Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement: Best Places to Elope in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement: Best Places to Elope in Rocky Mountain National Park

I absolutely love a good Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement, because you are surrounded by incredible scenery and most places have easy access. With so many incredible locations I’ll go over the best places to elope in Rocky Mountain National Park and go over some logistics and tips!

Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is one of the most amazing places to elope for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure lovers. It is located in Northern Colorado and is about an hour outside of Denver. Rocky Mountain National Park is known for the abundant amount of lakes, hiking trails, wildlife and it’s incredible beauty. One of the most well known drives is Trail Ridge Road, but it closes during most of the winter as it gets covered in snow and ice and is too dangerous to drive. All the seasons are different, but it’s pretty impossible to go wrong with choosing where to elope in this stunning park! However, with the astounding beauty comes a lot of visitors and tourists so you have to choose your location and elopement time wisely, but that is why I am here to help you.

The nearest town to the park is Estes Park so this would probably be the best place to stay if you are traveling into Colorado for your destination elopement. Also, check out Allenspark, and Lyons for possible places to stay during your adventure! If you love camping you could also stay at one of the campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park. To learn more about eloping in a national park check out Tips for Eloping in a National Park!

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Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement Tips

1. Be sure to obtain a Special Use Permit for your Rocky Mountain national park elopement

First of all, you will need to obtain a Special Use Permit. This permit costs $250 and you may get one up to a year before your big day. Before you apply be sure you figure out how many people will be at your ceremony including the officiant, photographer, videographer, etc.

Also, when you get a permit it doesn’t give you exclusive access to the site so there is a high chance that there will be other people checking out the sites as you say your vows. Please note that not all permits get approved, but the earlier you apply the more likely you’ll be approved. This is because the park only allows six weddings on any day in the park and only 2 per day at each specific location. If you want to apply for a permit or want more information click >here<.

There are certain locations that you are allowed to have a ceremony. Unfortunately, you can’t exchange your vows at the top of Trail Ridge Road, Dream Lake, at Sky Pond, or some other gorgeous location you’ve seen or have been to. You can of course hit up those other locations for adventure and pictures however! You can see a list of the official ceremony spots further down on this page.

2. Embrace the Weather in Rocky Mountain National Park

If you opt to have an elope in Rocky Mountain National Park be sure to prepare yourself for anything! There have been plenty of days that started off 70 degrees and beautiful and ended up pouring rain. Especially in the mountains be sure to expect rain, wind, sun and snow! How do you prepare for this? Definitely bring or wear jackets and layers! I send my couples a thorough list of things to wear and bring, but you can get a peak by checking out my article on How to Pack for a Hiking Elopement to get an idea!

3. The Best Season for Eloping in Rocky Mountain National Park

While all the seasons in Rocky Mountain National Park are different they are all beautiful. During the winter it will be quite cold, but there will be less people in the park so it will be more peaceful. The mountains are covered in snow and you will definitely need to wear your winter boots and jacket to stay warm! You also may need a vehicle with 4WD to travel certain roads as they will be slick with snow and ice. If decide you want a winter wonderland elopement you could also include epic adventures such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc. as part of your day if you both enjoy winter sports!

Spring time will be a bit more green, but there will definitely still be snow! When it gets to late spring flowers will start to pop up and the weather won’t be as crazy. Trail Ridge Road will typically up at some point depending on how much snow there is, but it’s usually open by Memorial Day.

The summer is simply beautiful with ideal temperatures! It will be warm, but it is usually isn’t too hot. This is for sure the most popular time to elope here as the weather is beautiful and everything is green! The park will be busy with people and the wildlife will be out, but July through September is also Monsoon season so you must be prepared for a sudden down pour.

Autumn there will be filled with lots of color, but the higher you are the sooner fall comes around. The leaves will can start to change as soon as Labor day and they are typically gone by October and after that be prepared for snow at any time!

4. Leave No Trace during your Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement

If you have never heard of the Leave No Trace principles then it’s time you know what they are! To keep it short, don’t leave your trash everywhere, pick up after yourself and respect the wildlife and nature during your Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement. For more details and all the info click >here<.Rocky Mountain National Park elopement

 

Best Places to Elope in Rocky Mountain National Park

Bear Lake Nature Trail

Bear Lake is a VERY popular destination so if you choose to elope here I suggest a sunrise elopement to avoid crowds, but it will be busy no matter what time of year it is. This is a fantastic spot for you if you want to be right by a lake with mountain views and be surrounded with beautiful Aspen trees! Elopements are also not allowed on weekends or from Memorial Day weekend to until Columbus Day in October.

Elope here if:

-You want to be by a lake

-You want to be surrounded by Aspen trees

Max Ceremony Size: 20

Hidden Valley

Hidden Valley is a picnic area for the park guests. Your ceremony can’t occupy the picnic area, but you’ll be surrounded by Aspen trees and wildflowers during the summer! This area has restrooms and is also wheelchair accessible. This is a great choice if you choose to have guests or a more intimate wedding!

