous spot nearby for elopements and sessions) with gorgeous views of alpine lakes and Colorado forests just a short walk away from the parking lot. It’s super easy to navigate but should DEFINITELY be reserved ahead of time for wedding ceremonies because it is really popular and requires a permit for exchange of vows. No permit is required for a simple engagement session. Portable chairs are also permitted for ceremonies which is convenient since this site is so close to the parking lot!
Brainard Lake is definitely one of the more popular locations to tie the knot. Because it is more popular, you’ll have to work a little harder to find a location that is completely private. The advantage to choosing a more well-known location is that you have an abundance of lodge choices and amenities to take advantage of if you want to turn your elopement into a wedding weekend (complete with a mini-honeymoon, naturally). You don’t need a permit for your elopement here but you will pay an entrance fee to get into the park. Also, keep in mind that access is limited in the winter so this dreamy location is best in the summer!
Roxborough State Park
You’ll need a permit to elope in Roxborough State Park, but this incredibly scenic location is worth the prep. Roxborough State Park is just a short drive south of Denver, making it an easy location to get to – but be prepared to hike as much of the park is “foot traffic only”. I have a special place in my heart for wedding dresses and hiking boots, so if you’re up for it, so am I. I love the stunning red-rock backdrop and all of the wilderness that surrounds them. If you can’t decide between being surrounded by greenery or escaping to a desert elopement location, Roxborough State Park has it all.
Boreas Pass is a stunning route in central Colorado. It’s not as “all-terrain” as some of the other more adventurous locations above but it’s perfect for a couple that wants to get married in the wilderness among incredible views. They don’t require a permit for elopements so it’s almost effortless to exchange your vows. Boreas Pass is a great choice for winter couples because it’s open year round!
Colorado Elopement Photographer
So there you have it – the best locations to elope in Colorado. And if you are looking for a photographer, I’d be just thrilled if you reached out here. I’m kind of a straight shooter: if you are a couple looking for a comfortable, genuine experience and want to hire an elopement photographer who will also guide you throughout the planning journey (YES – I can help you choose a location and help you decide on timing so we get the perfect lighting!), I’m your girl.
I live for unique and intimate elopements that feel authentic and romantic. I love to work with couples who love to relish in every moment. My style is warm, romantic, and full of candid photographs. The kind that makes you remember exactly how you were feeling at every moment on your wedding day. If that sounds like you, let’s get your wedding day on my calendar. For more real weddings and behind the scenes, find me on Instagram!