What are the best places to elope in Colorado?
Colorado has a lot to offer when it comes to a variety of landscapes. We have mountains, alpine lakes, waterfalls, golden aspen trees, wildflowers, pine trees, summit views, etc. There are plenty of amazing mountain towns where you can enjoy exploring after your wedding day!
Ouray is a picturesque mountain town located in southwest Colorado, known for its stunning natural beauty. Nestled in a box canyon surrounded by towering peaks, Ouray offers breathtaking views of the San Juan Mountains and easy access to outdoor recreation, including hiking, biking, fishing, and skiing. What I love most about Ouray is the cute mountain town that has a comfortable main street where you can eat, shop, and explore. There is a natural hot spring resort where you can unwind and relax after your wedding day. Ouray is known for it’s off-roading trails where you can off-road in a rented jeep or UTV.
BEST SEASON: Summer and Fall
LOGING: Airbnbs, hotels, and motels within the town. Lots of dispersed camping. Cheaper accommodation in Montrose which is a 30min drive away.
CLOSEST AIRPORT: Montrose and Durango. If you are driving from Colorado Springs Airport, it’s a 5 hour drive. From Denver Airport, it’s a 6 hour drive.
PHOTOGRAPHER TIP: Elope at sunrise in the summer to avoid any afternoon thunderstorms.
LOCAL TIP: Book a jeep tour after your elopement if you don’t off-road on your wedding day. Ouray is one of the best off-roading locations in America!
Telluride is a beautiful mountain town located in southwestern Colorado, surrounded by the stunning peaks of the San Juan Mountains. The town is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities such as hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and fishing. I call Telluride, Ouray’s bougie cousin. Telluride is on the other side of Ouray, they are separated by huge mountains so it takes about an hour to drive from Telluride to Ouray. Telluride boasts spectacular views with a more popping mountain town. If you like a bit of nightlife then Telluride would be the better choice.
BEST SEASON: All year round but Fall is simply the best
LOGING: Airbnbs in Telluride with one hotel
CLOSEST AIRPORT: Montrose, Cortez, and Durango. Driving from Colorado Springs Airport will be a 6hr drive. Driving from Denver Airport will be a 6.5hr drive.
PHOTOGRAPHER TIP: Elope here in the Fall. There are so many golden aspen trees!
LOCAL TIP: Ride the free gondola up to the mountain ridge overlooking Telluride.
Durango, Colorado is a picturesque mountain town that offers couples a breathtaking backdrop for their outdoor elopement. Nestled in the heart of the San Juan Mountains, this charming town is surrounded by endless acres of pristine wilderness, making it the ideal destination for couples seeking a romantic, nature-filled elopement.
Imagine exchanging vows amidst towering peaks, with the rustling of aspen leaves and the gentle trickle of a nearby stream providing the perfect background music for your special day. The town’s stunning scenery offers an array of natural settings that are perfect for a romantic ceremony, from lush meadows and alpine lakes to rushing waterfalls and rugged mountain peaks.
For couples who love outdoor adventure, Durango offers endless possibilities. Visitors can go hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, and even whitewater rafting on the nearby Animas River. And in the winter months, the town’s world-class ski resorts provide the perfect setting for a romantic day on the slopes.
BEST SEASON: Summer
LOGING: You will easily find accommodation in Durango. It’s the biggest mountain town in San Juan Mountains.
CLOSEST AIRPORT: Durango. Driving from Colorado Springs’ Airport is a 5hr and 36min drive.
PHOTOGRAPHER TIP: The summer activities are amazing here. I highly recommend a stand up paddle board elopement!
LOCAL TIP: Take the train to Silverton and the bus back to Durango. An amazing tour in a cute old train.
Breckenridge, Colorado is a charming mountain town that offers the perfect setting for an outdoor elopement. With its majestic peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and sprawling forests, Breckenridge is a nature lover’s paradise that will make your elopement truly unforgettable. This beautiful town boasts a wealth of outdoor activities, making it a great destination for couples who love adventure.
Imagine exchanging vows surrounded by towering peaks, with the rustling of aspen leaves and the sound of a nearby stream providing the perfect soundtrack to your special day. In the winter months, you can hit the slopes for a romantic ski or snowboarding excursion, while in the summer, you can explore the stunning hiking and mountain biking trails that surround the town. No matter what season you choose, Breckenridge is a place that invites you to step outside and embrace the beauty of the great outdoors.
