When deciding where to elope, it’s easy to fall in love with the Southwest and its canyons, red rocks, mountains, and desert landscapes. Eloping in Arizona is becoming more and more popular, and we can understand why. With mesmerizing views around every corner, it can be hard to narrow down where you and your partner want to spend your big day.
To make it easier, we’ve put together a list of the best places to elope in Arizona. Whether you’re wanting to explore the northern part of the state in Sedona or Page, or you want to make your home base a little further south in Phoenix or Tucson, there are plenty of beautiful elopement destinations to choose from!
Best Places to Elope in Sedona + Northern Arizona
Located in the Coconino National Forest, Lockett Meadow is like a fairytale come to life. If sweeping fields and mountains are on your list for your Arizona elopement, this is the place to be. Coming in late September or early October will give you the best views of the golden aspen trees nearby.
Please note: Snowfall makes travel to this location extremely difficult, so the road to Lockett Meadow is closed October 13 and reopens in May.
If you’re wanting to elope in Arizona, Sedona has some of the best places to say your “I do’s” among the red rocks. In fact, this laid-back town with stunning natural beauty is one of our personal favorites.
Here are just a few amazing locations to elope in Sedona:
With many of these hikes becoming very popular in recent years, your best bet is to hit the trail early in the morning and/or on a weekday for a more private, intimate elopement experience.
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park is a perfect destination for your Arizona elopement for unbeatable canyon views, especially at sunrise and sunset. The Grand Canyon offers stunning viewpoints around every corner, many of them easily accessible by short trails. Of course, if you plan on spending more time in the park after your elopement, there are plenty of challenging hikes too, like the iconic Rim-to-Rim hike.
While eloping in a national park can be a beautiful experience, it also comes with permits, restrictions, and other considerations. Lucky for you, we’ve put together a guide for how to elope in a National Park that covers all of the important factors you’ll need to consider.
Petrified Forest National Park
The colorful sandstone, impressive fossils over 200 million years old, and fascinating archaeological sites of Petrified Forest National Park make it one of the more unique places to elope in Arizona. The Painted Desert is an especially magical setting for your big day.
A major perk of choosing the Petrified Forest for your elopement is that it is one of the least crowded national parks. If you want all of the views without all of the people, this could be a great pick for you.
Monument Valley’s iconic towering buttes and classic western landscape make it a perfect place to elope in Arizona. Hiking within Monument Valley is limited, but you can take in the rugged sights from the Wildcat Trail before or after your ceremony.
You’ll need to get a Navajo Nation Special Use Permit if you want to elope in Monument Valley. The cost will depend on how many people you bring with you on your special day.
Located in the Havasupai Indian Reservation, the Havasupai Falls are known for their beautiful turquoise water, making them perfect for an Arizona elopement. For adventurous couples, the scenic hike rewards you with lush greenery and five different waterfalls.
Since the hike is 10 miles each way, it can’t be completed in one day. You will need to obtain a reservation and permit to stay at either the Havasupai lodge or at the campground.
Please note: Reservations go live in February and can sell out in minutes. Make sure you set up an account on the reservation site before the go-live date for your best chances of securing a spot.
The short, flat hike to Horseshoe Bend (1.3 miles round trip) makes it one of the most accessible elopement destinations on this list. Sweeping views of the desert and the Colorado river arcing below create a gorgeous backdrop, making it one of the best places to elope in Arizona.
It’s worth noting Horseshoe Bend can get very crowded, especially during the summer. If you want to have the place to yourselves, check out our tips for avoiding crowds on your elopement day.
Located in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area near the city of Page, Lake Powell is a desert oasis and prime recreation area. Not only does it boast majestic views of the water, but there’s plenty of fun to be had after your Arizona elopement as well. You and your partner can go on a boat tour or rent jet skis or kayaks to explore what’s beyond the shore.
