Eloping has become the new big thing the past few years, and one destination that really seems to be sticking out to photographers and couples, is Colorado. The diversity here is outstanding, with snowy mountains, deserts, canyons, waterfalls, and so more. The Rocky Mountains are an icon of Colorado, being the 2nd tallest mountain range in the Continental US, and the tallest mountain, Mount Elbert, at 14.440 ft in elevation. Colorado is known for its natural beauty, and outdoor lifestyle. Its picturesque locations make it the perfect place for an elopement.

As a photographer, I’ve done some deep research and wanted to share some stunning locations for your Colorado elopement.

Keep in mind, eloping isn’t as easy as it used to be. Most of these locations are in national parks, which require permits for weddings, elopements, and even for vendors. These are very easy to get. You can contact the park ranger offices at the national park you’re interested in and get everything you need to set it up.

With that being said, here’s the top 18 locations around Denver, Colorado, that could be a day trip easily,  for the most stunning elopements.

Rocky Mountain National Park:

Rocky Mountain National Park is a breathtaking elopement location in Colorado, offering stunning natural beauty and diverse landscapes. The park features majestic mountain peaks, alpine lakes, and an abundance of wildlife, providing a picturesque backdrop for a romantic elopement. Situated at high altitudes, ranging from 7,860 to 14,259 feet, the park offers a truly awe-inspiring setting for couples seeking an intimate and memorable ceremony. Whether you’re dreaming of a snowy winter elopement or a vibrant summer celebration, Rocky Mountain National Park caters to all preferences. As a national park, it’s important to note that photography permits may be required for certain areas, so it’s advisable to check the park’s regulations beforehand. Additionally, the park’s proximity to charming mountain towns like Estes Park ensures easy access to accommodation and a variety of post-elopement activities, making it a delightful choice for couples looking to create lasting memories in the heart of Colorado’s natural splendor.

Estes Park:

Estes Park offers a captivating backdrop for elopements with its breathtaking scenic beauty, small-town intimacy, and accessibility from the Denver airport. Whether you envision a picturesque ceremony within Rocky Mountain National Park, against a backdrop of pristine lakes and dramatic rock formations, or seek the charm of the surrounding mountains and wildlife, Estes Park provides an array of enchanting venues for an intimate wedding. With every season presenting its unique allure, from the vibrant wildflowers of spring to the colorful fall foliage, couples can choose the perfect time to exchange vows amidst the natural splendor of Estes Park. It’s important to note that for ceremonies within Rocky Mountain National Park, a permit is required, and specific locations are designated for the ceremony. However, the park’s proximity to various lodging and dining options, along with the availability of numerous adventure activities such as horseback riding and hiking, makes Estes Park a delightful one-stop destination for a memorable and adventurous elopement.

Boulder, Colorado:

Boulder is one of my top favorite Colorado Elopement spots. It offers a diverse range of elopement locations, catering to couples seeking natural beauty, historic charm, and a variety of settings for their special day. From iconic mountain backdrops to urban and natural blends, Boulder provides an array of picturesque venues for intimate ceremonies and stunning photography sessions, with easy hikes! Whether you choose the iconic Chautauqua Park for its close proximity to town and iconic Flatirons backdrop, or the easily accessible Lost Gulch Overlook with its dramatic views, Boulder presents an assortment of options for couples looking to create unforgettable elopement memories. Additionally, the Sunrise Amphitheatre offers an ideal location for couples desiring a rental venue for their ceremony, complete with easy access to explore the higher mountains. Moreover, the Indian Peaks Wilderness, located just 20 miles west of town, provides a captivating setting with towering peaks, alpine lakes, and wildflowers, making it an ideal choice for couples seeking a more adventurous and secluded elopement experience. With its unique blend of natural and urban landscapes, Boulder, Colorado invites couples to celebrate their love amidst its diverse and captivating surroundings, ensuring a memorable and personalized elopement experience.

Sapphire Point and Dillon Reservoir:

Sapphire Point, nestled at an elevation of 9,500 feet, presents an enchanting setting for an intimate elopement ceremony with its breathtaking views of Dillon Reservoir and the surrounding mountains. This accessible and affordable venue accommodates up to 35 people, making it an ideal choice for couples seeking a picturesque location for their special day. The overlook’s year-round availability ensures that couples can exchange vows against the backdrop of stunning natural beauty no matter the season. However, it’s important to consider the potential for crowded conditions at this popular location and the competitive reservation process. Furthermore, with the planned upgrades to the overlook in 2024, including reduced group sizes, private shuttle access, and restrictions on items and activities, it’s advisable for couples considering Sapphire Point as a ceremony location to review alternative venues in the Breckenridge area. Despite these considerations, the allure of Sapphire Point and its proximity to various mountain towns, accommodations, and recreational activities make it a compelling choice for couples seeking a memorable and accessible elopement destination.