But Breckenridge isn’t just a place for outdoor adventure. It’s also a charming town with a rich history and culture. Visitors can explore its quaint streets, lined with charming shops, art galleries, and restaurants. And the town’s unique blend of natural beauty and rustic architecture makes it the perfect place for a cozy, intimate elopement.
Breckenridge’s stunning natural beauty and wealth of outdoor activities make it the perfect destination for an elopement that celebrates adventure and romance. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful mountaintop ceremony or an action-packed day of outdoor adventure, Breckenridge is a place that offers something for everyone. With its enchanting scenery and welcoming community, it’s a town that will leave a lasting impression on all who visit.
BEST SEASON: All year round
LOGING: Plenty of accommodation in Breckenridge or nearby mountain towns like Frisco, Silverthorne, and Dillon.
CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver which is an 1 hour and 50min drive.
PHOTOGRAPHER TIP: Elope at sunrise in the summer if you want to avoid the crowds.
LOCAL TIP: Check out all the resturants on the main street! A cute street to eat, shop, and explore.
Located at the base of Pikes Peak – a 14,000ft mountain where you can drive up to the summit, the city boasts stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains, and the crisp mountain air is invigorating and rejuvenating. The city’s vibrant downtown is full of life and energy, with an array of art galleries, museums, restaurants, and shops. The iconic Garden of the Gods, a national natural landmark, is a breathtaking sight that fills visitors with a sense of wonder and awe. I am a bit biased about Colorado Springs because I live in this amazing city! So many trails at my fingertips.
BEST SEASON: All year round
LOGING: Airbnbs, hotels, and motels available in Colorado Springs
CLOSEST AIRPORT: Colorado Springs or you can drive 1hr from Denver Airport
PHOTOGRAPHER TIP: Sunset is half an hour before real sunset time because the front range mountains are huge
LOCAL TIP: Drive up Pikes Peak to explore a 14,000ft mountain
Crested Butte is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the Colorado Rockies that captures the heart and soul with its raw natural beauty and unspoiled charm. This mountain town is surrounded by breathtaking peaks and majestic vistas that inspire awe and wonder in all who visit. Crested Butte is a place of endless adventure, where visitors can ski on world-class slopes, hike through wildflower-covered meadows, and bike through scenic mountain trails. Visitors can indulge in the town’s vibrant food and drink scene, which is a fusion of Colorado’s local flavors and international cuisine. Crested Butte is a place of quiet reflection, where visitors can escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse themselves in the simple pleasures of nature.
BEST SEASON: Summer and Fall
LOGING: You can find accommodation in Crested Butte or over in Gunnison which is about 30mins away
CLOSEST AIRPORT: Gunnison or drive 4hrs from Colorado Springs
PHOTOGRAPHER TIP: Elope here in the summer! The wildflowers can be 6ft tall!
LOCAL TIP: Check out the main street with it’s cute shopping and places to eat
Frisco and Silverthorne, Colorado are two charming mountain towns that offer a perfect backdrop for couples looking to elope in the great outdoors. These neighboring towns sit at the base of the stunning Rocky Mountains, providing a picturesque and unforgettable setting for couples to exchange their vows.
Frisco and Silverthorne offer plenty of stunning natural settings for an outdoor elopement, from scenic overlooks and alpine meadows to tranquil lakes and rushing streams. Imagine walking down the aisle with the majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains towering behind you, with the fresh mountain air and the sound of a nearby stream creating a magical atmosphere for your special day.
In addition to their natural beauty, Frisco and Silverthorne offer plenty of amenities for couples who want to incorporate a little adventure into their elopement. Both towns boast a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding, providing plenty of opportunities for couples to have a little fun before or after their ceremony.
For couples who want to enjoy a little luxury on their special day, Frisco and Silverthorne also offer a variety of accommodations, from cozy cabins and romantic bed and breakfasts to luxurious resorts and hotels. And when it comes to dining, both towns boast a variety of restaurants that offer everything from gourmet cuisine to classic comfort food.