Elope here if:

-you want nearby Aspen trees

-you need wheelchair accessibility

-you want restroom access

Max Ceremony Size: 20 at anytime, 100 for specific times (inquire with the Concession Management Office at 970 586-1482)

3M Curve or Longs Peak Viewpoint

3M Curve is a really stunning ceremony site. It has a large rock outcrop and overlooks mountains, meadows and moraines. There is only a max of 3 vehicles allowed there at a time so be sure to carpool!

Elope here if:

-you want easy access to your location

-you want a mix of terrains

Max Ceremony Size: 15

Alluvial Fan Bridge

Alluvial Fan Bridge is a wooden bridge over a beautiful river. This location gets very busy during the summer and it’s not hard to see why! The river is surround by Aspen trees and there are also restrooms near by as an added bonus.

Elope here if:

-you want to be by a river

-you want to be by a waterfall

-you want a bridge

Max Ceremony Size: 20

Copeland Lake

Copeland Lake is a gorgeous site with amazing mountain views! This lake is known for the wildlife and there is a high chance you’ll some some type of wildlife while there. You’ll be able to take advantage of the beautiful forested area as well. There is a vehicle limit of 10 which applies from the Friday before Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day.

Elope here if:

-you want to drive Trail Ridge

-you want a chance to see wildlife

Max Ceremony Size: 50

 

Harbison Meadow Picnic Area

Harbison Meadow is a large picnic area with gorgeous mountain views and is located on the West Side near the Grand Lake entrance. This location is also adjacent to Trail Ridge Road and is known for all the wildlife.

Elope here if:

-you want to drive Trail Ridge

-you want a chance to see wildlife

Max Ceremony Size: 60

Lily Lake Dock

Lily Lake Dock provides a simply beautiful 360 degree view of mountains as it sits at the edge of the lake. There are also restrooms nearby and it is also wheelchair accessible. There are also trails that you can do after you elope! There is also a vehicle limit of 10 since the area gets busy so plan to carpool!

Elope here if:

-you want a 360 degree view of mountains

-you want to be by a lake

-you want restroom access

-you want a wheelchair accessible ceremony

Max Ceremony Size: 10

Lily Lake Trail and Lily Lake Southside Picnic Area

Lily Lake Trail and Lily Lake Picnic Area is an amazing trail with astounding mountain views. This trail is 7.25 miles around the lake and during the hike a knoll overlooks the lake and the Aspen trees. Gated access allows you to drive up to this site, but only 2 vehicles are allowed at a time and there is a $50 fee to drive to it.

Elope here if:

-you want to be by water

-you want wheelchair accessibility

-you want multiple photo locations

Max Ceremony Size: Trail–>20, Picnic Area–>60

Moraine Park Visitor Center Amphitheater

Moraine Park Visitor Center Amphitheater is located 2.7 miles from Beaver Meadows Visitor Center on Bear Lake Road. It is filled with wooden benches and gives off an rustic vibe so this location would be great if you plan to have guests at your intimate wedding. The amphitheater is surrounded by pine trees and has a view of Moraine Park. Since this space is popular there is a vehicle limit of 10 that applies from the Friday before Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day.

Elope here if:

-you want built in seating

-you want to be by pine trees

Max Ceremony Size: 60 during the summer, 100 during the winter

Sprague Lake

Sprague Lake has a dramatic view of the mountains and the gorgeous lake. This ceremony site in Rocky Mountain National Park is wheelchair-accessible, has a dock, a knoll for a vantage point, a wooden foot bridge and has restrooms nearby. This is a very busy area and has a vehicle limit of 10 that applies from the Friday before Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day.

Elope here if:

-you want amazing mountain views

-you want restrooms nearby

-multiple photo locations

Max Ceremony Size: 15 during summer, 30 during winter

Timber Creek Campground Amphitheater

Timber Creek Campground Amphitheater is located on the West Side of the park and has partial view of the Colorado River. There are also restrooms and it is wheelchair accessible as well. If you want to camp stay here!

Elope here if:

-you want a wheel chair accessible elopement ceremony

-you want to be by a campground

-you want to drive Trail Ridge Road

Max Ceremony Size: 20

Upper Beaver Meadows

Upper Beaver Meadows is located near Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. This ceremony location has large open meadows and views of the Continental Divide! There are restrooms nearby and is wheel chair accessible except during the winter.

Elope here if:

-you want large open meadows

-you want restroom access

-you want a summer elopement

Max Ceremony Size: 60

 

Hey, I’m Courtney! If you’re searching for a Colorado Elopement Photographer to document your Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement I would love to chat with you and to help you plan your dream Colorado Elopement! You can contact me HERE and I look forward to speaking with you.

Check out these related blog posts!

Best Places to Elope in Oregon

How to Pack for Your Hiking Elopement

4 Tips to Plan a Colorado Elopement

10 Mountain Top Elopement Venues in Colorado

How to Make Your Elopement Special

 

Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement

 

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Courtney made the process SO easy! She does more than just photograph your day. She cares about you having the BEST elopement experience possible! I'll never be able to thank Courtney enough for making our dream day happen!

Contact me about your Elopement!

You probably have a million thoughts running through your head making you a bit overwhelmed.