If you’re in the area, don’t miss out on taking a guided tour of Antelope Canyon or some of the other incredible slot canyons nearby. We have experience scouting out some of the less crowded areas around Lake Powell to get some more privacy, so be sure to reach out to us for our some insight!
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is one of the more remote destinations on this list, making it one of the best places to elope in Arizona if you want an intimate experience. With soaring cliffs, buttes, slot canyons, and secluded hikes, Vermilion Cliffs is a great location for couples who want their day to feel special and private.
It’s also where you can find the colorful and photogenic sandstone swirls of The Wave. Permits to hike to The Wave are issued by lottery, and only 64 people each day are allowed to visit. Those lucky few get this geological wonder all to themselves.
Best Places to Elope in Phoenix + Central Arizona
Lost Dutchman State Park
If you’re eloping in Arizona, you should consider Lost Dutchman State Park. The awe-inducing views of the Superstition Mountains make for a dramatic backdrop, and you’ll find a variety of native plants and animals, including the iconic saguaro cacti.
Lost Dutchman State Park makes it easy to reserve a spot for your elopement by providing step-by-step instructions and a wedding packet with details to help you determine if it’s the right destination for you.
Salt River Canyon Wilderness
The dreamy vistas of the Salt River Canyon Wilderness include greenery, a gorgeous river, cliffs, and even roaming wild horses. Nicknamed the mini Grand Canyon, it is one of the best places to elope in Arizona for couples who want their elopement experience to feel otherworldly.
Up for an adrenaline rush? This area is well-known for its whitewater rafting. You can also find Apache Falls and Cibecue Falls a short hike away.
South Mountain Park and Preserve
South Mountain Park and Preserve offers a spectacular desert landscape of saguaros, mountains, and golden sunsets, making it an ideal place to elope in Arizona. You can enjoy plenty of trails, horseback riding, and take in the panoramic views from Dobbins Lookout.
To inspire a deeper connection with nature, South Mountain Park practices “Silent Sundays”, where cars aren’t allowed on the main road for part of the day and visitors are encouraged to walk, cycle, and hike to get around.
If you want your elopement to include water, it’s hard to beat Watson Lake. Granite rock formations and the nearby Watson Woods add to its appeal. Boating, kayaking, rock climbing, and other activities are available at this beautiful lake destination.
You can also visit nearby Prescott, a charming city that has something for everyone — Whiskey Row for bars and live music, as well as plenty of museums and art galleries.
For the daring couples, Mogollon Rim is an easy choice when it comes to eloping in Arizona. When it comes to scenery, the rim has it all — cliffs, pines, desert landscapes, and the Woods Canyon Lake nearby.
The Mogollon Rim looks out towards the western sky, making it a perfect location to capture a golden sunset.
Best Places to Elope in Tucson + Southern Arizona
Saguaro National Park
When you think of the American Southwest, one of the first things that comes to mind is probably the iconic saguaro cactus, and there’s no better place to see them up close than at Saguaro National Park. If you picture your big day with mountains, cactus blooms, and a touch of wild, this may be the best place in Arizona to elope.
As with all elopement destinations in the great outdoors, make sure to practice Leave No Trace principles and leave the land looking untouched when you leave. And really, it’s best if you try not to touch anything anyways — removing cactus spines on your elopement day is not our idea of a fun time.
Imagine saying “I do” on a breathtaking mountaintop surrounded by beautiful white boulders and long stretches of pine trees. The stunning scenery at Mount Lemmon makes it a great place to elope.
Go ahead and rent a cabin, explore the trails, and do some rock climbing while you’re there. Mt. Lemmon is also the perfect skiing destination in the winter.
Looking for an Elopement Photo + Video Team in Arizona?
Skyewater Photo + Film is a photography and videography team that specializes in destination weddings and adventure elopements all over the US. We’re also very familiar with Arizona landscapes, and it’s one of our favorite places in the Southwest to visit!
Whether you’re looking for a meaningful wedding video or an adventurous elopement photographer, contact Skyewater Photo + Film for your big day!