Garden of The Gods:

Garden of The Gods might be the most iconic spot in Colorado, and definitely one of my favorites. It’s filled with large red rocks, which gives it a very unique, and almost canyon-like feel. It’s one of the most common places for elopements. It sits at around 6,400 ft in altitude, and is part of the Rocky Mountains. It’s a wonderful option no matter what time of year you choose. If you’re looking to elope here, here’s a few things to note. This park is a public park, not a national park, so no photography permits are required. They allow groups up to 50 people, and it’s super close to Colorado Springs for lodging and other great activities to celebrate your big day!

Brainard Lake:

Brainard Lake is a breathtaking option, with amazing views. There are 10 different trails that start at the lake for lots of photo op locations. This lake is surrounded by gorgeous, typically snowy mountains, and is super close to Boulder, CO. It sits at 10,300 ft in elevation, so you may want to prepare for possible altitude sickness here. There are also no photography permits required here. Summer and Fall are the best times to elope at Brainard Lake, as they close seasonally due to the roan not being maintained.

Idaho Springs and Georgetown:

Idaho Springs and Georgetown, nestled in Clear Creek County near Colorado Springs, present captivating options for elopements amidst the stunning natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains. These quaint towns boast a rich mining town history and offer an intimate and serene ambiance for couples seeking a unique and picturesque ceremony location. Idaho Springs, with its abundance of off-roading trails and epic hiking opportunities, provides a quiet and local atmosphere, while Georgetown, known for its old mining town charm, exudes a peaceful and historic vibe. Both towns offer an array of affordable vacation rentals, making them accessible and accommodating for couples and small groups. However, it’s important to note that while these areas are ideal for weekday elopements with few guests, options for larger celebrations may be limited. Additionally, the proximity to Denver ensures easy access to vendors willing to make the drive up, making it convenient for couples to plan their special day. With the stunning natural landscapes and the quiet, local feel, Idaho Springs and Georgetown are excellent choices for couples seeking a down-to-earth mountain elopement experience in Colorado.

Aspen and Maroon Bells:

Aspen’s Maroon Bells, with its breathtaking mountain peaks and enchanting aspen groves, offers a truly captivating backdrop for an intimate elopement. Renowned as one of the most photographed mountain peaks in North America, it provides a picturesque setting for couples seeking a romantic and unique ceremony location. The site’s popularity necessitates early reservations, as it’s among the most sought-after elopement locations in Colorado. With the ability to reserve the location one year in advance for a fee of $200, couples can secure their special day amidst postcard-perfect landscapes, tranquil alpine lakes, and colorful aspen forests. The site’s accessibility and year-round allure, especially during the vibrant fall months when the aspen trees burst with vivid hues, make it an ideal choice for couples looking to exchange vows in a truly enchanting setting. Moreover, the Maroon Bells Amphitheater does not require special photography permits, and couples can celebrate with up to 50 guests, further enhancing its appeal as a magical elopement destination in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.

Castlewood Canyon:

Just south of Denver you can find this gorgeous area, Castlewood Canyon. This is a huge park with lots of trails, rock climbing, stunning rocks, a beautiful bridge over a small river, and even some ruins that could make for great photo locations. The best time to come here is spring through fall. The elevation is around 6,700 ft, which is ideal for those looking to avoid altitude sickness. Weddings and elopements are allowed here, and can hold up to 60 people. You will need to contact the park for information on how to book, and permits that may be required

Closest city is Denver, CO for lodging and more fun things to do.

Black Canyon of Gunnison:

If I could name one place with the word “breathtaking”, it would be this one. Black Canyon of Gunnison is close to Montrose, CO. This is a huge canyon, with dark gray rocks, and a stunning river passing through them. The rim of the canyon sits at 8,000 ft in elevation, so you’ll want to be cautious of altitude sickness here. Permits for weddings and photography are required here, but can easily be obtained through the National Parks website. This park is only open from early summer, to late fall (May-Nov). Summer is the recommended time to elope here. This location does see a lot of quick rain showers, but it makes for stunning images, and even the possibility of rainbows afterwards. Talk about a cool photo that would be!

Guanella Pass:

Guanella Pass is a mountain pass, just west of Denver. This pass has everything to offer, from mountain tops, fields, rivers, woods, and more. The scenery here is endless, and absolutely stunning. This 22 mile road takes around an hour to drive through, but there are so many places you can stop to hike, and take photos. The highest peak is at 11,669 ft, so watch out for altitude sickness. This road is not maintained in winter, so it’s only open from May to November. But you can still Access it during winter if weather permits, but the hike is about 4 miles. On the plus side, there will be A LOT less people! Summer and fall both would be gorgeous for elopements here. There are no permits required here, but please note that if you bring guests, you cannot bring chairs. Overall, this is a great location for an elopement.