Overall, Frisco and Silverthorne are two mountain towns that offer couples the perfect combination of natural beauty, adventure, and luxury. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful outdoor ceremony or an action-packed day of adventure, these towns provide the perfect setting for couples to celebrate their love amidst the stunning beauty of the Rocky Mountains.
BEST SEASON: All year round
LOGING: Lots of hotels, motels, and airbnbs.
CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver which is an hour and 26mins away.
PHOTOGRAPHER TIP: If you are eloping in the winter, book a horse sleigh ride!
LOCAL TIP: Drive around and explore all the easily accessible trails
Nestled in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Buena Vista is a cute town that offers couples the perfect setting for an unforgettable outdoor elopement. This charming town is surrounded by soaring mountain peaks, vast valleys, and rushing rivers, providing a stunning backdrop for couples looking to exchange their vows in nature’s splendor.
Buena Vista offers plenty of natural settings for couples to choose from for their elopement. It is home to a variety of accommodations, from cozy cabins and quaint bed and breakfasts to luxurious resorts and hotels. There are plenty of dining options available, from local farm-to-table restaurants to classic American diners. Whatever your preferences, Buena Vista offers plenty of options to make your elopement and stay memorable.
Overall, Buena Vista offers couples the perfect setting for an outdoor elopement, with its stunning natural beauty, abundance of activities, and charming small-town atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for a quiet ceremony in nature or an action-packed adventure, Buena Vista provides a beautiful backdrop for couples to celebrate their love.
BEST SEASON: Summer and Fall
LOGING: Accommodation can be found in Buena Vista, Salida, and Twin Lakes
CLOSEST AIRPORT: Aspen and Colorado Springs
PHOTOGRAPHER TIP: This is a hidden gem and away from Denver
LOCAL TIP: Go to Mt Princeton for the hot springs
Aspen’s natural beauty is simply stunning, with towering mountain peaks, dense forests, and sparkling rivers providing the perfect backdrop for couples to exchange their vows. Imagine saying “I do” against the backdrop of the Maroon Bells, a pair of towering peaks that are widely considered to be among the most photographed mountains in North America.
In addition to its natural beauty, Aspen also offers plenty of luxurious amenities and experiences that are perfect for couples. This town is known for its world-class dining, high-end shopping, and cultural events. You can enjoy a gourmet meal at one of the many fine dining restaurants, indulge in a spa day, or take in a show at one of the local theaters.
Overall, Aspen is a magical destination that offers couples the perfect blend of natural beauty, luxury, and adventure. Whether you’re seeking a quiet ceremony in nature or a lavish celebration, Aspen provides the perfect backdrop for couples to create lasting memories on their special day.
BEST SEASON: Summer and Fall
LOGING: There are Airbnbs and hotels in Aspen
CLOSEST AIRPORT: Aspen Airport or from Denver which is a 3hr and 50min drive.
PHOTOGRAPHER TIP: If you want to say your vows at Maroon Bells, you will need to book a year in advance
LOCAL TIP: Drive up to Independence Pass for stunning 360 mountain views
National Parks in Colorado
Rocky Mountain National Park is a stunning location for couples seeking an unforgettable elopement experience in the heart of nature. With its snow-capped peaks, crystal clear lakes, and diverse wildlife, the park offers endless opportunities for couples to exchange their vows against a backdrop of stunning natural beauty.
However, it’s important to note that weddings and elopements in Rocky Mountain National Park require a special use permit, which can be obtained through the park’s special use permit office. This permit is necessary to ensure that your wedding or elopement doesn’t negatively impact the park’s natural resources and other visitors.
When applying for a permit, you’ll need to provide detailed information about your planned ceremony, including the location, date, and number of guests. You’ll also need to pay a non-refundable application fee and adhere to certain rules and regulations to ensure that your event is safe and respectful to the park’s natural environment.
Some of the key rules and regulations for weddings and elopements in Rocky Mountain National Park include:
- You must stay on designated trails and areas, and not disturb vegetation or wildlife
- No structures or temporary alterations to the landscape are allowed
- No vehicles or equipment are allowed off of designated roads or parking areas
- Any waste or debris must be packed out and properly disposed of
- No amplified sound is allowed
While obtaining a permit and adhering to park rules may seem daunting, the reward of exchanging your vows in the midst of Rocky Mountain National Park’s breathtaking natural beauty is truly worth it. With the proper planning and preparation, couples can enjoy a beautiful and respectful elopement experience in one of Colorado’s most beloved natural treasures.
