Ultimate Colorado Elopement Guide: Locations, Checklists, and Packages

Written by our rad team member Jess Dastous

Ultimate Colorado Elopement Guide: Locations, Checklists, and Packages

Looking to plan a Colorado Elopement, but don’t know where to start?! Look no further because in this guide we are sharing everything you need to know to plan your best day ever in the gorgeous state of Colorado. From stunning mountain ranges with massive peaks, to crystal clear alpine lakes surrounded by wildflower meadows as far as the eye can see, to endless adventures jeeping, hiking and even skiing, these backdrops would make incredible locations for your Colorado elopement day. Keep reading to start dreaming up your best day in the beautiful state of Colorado!

Colorado Elopement Planning Checklist

  1. Choose a Time of Year
  2. Hire a Colorado Elopement Photographer
  3. Pick an Epic Colorado Elopement Location 
  4. Booking your Colorado Lodging 
  5. Choose Adventures for your Colorado Elopement
  6. Apply for a Marriage License 
  7. Get Married!

Best Places to Elope in Colorado

Colorado is one of the most stunning locations for your adventure elopement. From massive mountain peaks, to incredible alpine lakes off the beaten path, wildflower meadows filled with every color in the rainbow, and endless adventures, you won’t be disappointed if you choose Colorado for your elopement day! We’ve compiled a list of the top five locations based on views, privacy, and accessibility, and we’re sure one of these destinations would make the ultimate location for your Colorado elopement. And lucky for you, we have an expert Colorado elopement photographer, who was born and raised in Vail, Colorado and knows this state like the back of her hand! Whitney has explored all of these locations and more and knows the most secluded trails with the most jaw-dropping views that will make your Colorado elopement the most epic day ever!

  1. Ouray
  2. Telluride
  3. Rocky Mountain National Park
  4. Buena Vista
  5. Crested Butte


Ouray County is home to 46 named mountains, with the tallest peak, Mount Sneffels, standing over 14,000 feet. With so many stunning mountain views, you’ll find endless hiking trails and a ton of off roading opportunities. Hike or drive up to an alpine lake and take in the turquoise waters or maybe explore one of the many waterfalls in the area during your Colorado elopement day. If you choose to have a summer Ouray elopement, you’ll find endless wildflower meadows that stretch as far as the eye can see. Fall is also a great time for your Colorado elopement if you are looking for mountainsides covered in gold, the aspens really put on a show. There are endless opportunities for adventure and stunning backdrops when choosing Ouray for your Colorado elopement destination!

Best Time of Year: July-September

Where to Fly In:

Montrose Regional Airport (50 minute drive)

Grand Junction Regional Airport (2 hours)

What You Need to Know:

Alpine Loop

Colorado’s Alpine loop scenic and historic byway starts in Ouray also known as the “Switzerland of America”. Stretching 63 miles, this road is only accessible June – September and 4-wheel drive is required! You’ll experience stunning mountain passes with pull offs with jaw dropping views of some of the nations highest peaks. Take in the breathtakingly blue alpine lakes, mountainsides splashed with reds and yellows and even experience several old mining towns along this section of byway!

Best Drive Up Locations

Jeep Excursions

Switzerland of America Jeeps is family owned and truly an incredible experience. If you are looking for a little more adventure during your Colorado elopement, then this is for you! You’ll have the opportunity to drive your own jeep up some of the most scenic roads or you can opt to have them drive you!

Where to Stay During Your Ouray Elopement





Nestled in between a box canyon you’ll find the historic mining town of Telluride, now known for its epic mountain views and incredible skiing. Located in the southwestern corner of the state in San Miguel county, you’ll find 96 named mountains located in and around Telluride. While many of these peaks require some pretty intense climbing to get up, there are six off-roading trails that are best for couples eloping who want epic mountain views without a strenuous, long hike. You’ll also find stunning wildflowers here in the summer and some of the best skiing in the winter. Does a Telluride elopement sound like your dream day, keep reading for more details on this incredible Colorado elopement location.

Best Time of Year: July-September

Where to Fly In:

Montrose Regional Airport (1.5 minute drive)

Grand Junction Regional Airport (2.5 hours)

What You Need to Know:

It’s a Ski Town Tucked Away in The Mountains

This former mining town is nestled in a box canyon and is set at the base of a ski resort and golf course. Telluride is known for its incredible skiing, but in the summer you’ll find the most epic mountain overlooks, wildflower meadows and stunning alpine lakes!

Jeep Tours

Like we said before there are six off-roading trails with stunning mountain backdrops that would make incredible locations for your Telluride elopement. If you are looking for some adventure, but are looking for a less strenuous way to take in these views then a jeep tour to one of these locations is for you!

