best waterfalls in colorado for elopements

There’s something truly magical about waterfalls: the sound, the mist in the air, the pounding of water on rock and earth that you can feel under your feet. All of this and more is what makes waterfalls a perfect, dreamy backdrop for elopements!

If your wedding day vision wouldn’t be complete without a stunning waterfall as a centerpiece in the scenery for your elopement, check out some of the best waterfalls in Colorado to visit for your big day!

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. 

Rifle Falls State Park

So many people living in Colorado don’t even know this place exists, which makes it even lesser known to those outside of the state. Rifle Falls feels like a tropical hidden gem right in the middle of the Rockies, complete with lush greenery all around three streams pouring from above during summer (or complete ice in winter!).

Although this may change over time (and it’s always best to check the park for updates), the park currently does not require a permit or reservation for elopements with just the couple. They do offer a small amphitheater area for small, intimate ceremonies with a handful of guests, as well, and it’s super affordable at only $120 per day. One of the best parts about this spot is that the waterfalls are a super short, flat and easy walk from the parking lot — no hiking involved!

Alberta Falls, RMNP

If you’re wanting something with a bit of a more wilderness vibe, you can take some elopement portraits at Alberta Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park. Although they do require any wedding and vow ceremonies to be reserved at specific locations inside the park, you can always opt for an elopement day that includes coverage for this 1.5 mile easy roundtrip hike (with only a 240 ft. elevation gain over the hike) to take portraits at the base of the falls.

This spot is located on Bear Lake Road and also includes some forested and aspen grove areas along the trail.

Ouzel Falls, RMNP

Another beautiful waterfall in RMNP for elopement portraits is Ouzel Falls. This hike is a bit more moderate at about 5.5 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of just under 1000 feet, but it can be well worth it. Along this trail, you’ll not only get to see the creek and waterfall itself, but also have some mountain and meadow views, wildflowers, and potentially some wildlife.

Crystal Mill

For those looking to do an all-day hiking elopement, the river and small waterfalls at Crystal Mill in Carbondale, CO may be the perfect option. We’ll need to save at least 4-5 hours to complete the 9 mile hike, not counting some time at the Mill for your elopement ceremony. It can be a very busy spot on weekends in summer, so be sure to book your elopement on a weekday for this location.

South Mineral Creek

Another hidden gem of a location for waterfalls in Colorado is the South Fork Mineral Creek, located in the San Juan Mountains (also totally underrated!). This gorgeous turquoise waterfall is surrounded by some red riverbed rock, is easily accessed from the South Mineral Campground, and is open from May through September.

Bridal Veil Falls, Telluride

As the tallest free falling waterfalls in all of Colorado, Bridal Veil Falls are surely a sight to see, especially for adventure elopements. Located in Telluride, the waterfalls are 365 feet tall and require a moderate hike with a 1,300 foot ascent with a roundtrip length of about 4 miles. Definitely one of the best views in all of Colorado!

Helen Hunt Falls

By far one of the easiest waterfalls to access in the front range, Helen Hunt Falls is located in Colorado Springs and a lovely option to consider for your Colorado elopement. There’s a parking area at the base of the falls inside North Cheyenne Cañon Park, and if you want to you can add on an extra little hike to Silver Cascade Falls as well.

Dreaming of a Colorado elopement at the base of a waterfall?

Our photo and video team loves capturing intimate and adventurous elopements! We love getting to know you and helping you find the perfect location in Colorado for your big day.

Skyewater Photo + Film is a photography and videography team based in Colorado that specializes in destination weddings and adventure elopements. Whether you’re looking for a meaningful wedding video or an adventurous elopement photographer, contact Skyewater Photo + Film for your big day!

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