swpf-logo-full-color-rgb
swpfmobilelogo

While a drop-dead gorgeous wedding with all the bells and whistles can be great, it can also get pretty expensive and time consuming. Large elaborate weddings are wonderful, but they are not for everyone.

If you’re someone who isn’t dying to have all the traditional aspects of a wedding day and is looking to have a smaller, more intimate ceremony with the love of your life, why not celebrate with an elopement? And what better place to elope than the various jaw-dropping locations across the Colorado landscape?

Check out our ultimate list of places to elope in Colorado, and find the perfect place to say your “I do’s”!

Please note: be sure to check with all local parks, national forests, and/or municipalities regarding permits that may be required before eloping to one of these locations. We provide general permit information below, but these requirements change often so reach out to the appropriate place for the most up-to-date info. 🙂

UPDATE: If you want a short list before viewing the whole blog, check out our top 10 places to elope in Colorado in the video below!

Places to Elope Near Denver + Boulder

Autumn Denver Botanic Gardens Engagement | Denver Wedding Photographer

Denver Botanical Gardens, Denver

Looking for the right place to have a spring or summer elopement? Look no further!

The Denver Botanical Gardens are absolutely beautiful, and contain a variety of natural settings and modern designs. From a Garden of the West to gardens inspired by foreign countries, you’re bound to find something you love for an elopement here. They also have a second location on Chatfield Farms, if you’d like to take a look at that as well!

Best Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Permits: Yes

Botanic Gardens Portfolio:  Lisa + Reed’s Engagement | Mary + Ross’ Wedding Video

lake isabelle colorado elopement photographer

Brainard Lake Recreational Area + Lake Isabelle

The whole Brainard Lake area is absolutely stunning, especially for moderate hikes (so best for those acclimated to higher elevations and at least 3-5 of hiking in one day). Lake Isabelle is best seen at sunrise, and you can take a trail from Brainard Lake to Isabelle, as well as several other alpine lakes in the area.

Best Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Permits: Varies

Photo Samples: Ryan + Brittany’s Lake Isabelle Elopement

Daniels & Fisher Clock Tower, Denver

In the heart of downtown, many know of the building from the outside, but on the inside is a romantic and historic venue just perfect for small events and elopements. The Denver Clock Tower gives you a little mix of urban flare and vintage, with a spice of modern added in.

Best Seasons: Year-Round

Permits: Yes

wedding at artist point in boulder colorado

Flagstaff Road, Boulder

All along Flagstaff road you’ll find a few fantastic pull-off areas for an elopement, including Artist Point, the Sunrise Amphitheater, Lost Gulch and (farther up the road) Gross Reservoir. This area is one of the most popular places my couples love to choose for their big day, and I love how unique the sky and ambiance feels nearly every time I visit there for an elopement.

Best Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall

Permits: Yes 

Boulder Elopement Samples: Kaylee + Kagen Taylor + Adam

mount evans elopement photographer in colorado

Mount Evans, Idaho Springs

Although Mt. Evans technically does not allow traditional weddings, many couples choose to elope to this 14,000 foot peak to celebrate their love among the clouds and “on top of the world”! Some of my favorite parts about this region is the sweeping views, the wildlife you’ll see along the way, and the variety of backdrops including Summit Lake.

Best Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall

Permits: Varies

guanella pass elopement

Guanella Pass, Georgetown

From this scenic road through Guanella Pass, you can see several other 14,000 foot peaks. This area is particularly stunning in summer, where there are often countless wildflowers turning the area into a beautiful place that feels not just mountainous, but much like a garden!

Best Seasons: Summer, Fall

Permits: Varies

 

st marys glacier engagement photos

St. Mary’s Glacier

Not to be confused with St. Mary’s Lake in Glacier National Park, this small alpine lake in Colorado features a glacier at the end of the hike and some of the best views around the area. Located near Idaho Springs, this one requires a 2 mile roundtrip hike with about 800 feet in elevation gain, but is SO worth it. This is also dog friendly, and features some wildflowers during the peak summer season! And no permit required for elopements currently.

Best Seasons: Summer, Fall

Permits: None

St. Mary’s Glacier Portfolio: Kim + Ted

Places to Elope Near Colorado Springs

 

elopement photographer in colorado springs

Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs

The striking boulders and red rocks of the Garden of the Gods make a variety of stunning backdrops for an elopement wedding. Not only is this place a registered National Natural Landmark in Colorado Springs, but it’s also free and open to the public year-round!

