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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!

Colorado Wedding Venues | Colorado Elopement Photographer

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<.

A couple eloping in Rocky Mountain National Park during the winter

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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  1. Estes Park Elopement Photographer | Estes Park Elopement Tips

    December 7th, 2019 at 11:13 am

    […] Best Places to Elope in Rocky Mountain National Park […]

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