Great Sand Dunes:

Another iconic location for the list, The Great Sand Dunes. This location could not be more perfect for photos. The huge sand dunes are beautiful in color, with a stunning view of the snowy mountains behind them. There is a creek that runs through the base of the dunes seasonally, usually in April, with the peak of the rushing water being in late May. Due to the wet sand, quicksand can happen up to 5ft deep here, so be cautious of where you walk. This location is great for elopements any time of year, but winter is the most recommended due to less people. This location does require permits that can be obtained on the National Parks website. It includes 2 hours, and no additional permits are needed for officiants or photographers. The closest city is Alamosa, CO.

Pikes Peak:

Pikes Peak is known for being the highest peak on the southern front range of The Rocky Mountains. Sitting at 14,115 ft in elevations, the views certainly do not disappoint, making it a perfect location for elopements. It’s just 12 miles west of Colorado Springs, which is a beautiful city for lodging, photos, and more. Once you reach the top, you’re surrounded by stunning 360 degree mountain views. Being this high up has a risk for altitude sickness, and being in the clouds, so prepare for either to possibly happen. The road is long and windy, you can drive up, or even take the train. There are multiple spots along pikes peak which are ideal for elopement photos. Photography permits are not required here, but marriage permits may be required. Contact the City of Colorado Springs for more information on permits.

St. Mary’s Glacier:

St. Mary’s Glacier is a perfect location for snow lovers. It is a semi-permanent snow field only 20 miles north west of Idaho Springs, CO. A stunning blue lake sits at the bottom of the mountain. In the winter, there’s a lot of snow, and the lake is frozen over, making it look like a glacier on water (hints the name). No permits are required to get married here, however it’s recommended to check with the park as these regulations are always changing. You can typically expect to see snow from October, into May, sometimes there’s even snow in June. But if snow isn’t for you, July-September are great options as well without snow. The base of the glacier sits at 10,848 ft in elevation, and the peak sits at 11,236 ft. Altitude sickness is typically common here, it’s recommended to prepare for that ahead of time.

Loveland Pass:

This beautiful mountain pass has so many stunning locations throughout the drive. It sits at 11,990 ft in elevation, right on the continental divide. This 20 mile pass is high up in the Rockies, has incredible views at the summit, lots of hiking, a lake, and a ski resort. This is a very busy location due to its easy accessibility, but it does have stunning locations for photographs. This is a great option year round, but for snow lovers, October into mid June will be ideal for you. The elevation is high here, so prepare for altitude sickness. You will also need to check for permits here, as they change the rules on it regularly. It’s 60 miles west of Denver, so you’re close to lodging, great restaurants, and more.

Paint Mines Interpretive Park:

This may be the most unique option on the list, and one of the most beautiful. Paint Pines is a one of a kind park, with insanely cool rock formations that look like they’ve been painted. There’s 4 miles of trails, and lot’s of cool locations for your elopement to give you dreamy photos. The closest town is Calahan, CO, but if you’re looking to spend time in the big city, Denver is only 1.5 hours away from this gem. The elevation is at 6,600 ft, while altitude sickness is often unlikely here, always come prepared just in case. Permits are required here for elopements, you can get more information on this at the El Paso County website. It’s a great option year round for your big day!

Twin Lakes:

Twin lakes is a great location for eloping. This beautiful location includes two, glacier-carved alpine lakes, and stunning mountains surrounding it. It’s super easy to access, and less busy than other elopement destinations. It is open year round, but summer (specifically June-July) is ideally the best time. The snow is still visible on the mountain tops, but everything else is beautiful and green. Altitude sickness can happen here, since these lakes sit at 9,603 ft. The closest town is Glenwood Springs, but it’s only 2 hours from Denver for the big city lovers. Elopements here only require permits if you have guests attending. But it’s always good to check with the national parks as these guidelines are always changing.

The Ice Castles:

If I could ever ask for a location that’s like a fairytale for eloping, it would be this one. There is a small time frame to use this location, since it’s only open from Jan-Feb. The dates vary depending on weather conditions. This location allows elopements for up to 6 people in their package. The Ice Castles have recently relocated to Cripple Creek, CO for the 2023-2024 season. This could change so it’s best to plan ahead, and stay in contact with the management of the attraction.

Colorado has so many incredible locations for elopements. I could really make this list go on forever, but here are a few of the best, most common, and even hidden gems for your elopement.

Still looking for the perfect photographer to capture your elopement? Let’s chat!


February 23, 2024

Beautiful Places to Have a Colorado Elopement

Kiella Lawrence


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I'm Kiella (key-la) - I am deeply committed to authentically capturing the love and connection between couples, valuing the uniqueness of each story. It would be an absolute honor to tell your love story through my lens, creating genuine and timeless memories for you to cherish.

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