Whether you’re an adventurous couple who love the dry, high-desert look or you both love hiking and rock-climbing, this is a beautiful spot for a small ceremony. We also know several hidden gem spots in the park to avoid the crowds. 

Best Season: Year-Round, but best on weekdays to avoid tourists

Permits: None

Garden of the Gods Elopements:  Bre + Daniel’s elopement photos + elopement video

adventure wedding photographer in colorado

Great Sand Dunes National Park

I know, I know . . . desert sands are probably not at the top of your list when it comes to places to elope, but there is something truly unique and daring about them!

If you were to elope at the Great Sand Dunes National Park, try going for a boho, western or ancient times look and feel! You might also want to check out these desert wedding/elopement ideas on Pinterest!

Best Seasons: Spring, Fall, Winter

Permits: Yes

Sand Dunes Photos: Clara + Tim

pikes peak

Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs

Declare your love on the top of the world — or, well, above Colorado Springs, anyway.

Pikes Peak is at over 14,000 feet in elevation and is one of the most visited peaks in North America. Although very popular, it is for good reason. Just check out the view you could have for a mountaintop elopement!

This one is perfect for those who love the mountain air, heights, hiking or adventure in general.

Best Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall

Permits: None 

Places to Elope in Western Colorado

silverton colorado elopement photographer

Silverton + the San Juan Mountains

I’ve added this one to the list (and at first place!) because it is SERIOUSLY underrated here in Colorado. There are some pretty epic views in some BLM land in the San Juans just north of Silverton (on the western side of Colorado) — where you can take an ATV or AWD Jeep into the wilderness with these kinds of views for your ceremony backdrop. This image above is the view from California Pass.

If you want to see more from this region, head on over to check out some of my favorite photos from a recent trip to Silverton this summer!

Best Seasons: Summer + Fall

Permits: Varies

telluride elopement photographer

Telluride

Waterfalls, 14,000 ft peaks, gondolas up the mountains, and a whole lotta great restaurants and bars downtown make the area surrounding Telluride a place that’s hard to beat for an epic elopement. We absolutely love everything about this region, especially during summer and fall. There are even some great hot springs to dip into nearby in the area by Ridgway and Ouray. 

Best Seasons: Summer + Fall

Permits: Varies

Colorado National Monument

Another scenic spot on the western slope is the Colorado National Monument. It’ll give you all the desert and canyon vibes of Utah without having to leave Colorado! 

Best Seasons: Year-Round

Permits: Varies

rifle falls state park

Rifle Falls State Park

One of my favorite “hidden gems” in Colorado that I’ve discovered so far is Rifle Falls State Park, about 45 minutes northwest of Glenwood Springs. This is a VERY easy location to walk to from the main parking areas, and it almost doesn’t even feel like it belongs in Colorado, with all the lush greenery around during the summer.

Some of the best perks about this spot: no reservation currently needed if eloping just the two of you, easy walking access, and open year round! This will definitely be busier with crowds during the summer, so aim to schedule a weekday morning or evening (rather than midday) elopement at this spot.

Best Seasons: Year-round

Permits: Varies 

Hanging Lake Trail, Glenwood Springs

Where the mountains meet the…lake? The Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon is absolutely gorgeous for elopements. Between the lake itself, waterfalls, mountains, cliffs and gardens, there’s few other places in Colorado quite as scenic as this for an intimate ceremony.

Best Seasons: Summer

Permits: Yes

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Probably the least visited National Park in Colorado, the Black Canyon is extremely unique. Along the ridge, you can see just how steep the walls of this canyon are, going deep down below. Definitely not for those afraid of heights or close edges here! 🙂 It’s also in one of the darkest places in the state, making it fantastic for night sky photos and stargazing. 

Best Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall

Permits: Yes

Places to Elope near Aspen, Vail, and Breckenridge

Aspen Wedding Photographer | Wedding at Maroon Bells Amphitheatre

Maroon Bells, Aspen

One of the MOST iconic backdrops in all of Colorado is by far Maroon Bells near Aspen! It’s a stunning place in spring, summer and fall (when you can see the aspen trees turn gold/yellow), and I’ll always love photographing elopements here.