Get Married at The Bottom of a 14ner

Yankee Boy Basin is nestled at the bottom of some of Colorado’s most stunning peaks including Mount Sneffels, a well-known 14er. The drive to this location boasts fields of wildflowers, waterfalls and all the alpine scenery you can imagine. You will need 4-wheel-drive to visit this location and a higher clearance vehicle.

Venture to Alta Lakes

Just south of Telluride, you’ll take a left onto a four mile road and you’ll reach the ghost town of Alta that is surrounded by three stunning alpine lakes. Gaze at the surrounding mountains as you stand at the edge of the crystal clear waters. You can even take a kayak out on one of the lakes or if you’d like to stay on the shore, bring your fly fishing gear! We’re sure Alta Lakes will make the ultimate location for your Colorado elopement!

Where to Stay During Your Telluride Elopement




Rocky Mountain National Park

Explore 415 square miles of stunning mountain environments in Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll find many lush green meadows, crystal clear alpine lakes, and jaw dropping mountain peaks that are sure to make the perfect backdrop for your Colorado elopement. There are 12 wedding ceremony locations throughout the park that you can reserve ahead of time with a special use permit, but you are also welcome to take photos throughout the park on all trails and overlooks!

Best Time of Year: July-September

Where to Fly In:

Denver International Airport (1.5 hour drive)

What You Need to Know:

Designated Ceremony Locations

At Rocky Mountain National Park there are 12 designated locations where couples can have their Colorado elopement ceremony. These locations require a special use permit and allow guests, but have a max number of guests for each site. You can check out more information on guest sizes for these locations, here! There are two ceremony locations that we love and would make the ultimate destination for your Colorado elopement ceremony. 3M Curve is one of our favorites, with a stunning mountain backdrop it makes a beautiful location for small elopements. Our other favorite location is Alluvail Fan Bridge and is just 7 miles from the Beaver Meadows visitor center. This location is perfect for couples who are looking to say their I do’s by a river, explore a waterfall and take photos on a bridge!

You Need a Permit to Elope

The permit to elope in RMNP is $300 and the application can be filled out online, here. Not to worry- we will help you with this step! There are also only 60 permits issued per month, on a first come first serve basis in the peak months and 40 per month in the off season.

Our Favorite Adventure Hike

Head to Bear Lake Trail and explore three pristine lake Nymph Lake, Dream Lake and Emerald Lake! This out and back trail is a little over 3.5 miles and is well worth the adventure during your Colorado elopement. On your way to dream lake, take in all the jaw dropping mountain views before heading to your final destination, the stunningly blue Emerald lake. If you head all the way to Emerald Lake, there will be less people making for a more secluded location to explore with your partner.

Where to Stay During Your Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement




Buena Vista

Known for its laid back mountain vibe, Buena Vista is the gateway to all water sports. Located in the south-central portion of the state, Buena Vista makes a great Colorado elopement location for couples looking to experience stunning peaks, aspen groves, alpine lakes, breathtaking rivers and more! You’ll find the collegiate peaks in the distance with access to hiking, biking, four wheeling, rafting and fly fishing. There’s even a cute little downtown area with incredible shopping and dining. Looking to experience a small town mountain community, then this is the location for you!

Best Time of Year: June-October

Where to Fly In:

Denver International Airport (2.5 hour drive)

What You Need to Know:

Hub for Outdoor Activities

Buena Vista is known for its river activities and mountain biking. Located on the Arkansas river, you can hop on a paddle board, kayak or even a raft and have the most incredible adventure during your best day ever. Or maybe you and your partner are into mountain biking, not to worry there are some of the best trails in the state located here!

Accessible Mountain Views

The Sawatch Mountain Range is home to the most 14ers in the state of Colorado, but don’t worry if you weren’t  planning on summiting a 14er. There are many other hiking trails to choose from and even some drive up locations that would make your Colorado elopement unforgettable like Cottonwood Pass or Independence Pass! Twin Lakes is also nearby and would make the perfect backdrop if you are looking for mountain views at the edge of a lake and fun fact, this area is situated at the Base of Mt. Elbert, Colorado’s highest peak! You can even take a paddleboard, kayak or even a canoe out on one of the lakes!

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Located just an hour and 45 minutes from Buena Vista is Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. This would be a great location to explore on the second day of your Colorado elopement and we have a Colorado elopement package that would be perfect for exploring this location. You’ll experience grasslands, wetlands, forests, alpine lakes and even the tundra here, and if you’ve never been sand sledding before, we highly recommend it!

Where to Stay During Your Buena Vista Elopement




Crested Butte

If you want to experience the most incredible display of wildflowers, then you have to plan your Colorado elopement in Crested Butte. This eclectic mountain town is filled with little shops, incredible restaurants and is nesselted at the base of Crested Butte mountain. Mainly known as a skiing destination, there are epic mountain bike trails, horseback riding and tons of events during the summer months!