Some popular locations for weddings and elopements in Rocky Mountain National Park include:
- Bear Lake – A beautiful alpine lake surrounded by towering peaks.
- Sprague Lake – A scenic lake surrounded by aspen and pine trees.
- Moraine Park – A picturesque meadow with stunning mountain views.
- Lily Lake – A serene lake with views of Longs Peak and Mount Meeker.
- Hidden Valley – A former ski area turned into a popular picnic and hiking spot.
It’s important to note that couples must obtain a special use permit from the park and adhere to all regulations and guidelines, including staying on designated trails and areas, avoiding disturbing vegetation or wildlife, and leaving no trace of their visit.
BEST SEASON: All year round
LOGING: Estes Park
CLOSEST AIRPORT: Denver Airport
PHOTOGRAPHER TIP: If you are eloping in Summer, be prepared for crowds
LOCAL TIP: Hike Dream lake for iconic views
The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is a unique and stunning location for couples considering an elopement in Colorado. Located in the southern part of the state, the park features the tallest sand dunes in North America and a diverse range of landscapes, including alpine mountains, wetlands, and grasslands.
If you are considering the Great Sand Dunes National Park for your elopement, there are a few rules and regulations you need to know about. Firstly, you will need to obtain a special use permit from the park to hold your ceremony. This can be obtained by contacting the park’s Special Park Use Coordinator.
When planning your elopement, it’s important to be aware of the park’s Leave No Trace principles. This means leaving the park in the same condition as you found it, and not disturbing the natural environment. Some other rules to keep in mind include staying on designated trails and areas, not disturbing wildlife or vegetation, and not starting fires or using fireworks.
There are several spots within the park that are popular for elopements, including:
- High Dune – This is the tallest dune in the park, and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
- Medano Creek – This is a seasonal creek that runs at the base of the sand dunes, and provides a unique and beautiful backdrop for ceremonies.
- Mosca Pass Trail – This is a short hike that leads to a scenic overlook with panoramic views of the park and the San Luis Valley.
- Piñon Flats Campground – This is a popular camping area within the park, and offers several locations for ceremonies and receptions.
When planning your elopement at the Great Sand Dunes National Park, it’s important to consider the weather and time of day. The sand can get very hot during the day, so planning your ceremony for early morning or late afternoon may be a good idea. It’s also important to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and other essentials to keep you comfortable and safe during your visit.
BEST SEASON: Spring or Fall
LOGING: Alamosa and other smaller towns nearby
CLOSEST AIRPORT: Colorado Springs which is a 3hr drive away
PHOTOGRAPHER TIP: Elope at sunrise to avoid harsh winds in the afternoon
LOCAL TIP: Check out Zapata Falls for a waterfall in a slot canyon
Weather in Colorado
Colorado’s weather can be very unpredictable as we have had snow in Spring and Fall. It’s not common but it has happened. The summer here is a fantastic time to elope because the weather is much cooler in the mountains. You won’t be sweating up a storm when you elope in the mountains here in Summer. Fall is another amazing time to elope here in Colorado. All the aspen trees turn yellow throughout the state. It will depend when you elope in the Fall to get the prime time for the aspen trees. Winter is another great time to elope if you want a winter wonderland elopement. However, you must be prepared because the weather is very unpredictable here. Lastly, Spring is when the snow starts to melt but we don’t get wildflowers until Summer.
For a more detailed information about each month, check out this blog post about The Best Time of Year to Elope in Colorado.
Colorado Elopement Photographer
Hi! I am your girl, Vivian!
What makes me different from other Elopement Photographers – I genuinely care about your day. I am not kidding. I have been in your shoes – I eloped! So I know what it’s like to choose a wedding day that is vastly different from the big traditional weddings that you have attended to in the past or that people are telling you to have.
It is super important that you choose a photographer that you vibe with because you will be putting your trust fully and completely in this person’s hands. I am the photographer to help you create your dream day. I am known for “heck yeah, let’s do it” when someone wants to go on an adventure with me, I am super detail orientated, and I absolutely love to laugh and have fun with the people around me.