Elopements have become more and more common over the years. There are so many reasons why I love elopements. The intimacy, the story telling, the focus on you and your partner, and of course, the scenery. 

This massive mountain system is around 3,000 miles long, and 400 miles wide, with incredibly tall, and beautiful jagged mountains. It is the largest mountain system in North America, going all the way up to Canada, and all the way down to Mexico, with the highest point being Mount Elbert, in Colorado at 14,440 ft in elevation. 

The most popular location is Rocky Mountain National Park, just northwest of Denver, and Boulder, and southwest of Fort Collins. 

265,461 acres of absolutely beautiful views, all perfect for an elopement. There are several amazing alpine lakes, waterfalls, meadows, mountain peaks, wildlife, and more in the park. The scenery here is endless!

Planning an elopement can be tricky due to things like weather, hiking, and permits. This guide is here to help you through all of that so you’re fully prepared for it all!

Firstly, and probably one of the most important things is to check for permits, for not only yourself, but your photographer and officiant as well. As of 2024 permits are required for most national parks to elope. This national park only gives out certain numbers of permits per month. These are approved on a first come/first serve rolling basis. You’ll want to apply for this a good time in advance to make sure it goes through. Fines can be expensive. They allow up to 30 people to, including yourselves and vendors. You will need a marriage license already obtained.

Secondly, we recommend picking your specific locations within the park. This way you can plan out travel time, and how much time you’ll need for hiking, your ceremony, and photographs.

You can pre calculate your leave time using apps such as waze, or see the exact time with google. Google maps is highly recommended for locations like this so you don’t get lost. Always consider downloading the offline version in case you lose service.

Once you’ve picked your location, it’s recommended to automatically add an additional 30-60 minutes to your leave time to prepare for traffic, altitude sickness, or anything that could cause delays. You’ll want to prepare for altitude sickness as well. Altitude sickness can vary per person, but drink lots of water, eat plenty of carbs, avoid alcohol, and TAKE IT SLOW. 

Picking the time of day and time of year will depend on the exact location, but the best rule of thumb is around sunrise, or sunset. This will be the most ideal lighting for your images. Summer and fall are the best times to elope in the national park, for the best weather, and location options. Early summer will still have snow on the mountains, and fall will be filled with fall colors! Keep in mind that these will be the busier times for hiking, and tourists, so you may find it harder to access ideal locations for your photos if there are a lot of people. This is an all year destination, so if you want to avoid large crowds, winter is your best bet. Besides, who doesn’t like snow photos! It may be cold, but it will definitely be beautiful. Another great way to avoid these crowds is by picking sunrise, or a weekday for your elopement. There may be some hikers still in the summer, but it will be a lot less busy.

You really can have the elopement of your dreams in this park. Here’s a link with the list with all of the beautiful locations within the park that allow ceremonies to help you pick the perfect spot.. You can still take photos in other places within the park, but only these locations will allow the ceremony.


Planning your elopement will take time, remember to plan ahead, and not to stress. Enjoy the process, and prepare for things like altitude sickness, travel time, and permits, and everything will be perfectly fine. We also have a guide for locations around Colorado for you to check out. I would love to help you figure out the details of your Rocky Mountain National Park elopement, and capture your perfect day for you. Let’s chat about your vision and get you married!


February 28, 2024

How to Plan a Rocky Mountain National Park 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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