Best Time of Year: July-September

Where to Fly In:

Gunnison–Crested Butte Regional Airport (40 minutes)

What You Need to Know:

Intimate Wedding Venue

The Mountain Wedding Garden is an intimate Colorado elopement venue right in the heart of Crested Butte. You’ll experience picturesque mountain views, with wildflower meadows and even a pavilion for your celebratory meal! This location is ideal for couples who are looking to have a bigger group of friends and family as it does accommodate 125 people.

Hike to Emerald Lake

Explore one of the most stunning alpine lakes in the area and its glacier blue water, that almost makes you feel like you are in the Swiss Alps. Emerald lake is a short hike, just under 1 mile. You’ll get to take in the mountainsides covered in pines and of course wildflowers.

Gothic Road

Nestled in the Elk Mountain Range, just outside of Crested Butte you will find Gothic Road also known as County Road 317. The road will change from paved to dirt as you leave Mt. Crested Butte. The road leads to the ghost town of Gothic and is lined with aspen trees, mountain views and wildflower meadows. There are many open spaces where you can pull off and take in the picturesque scenery.

Washington Gulch Trail

Looking for the ultimate hiking adventure during your Colorado elopement, then Washington Gulch Trail is the location for you! This 7.5 mile out and back trail offers picturesque views of mountains with two stunning view points to take in all the scenery, endless wildflowers lining the trails and all the wildlife you could imagine. On the trail you’ll hike at an overlook of Gothic Valley and the stunning peaks that frame it. Then, descend down into the valley where you’ll be met by thick fields of wildflowers in every color. Sounds like a dream come true if you ask us!

Where to Stay During Your Crested Butte Elopement




How to Get a Colorado Marriage License

You’ve got your incredible partner, the stunning dress, the dreamy flowers and the epic Colorado elopement backdrop. But, you cannot forget one of the most important witnesses to your adventure-packed vows: your marriage license! Here’s what you need to know about getting your marriage license in Colorado:

  • You can apply for your marriage license online, here! You will then need to schedule either an online or in person appointment with the clerk and recorder. Appointments go quickly and can only be scheduled up to seven days in advance. Once you have your appointment a marriage license will be sent to you through the mail if you choose an online appointment or given in person if you visit their office.
  • You have 35 days to sign your marriage license and 63 days to send it back for recording before additional fees apply.
  • It costs $30 for your marriage license.
  • You can get married by an officiant or you can self-solemnize, meaning you don’t need any witnesses present!

Read all the information you need to know about getting a marriage license for your Colorado elopement by clicking here.

Colorado Elopement Resources

Want more inspo for your Colorado elopement, head to our resources that are sure to get you dreaming up your best day ever in this stunning state!

How to Choose the Best Colorado Elopement Package

When choosing to have a Colorado elopement, we highly recommend two elopement packages for our couples – sunrise to sunset and the two-day elopement. Sunrise to sunset is one of our most popular elopement packages booked by our couples and there is a huge reason for this. When booking a sunrise to sunset elopement, you are going to have golden hour and blue hour at BOTH sunrise and sunset! This means you are going to get the best light on your day (twice!!) and get to experience multiple locations. You could start your day at your Airbnb with your first look, then venture to a stunning mountain overlook, hike to an alpine lake and end the day jeeping into the sunset. The options are endless when planning your Colorado elopement!
The other package we recommend to our couples is the two-day elopement package. This is the package we typically recommend when couples have family and friends with them on their Colorado elopement day. The reason being is on the first day you can have your elopement and celebrate with friends and family without the distractions of timelines and taking photos! You’ll have the chance to spend the full day with your family, while we capture your day from start to finish. The next day, you and your partner will have the opportunity to go on a long hike, jeeping, hitting the slopes or however you envision your Colorado elopement. You’ll get into your wedding attire, exchange private vows and reflect in one of the most beautiful places on Earth! The two-day package allows you to spend quality time with your guests and also have an epic adventure with your partner. To learn more about our Colorado elopement packages, click here!

Meet Your Colorado Elopement Photographers

We feel most at home in the outdoors, so it’s no surprise that is where we gravitate towards as your Washington elopement photographers. Between the Pine was founded by Mollie in 2018, and she has hiked hundreds of miles all over the Pacific Northwest, Kauai, Colorado, and beyond. Since 2018, we’ve grown our team and hired three incredible photographers (cue Whitney, Dawn and Kass)! 

Whitney was born and raised in Vail, Colorado and has climbed some of the tallest peaks, explored the most stunning wildflower meadows and skied some of the best terrain in all of the state. She is an outdoor enthusiast turned elopement photographer and loves to capture all the details during your Colorado elopement. She knows the state like the back of her hand and will take you to some of the most secluded settings with the most jaw-dropping views your eyes will ever see. Our team at Between the Pine is passionate about our jobs and adventuring to the most beautiful locations to document your best day ever. Click here to learn more about the Between the Pine team, your Colorado elopement photographers!

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