How does this work? What can I do during my elopement? How do I choose my location? Is the ceremony legal? Can I elope with family?

One of the reasons you're probably eloping is because you want to have a stress-free day, but with so much uncertainty on how to plan an elopement how is it even possible?!

No need to stress, you're in the right place! This is where I come in and do the heavy lifting for you.

I'm Courtney, and I specialize in documenting adventurous elopements for couples who love the outdoors, but role is so much more than just an elopement photographer.

I'm here to guide you through every single step of planning your elopement and to give you a clear path tossing that stress out the window!

So, if you're ready to have a unique elopement experience that's actually focused on you, then let's friggin' do this!!


You know you want to elope,

and you know you want it to be meaningful and adventurous, but where do you start?!

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"When my now husband and I started planning our elopement, we were confused to the max. We didn’t know where to start or how to go about planning anything. 

COURTNEY MADE THE PROCESS SO EASY! She is organized, professional, sweet, and so so funny!! She does more than just photograph your day, she cares about you having the BEST elopement experience possible!

She helped us plan EVERYTHING! Even down to the little details! She helped us narrow down where, giving us her informative opinions on each of our options! She gave us cool ideas that we could incorporate into our special day. No idea was too big! When the day came, we had the absolute best time exploring and getting married!

Our elopement was an absolute DREAM COME TRUE! I will never be able to thank Courtney enough for making our dream day happen. 

So, for anyone on the fence, swaying back and forth about whether or not work with Courtney, SWAY NO MORE! You’ve found your person!! My day couldn’t have been any better and my pictures are beautiful and capture the fun we had!!! I can’t wait to work with her again!"

Taylor & andrew

"Planning for our day and the day itself would have been completely different without Courtney. We only knew that we wanted to share our vows in the Tuscan countryside and have beautiful photos, and Courtney planned the perfect agenda for that to happen.

She coordinated our timing around sunset, and not only were the photos breathtaking, but the actual evening was too. I remember looking out over the vineyards as the sun set, the view becoming more and more stunning by the minute. There were no moments that felt forced or posed, every shot was comfortable and fun and full of love.

Courtney is such a sweet, kind, fun person and we truly enjoyed spending the day with her. Courtney helped us to turn our dreams into reality, and we hardly had to do a thing. She allowed us to be in control of our day but gently took all of our wants and needs into consideration while making everything happen. Lastly, our pictures are just magical. Courtney is an incredibly talented photographer, and I feel so lucky that we were able to work with her. I would recommend her over and over again to anyone eloping."

Ellie & Zac

"Let. Me. Tell. You. It's not the technical aspects of photography that are the most difficult. It's the human aspect. Remembering that as a Photographer, you may be behind the lens but you are still a human, in front of other humans, in some of the most raw and intimate of moments.

Courtney balances both of these necessities (but rarities) with poise, great direction, and an overall kind calmness that just makes you breathe a sigh of relief. If you've come across Courtney's page and see what you like already, BOOK HER NOW. Don't spend another second looking for another Photographer that doesn't bring anywhere near the amazing light and spirit that this girl brings right here. Thank you again Courtney for allowing my husband and I to marry each other all over again! The images are stunning and I can't wait to blow them up and hang them in our home."

Shannon & Brandon

"Working with Courtney was an extremely easy experience, seamless, positive and obviously fun. My wife and I went on our honeymoon and wanted to surprise her with a surprise honeymoon adventure session.

Courtney worked with me to make that dream gift for my wife a reality. Meeting and posing for a photographer for the first time can be intimidating, but with Courtney it was anything but that.

Courtney is extremely positive and helpful and made us feel very comfortable in front of the camera. She played some of our favorite songs and before we knew we were just having fun and she was catching them every second. Perhaps the best part of our session was that Courtney knew all the characteristic and peaceful places of where we were, which made our photos even more extraordinary.

She kept the focus on my wife and me. When we shared our images with friends and relatives, everyone complimented on Courtney's aesthetics and the emotion she was able to capture. I can't thank Courtney enough for exceeding all our expectations with this photo shoot!!"

NINA & JASON

"Pick her -- she's the best! Courtney is amazing! Seriously! If you're thinking about eloping you should snatch her up to capture your day. She makes the entire experience fun and relaxed plus the pictures just blew us away. I will never forget our magical time in Venice and I'm obsessed with the gorgeous photos Courtney took of us. She's so so good!"

Jami & Tim

Courtney is not only a talented photographer, but she makes you feel so comfortable even though being in front of the camera can be nerve-wracking! She did such an amazing job with our day and if I had to pick my favorite photo it would take FOREVER, because I love so many! Definitely consider her if you want adventurous and beautiful photos coupled with an amazing experience!

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Don't just take it from me, Take it from my past couples!

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I’m here to guide you through EVERY. SINGLE. STEP.

Let’s toss that’s confusion out the window and focus on how you want to get married!

Let me relieve those feelings of being lost, save you time, tell the story of your day and let’s get started creating a day that you’ll never forget!

So, if you know you want to elope,
but feel unsure on where to start, 

contact me & let's get starting creating your dream elopement!

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