Ultimate Guide on Where to Elope in Colorado Springs
Updated November 2021
Being an elopement photographer based in this area of Colorado, it’s so exciting for me to share some of the amazing places to elope in Colorado Springs! In this region of Colorado, you truly get the best of both worlds where an urban, bustling downtown meets endless trails and breathtaking views of Pikes Peak no matter where you are in town (I mean how lucky am I to see that view when I’m at Target?!).
Pikes Peak at 14,000 Feet
Want to spend your elopement day with that on top of the world feeling like you climbed a 14er… without actually climbing a 14er?! Well, you’re in luck! There are two different ways that you can experience the beauty that is Pikes Peak and overlooking Colorado Springs at 14,000 feet.
Driving to the Top of Pikes Peak
Although the thought of driving on a road with steep drop-offs leading to 14,000 feet might sound beyond intimidating, we’ve driven it countless times and it’s really not as bad as it seems!
Tips for driving to the top of Pikes Peak:
- Keep your car in 1st gear on the way down to prevent you from having to ride the breaks. There’s a brake temperature safety check halfway down the mountain where they’ll be sure to stop you if your breaks need to cool down!
- Fill up your tank beforehand! This may go without saying but there’s no access to more fuel once you start the drive and they recommend that you have at least ⅔ of a tank before making your way up.
- Familiarize yourself with the hours of entry, it’s not a sunrise to sunset type of place and there are time restrictions on when you can start the drive, when they close the top, and when you must be off the road as a whole.
Cog Railway Ride to the Top of Pikes Peak
Since 1891 (and recently renovated and reopened in 2021), the Cog Railway train departs from Manitou Springs (on the outskirts of Colorado Springs) and takes you up 9-miles to the top of Pikes Peak from the comfort of a train car so you can sit back, relax, and soak in the breathtaking views as you climb to 14,000 feet. You won’t be able to stop on the way to the top at different photo locations like you would driving, but if you’re sweating making the trek up the road, this is a great alternative so that you can both enjoy the ride!
Garden of the Gods
If you’ve done any searches of where to elope in Colorado Springs, you’ve likely landed on breathtaking photos of weddings at Garden of the Gods. This is one of my favorite spots for Colorado Springs elopements because of the combination of towering red rock formations and unbeatable views of Pikes Peak that are gorgeous at both sunrise and sunset. There is no permit required to have a ceremony at Garden of the Gods but since it is one of the most accessible and popular outdoor spaces near Colorado Springs, I would highly recommend having a sunrise ceremony (or a weekday sunset ceremony) to avoid the crowds as best as you can!
Be sure to check out my detailed guide to eloping at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs!
Pike National Forest
Just a short 20-minute drive outside of Colorado Springs is Woodland Park, also known as “The City Above the Clouds” which serves as a gateway to countless outdoor areas, including Pike National Forest.
One of the many reasons that I love Pikes National Forest is because it’s not nearly as busy as the spots located within Colorado Springs and has opportunities for countless activities, like hiking, camping, fishing, and kayaking! And of course, it being so dog friendly is a huge plus – I mean, just see how much Atlas (pictured above) enjoyed rolling in the grass there when his parents got married there this past fall!
Undercover Colorado has a great page about some of the different activities and attractions in the over 1,700 square miles of land that is Pikes National Forest!
Paint Mines Interpretive Park
Similar to Garden of the Gods, the Paint Mines Interpretive Park located east of town in Callahan, Colorado is a location that feels a bit out-of-this-world and would make for an absolutely unique destination to elope in Colorado Springs!
A few important things to note before choosing to elope at Paint Mines:
- Dogs are not allowed here due to the fragile nature of the environment. There are so many other dog-friendly locations in Colorado Springs so please respect that and choose another spot for your elopement if having your dog is important!
- Permits are required for your photographer, but please don’t let this discourage you from choosing this location. It’s super easy to obtain and only costs $100 which is really reasonably priced when you look at other areas in Colorado. It’s also great to note that since it is free to recreate in Paint Mines, this money goes to the continued upkeep and preservation of the park. Linked here is more permit information.
Where to even begin with this spot?! There are countless spots in the Cheyenne Canyon area that would be the perfect place for your Colorado Springs elopement. If you love hitting the trail and want a place with breathtaking sunsets and tree-lined mountains, you’ve found the spot for you! There are countless hiking trails of various difficulties and waterfalls flowing nearly year-round.
The non-profit group supporting the canyon has so many great resources on their website that I highly recommend checking out! Although a permit is not required for this location and entry is free, I’d recommend making a donation to the Friends of Cheyenne Canyon to help keep this beautiful area maintained!
As an elopement photographer in Colorado Springs, I’m lucky enough that the places that I spend my free time in are also some of the very places that would make for epic places to elope! In the summer months, you’ll often find me camping and exploring with my dogs in both new locations and old favorites.
Ready to Elope in Colorado Springs?!
I’d love to help you two elope in Colorado Springs and share all of my knowledge including locations, the best time of year to elope here, the best florists and makeup artists, and my favorite places to grab a beer and burger.