Best Seasons: Summer, Fall

Permits: Depends

Maroon Bells Portfolio: Emily + Bryan’s Elopement Photos  |  Emily + Braydon’s Elopement Video

best elopement photographer in breckenridge colorado

Sapphire Point, Lake Dillon

This gorgeous spot near the hub of skiing towns like Silverthorne, Keystone and Breckenridge is a popular spot for good reason! Open nearly year round as long as they can clear the roads to the point, Sapphire Point offers views facing west and north across Lake Dillon. They do have a calendar where you can reserve a two-hour window, and there’s plenty of room here for a small wedding or elopement with up to about 20-30 guests.

Best Seasons: Summer, Fall

Permits: Depends

Sapphire Point Portfolio: Megan + Todd

boreas pass elopement photos

Boreas Pass

This high mountain pass near Breckenridge is over 20 miles long and offers some amazing views along the continental divide. It’s a fairly bumpy dirt road, so it’s best to access with an AWD/4WD vehicle with high clearance. 

Best Seasons: Summer, Fall

Permits: None

Boreas Pass Photos: Andrea + Jerry

Vail Wedding Deck

Although many of our elopements have few guests (if any), you might want to consider the Vail Wedding Deck if you have more than 10 people. And even if you don’t, the views are some of the best in the state. It does cost more than most other elopement locations in Colorado, though.

Best Seasons: Summer Only (June – Sep)

Permits: Reservation required

crested butte elopement photographer

Crested Butte

Another one of our absolute FAVORITE spots in Colorado for elopements is Crested Butte. There are so many great spots here to feel pretty secluded and private, making it ideal for those who love mountain and lake views without being the center of attention. While we have some spots we save on our secret list for our own clients, we’ll recommend the areas by Peanut Lake and other areas managed by the Crested Butte Land Trust to anyone out there!

Best Seasons: Summer Only (June – Sep)

Permits: Varies

Crested Butte Photos: Dorothy + Gram

vail elopement photographer

Beaver Creek Point Trail

My clients actually discovered this one, and I’ve loved it ever since! There is a trail outside of Vail / Avon that goes up the hill maybe less than half a mile at most and has sweeping views of the town and ski runs off in the distance! Best for summer and fall here, and so beautiful for a less crowded option!

Best Seasons: Summer, Fall

Permits: None

Samples: Esti + David

Places to Elope in Northern Colorado

st malos chapel on the rock wedding estes park photographer

Allenspark & Estes Park

There are dozens of unique areas around Allenspark and Estes Park, especially on some hikes in the national forests here. You can even take some portraits outside of St. Malo’s Chapel on the Rock on your way there!

Best Seasons: Year-Round

Permits: Varies

rocky mountain national park engagement photographer

Rocky Mountain National Park

If you love the outdoors, hiking, trails, and scenery galore, Rocky Mountain National Park has it all. And with over 415 square miles of land, there are countless areas for you to find and make your own – but for portraits only. 

The National Park has newly announced that starting in 2021, they will only be accepting 250 total wedding permits for the entire year. It was previously up to 6 per day, 365 days a year, so this is a huge difference! If you want to get married here, we highly recommend getting your request in early. Otherwise, consider reaching out to us to find a unique spot for your vows outside the park, and we can do portraits inside the park afterwards!

Best Seasons: Year-Round

Permits: Yes

Horsetooth Reservoir

If you want something farther away from crowds, a lot of us locals really love the area near Fort Collins and the Horsetooth Reservoir. You get nice mountain and lake views, and you can even rent boats or kayaks to get out onto the water during your elopement day!

Best Seasons: Summer, Fall

Permits: Yes

A Few More Ideas…

Not sold on anything yet? No worries! Here are some other ideas to consider:

Contact an Elopement Photographer in Colorado

Skyewater Photo + Film is an adventure elopement and destination wedding photo and video team based in Colorado. We help couples plan elopements all over the US, and offer insight for more than just photography: from planning assistance, finding and booking locations, vendor references and more! Reach out to our elopement photography and videography team today to get more info!

Photography + Videography Team

Whether you're eloping just the two of you, or having a wedding with your family + friends in a super scenic place, we'd love to celebrate with you!

Leave a Comment

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

related posts