Ultimate Guide on Where to Elope in Colorado
Updated October 2021
Welcome to the glorious state of Colorado, where elopement locations are everywhere and adventurous couples can find their perfect place to say “I Do.” As a Colorado elopement photographer, I have more than a few elopement location secrets to share. So, hop in your open-top jeep and come along for the ride—it’s time to find the right elopement location for YOU!
1. Colorado Springs: the right mix of everything
Eloping in Colorado Springs offers the best of both worlds: easy access to restaurants, hotels, and nightlife, with incredible trails and shockingly gorgeous views right nearby. Here are a few of my favorite locations in and around Colorado Springs for the best elopement possible:
Garden of the Gods Park: This stunning elopement location is full of unique red rock formations and winding trails that lead you through the lunar-like landscape. If you’ve dreamed of vibrant red rocks juxtaposed with your brilliant white dress, this is the place for you. Check out my mini gallery of Emily and Jack’s Garden of the Gods elopement to see what your elopement could look like here.
Paint Mines Interpretive Park: This is one of the most unique, alien-planet-like locations out there! These white and red rock formations make the perfect backdrop for an elopement, not to mention an amazing place to explore to your heart’s desire. If you elope here, I promise your photos will not look like anyone else’s. But don’t just take it from me—follow this link to see Veronnica and Eli’s stunning engagement session in Paint Mines.
Pikes National Forest: I have alllll the spots in Pikes, and I know you’ll love them as much as I do. Shadowed by the famous 14er the forest is named after, Pikes National Forest is a sprawling playground for adventurous elopements. From endless fields of wildflowers to stunning mountain vistas, this national forest has so many elopement location gems that only a Colorado local (oh hey, that’s me!) can show you. Check out my mini gallery of Jaclyn and Mark’s elopement that ended in Pikes National Forest!
2. Breckenridge: year-round gorgeousness
Just an hour and a half from Denver, this little mountain town is a great place to elope year round. The summer offers tons of hiking, mountain biking, camping, and general mountain-exploring, while the winter is a skier’s paradise. Here are my favorite places to elope in Breckenridge:
Loveland Pass: Perfect for anyone who wants to drive up rather than hike, Loveland Pass is just a quick diversion from I-70 and gets you those top-of-the-world views you want without the hike in your wedding day finery that you’d rather avoid. There’s an alpine lake and tons of mountain vistas to hold your ceremony, and you can drive back down to town for dinner afterwards.
Sapphire Point: For couples who plan ahead, make a reservation for a Sapphire Point elopement. It can get a little crowded as the day goes on, so an early-morning ceremony here is ideal. It’s especially good for couples who want to bring a few family members along, too. I know Alissa and Cody had a blast here—check out their elopement at Sapphire Point!
White River National Forest: With me as your elopement photographer, I’ll show you the best places to camp, hike, and say “I Do” in the stunning White River National Forest. And in the winter, you can enjoy snowshoeing and cross country skiing, too. Winter elopements can be just as incredible as summer ones—check out this mini gallery of Eden and Josh’s day for proof.
3. Great Sand Dunes National Park: the unique spot you’re looking for
Great Sand Dunes National Park is one of the most unique locations in all of Colorado, in my opinion. Towering sand dunes that reach 800 feet tall are juxtaposed with stunning mountain views in the background. There are tons of great all-day elopement options here, too, from short hiking to off-roading to the iconic sand dune surfing that makes this place famous.
This is the only place in the U.S. where you can get Sahara-like sand dunes in your pictures. White dresses look gorgeous against the texture-filled sand dunes—I promise you’ll be absolutely blown away by these photos. I had a blast photographing Taylor and Logan here, as you can see by their breathtaking photos!
4. Rocky Mountain National Park: always a favorite
Another great national park elopement location in Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park is home to giant craggy mountains, shimmering alpine lakes, and wide-open meadows straight out of The Sound of Music. And when you’re not belting “the hills are alive with the sound of music” at the top of your lungs, you can also spot tons of wildlife, like moose and elk. Trail Ridge Road winds through great elopement-location vistas. There are tons of lakes to explore and get gorgeous photos at, like Bear Lake, Emerald Lake, and Dream Lake. While you can’t hold your official ceremony at one of these lakes, they’re a great addition to a full-day elopement.
Imagine a ceremony at Lily Lake Trail, with wildflowers swaying and those crystal-clear Colorado blue skies overhead. Then it’s off to a late catered lunch with your family at the rustic Airbnb cabin. Next, you two newlyweds head to Rocky Mountain National Park for a hike to Dream Lake—a perfect spot to watch the sun dip behind the mountains. If this sounds like the perfect elopement, I want to chat!
5. San Juan Mountains: Ouray and Telluride—the Switzerland of the U.S.
For just about the most stunningly beautiful elopement you’ll ever see, the San Juan Mountains are the location you need. Perfect for more adventurous couples, this mountain range is a little farther from an airport but definitely worth the trek. You could fly into Montrose Regional Airport or embrace the adventure and fly into Denver, renting a car and road tripping through Colorado. Once you’re in the San Juans, rent a jeep and go off-roading, hop on a hiking trail, drive up a windy mountain pass, or even take an old-timey scenic mountain train that’s straight out of the polar express! Ouray, Telluride, Silverton, and Durango offer great elopement locations, complete with adorable little hotels and resorts to spend the night in.
You can also have a more relaxing trip by including Dutton Hot Springs in your elopement day. Go on a rugged hike and cap it all off with a soak in some Hot Springs. No matter when in the San Juans you elope, you’ll quickly see why this is nicknamed the Switzerland of the U.S.
6. Aspen: fall coziness galore
If you’re planning a Fall elopement, THIS is where you want to be! True to its name, Aspen is full of aspen trees that turn bright yellow in the fall. The vibrant fall colors look like they’re right out of a storybook. This cozy ski town is ideal for tromping through piles of autumn leaves, sharing a hot chocolate under the stars, and soaking in hot springs like Penny Hot Springs and Avalanche Ranch. Here are some great locations in and around Aspen:
Maroon Bells: One of the most well-known parks in Colorado, Maroon Bells has a massive, bright blue lake and towering 14,000-foot mountains in the background. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, there’s an incredible 30-mile backpacking loop that starts from the lake called The Four Passes Loop.
Independence Pass: This road connects to Twin Lakes, another gorgeous mountain town. Independence Pass has the stunning, jaw-dropping mountain views that characterize the area. And since you can drive all the way up it, it’s an ideal Colorado elopement location.
7. My Secret Hidden Gems: shhh…don’t tell!
As a Colorado local, I’ve found tons of amazing little hidden spots off the beaten path that I’d love to share with you. Some are nestled deep inside national forests and others are on little-travelled dirt roads far outside of any town. As your Colorado elopement photographer, you’ll have access to these places yourself! Just reach out at my contact page and we’ll get chatting.