We’ve spent the past few years exploring to create this list of the best places to elope in Colorado. Each location has general descriptions, whether or not permits are required, distance from Denver’s airport, and tips we’ve learned from our experiences. You will get a general idea of what you can expect your overall experience to be like. Keep in mind that there are many more locations besides what’s listed here, but these are some of our very favorites. Even though we reference permits and associated sites, always check with the local ranger district about hosting an elopement.
This list is filled with great locations and not in any particular order whatsoever. A location’s appeal and enjoyment varies season by season and even from weekdays to weekends. Nearly all of Colorado’s locations have something delightful in store for you to enjoy!
Most importantly, it is everyone’s duty to preserve our land by doing our part to Leave No Trace. These intuitive and simple steps are easy to follow and will allow the land to thrive well beyond your elopement day!
San Juan Mountains
There’s a reason these mountains are called the “Switzerland of America.” This mountain range is much steeper than others in the state. This makes them feel even taller than other peaks of the same height. This mountain range can be found in Ouray, Ridgway, and Telluride among others. Luxurious hot springs, majestic waterfalls, turquoise lakes, bright red rocks, and off-road rugged 4×4 adventures await in this charming space!
Garden of the Gods
Located in Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods is a playground with towering red rock sandstone formations. Lush green trees and vegetation complement the red landscape. You can enjoy the rock formations up close while also having space to sit back and look from afar. We sincerely believe that this space gets more and more enchanting every time you visit. Rain makes for an unforgettably magical & moody experience!
Permit: No, but there are 6 designated ceremony sites that are first come, first serve. Each site varies in its guest count capacity.
Distance From DIA: 86 miles, approximately 1 hour 38 minutes.
Pro Tips: Like other public spaces, Garden of the Gods can be very popular on nights and weekends, especially in the summertime. If you want to elope here, we recommend bringing no more than 10 guests. If you like whiskey, be sure to visit this divine whiskey distillery afterward!
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park offers great diversity with roads that can quickly take you from one breathtaking scene to another. With many lakes, big expansive outlooks along mountain ridges, hiking trails along the foothills, waterfalls, and more, RMNP has a little bit of everything. Ascending Trail Ridge Road will give you the feeling of being on top of the world.
Permit: Yes, and there are 12 designated ceremony sites within the park.
Please note, equipment such as tables, chairs, carpets, tents, floral displays, and generators cannot be used in the park. Throwing and scattering of rice, birdseed, flower petals or other materials is prohibited. A few portable chairs (provided by the permittee) for the elderly is permitted. No banners, steamers or hanging objects are allowed.
Click Here For RMNP Permits + Rules.
>>RMNP 2021 permits for the public are sold out.<<
Distance From DIA: 80 miles, approximately 1 hour 43 minutes.
Pro Tips: RMNP is very popular and summer evenings and weekends can lack the feeling of privacy. Most restaurants close around 9 or even earlier depending on the day. Keep food in your lodge or prepare accordingly. The town of Estes Park is just outside the East entrance into RMNP and offers gourmet coffee, salt water taffy, rock shops, and more. Visit the historic Stanley Hotel for a bite to eat and an unforgettable adventure.
Filled with your new favorite restaurants as well unique shops, art, and aesthetics, this small mountain town is absolutely adorable! The surrounding landscapes include lakes, hiking trails, wildlife, and stunning mountain views. Quaint and quiet, Crested Butte may be the romantic getaway you’ve been dreaming of.
Permit: No, permits are not required for the Gunnison National Forrest Areas. Guest count is limited to 25 people or less.
Permit reservations are required for the following areas: Woods Walk, Peanut Lake, and Gunsight Bridge. These permits are $2000.
Distance From DIA: 251 miles, approximately 4 hours 43 minutes
Pro Tips: From Gunnison to Crested Butte, the fall colors ignite unlike anywhere else.
Lake Dillon, Sapphire Point, ski slopes, and waterfalls are just some of what Breckenridge has to offer. Another great space is Blue Lakes, which has four distinct versions coinciding with each season. The lake itself will also significantly rise and fall throughout the year. Motorized boats, jet skis, and sailboats are all welcome on Lake Dillon. Come sail away with us!
Permit: Permits are not required for many of the White River National Forrest Areas in the Dillon Ranger District. You are not allowed set up chairs, tents, arches, tables, or anything that affects the natural landscape, without a permit.
Sapphire Point does require reservations and a fee of $150. Groups are limited to 35 people.
Distance From DIA: 112 miles, approximately 2 hours 15 minutes.
Pro Tip: The elevation is high, and the weather can change in a hurry. Swirling, cold winds are frequent. Wear layers and expect a temperature drop as the sun tucks behind the horizon. There are campgrounds along the shore of the lake so be respectful. Avoid getting married at sunrise so as not to disturb the sleeping campers. Mountain goats, marmots, and lots of wildlife live in the area. Do not approach or feed the wildlife.
Brainard Lake Recreational Area
This is just a stunning location filled with natural beauty. The hike itself is relatively easy. In the summer, the wildflowers bloom loudly and add bright colors along the trail. Lake Isabelle backs up to Rocky Mountain National Park and is one of the most beautiful lakes we’ve found in Colorado.
Surrounding the Buena Vista area, the Collegiate Peaks are simply spectacular. The area is great for water activities with easy access to big lakes and rivers. Whitewater rafting, standup paddle boarding, and kayaking are all options during the warmer months here. The area also features a ghost town more than 120 years old that will provide a unique adventure in an abandoned mining town. There are two paved high elevations passes, Independence Pass and Cottonwood Pass, which will take you to the tops of the peaks without much physical exertion.
Great Sand Dunes
These giant sand dunes are an incredible experience. Pictures simply do not do this place justice. If you visit at the right time, you’ll feel like you are in a melting pot of all four seasons. From distant snow capped mountains to warm sand in between your toes, lush green terrain to colorful wildflowers, this place is absolutely one-of-a-kind! Waterfalls and hot springs are in the area.
Permit: Yes, a special use permit is required. Ceremonies are allowed to take place outside the wilderness boundary of the dunefield, on the close side of Medano Creek.
Click Here for Great Sand Dunes permit application + rules.
Distance From DIA: 249 miles, approximately 4 hours 3 minutes
Pro Tips: This location is so spread out that there are plenty of wide open spaces where you could be in complete privacy. Rent an AWD vehicle so that you can access all that the Great Sand Dunes has to offer.
The artistry within the River North section of downtown Denver is plentiful and extraordinarily colorful. Obviously, you will get a true urban vibe when eloping here. With the Rocky Mountain foothills only a short drive away, you can easily supplement the urban vibes with the natural beauty of the mountains. Can’t get enough art? Visit the Museum of Contemporary Arts for immersive installations.
Permit: Varies dependent on location. A photography permit may be required for groups larger than 5 or for exclusive use of an area.
Distance From DIA: 25 miles, approximately 31 minutes
Pro Tips: We have a combined 20+ years living in Denver. From museums, live music & comedy, restaurants, bars, shows & entertainment, we can recommend a plethora of things for you to incorporate into your elopement depending on your preferences. Your gallery is certain to be well-rounded and diverse by choosing an elopement adventure that spans downtown Denver and the nearby mountainsides.
Such an informative blog with so much great information! I love the variety of locations from urban to mountains to sand dunes, as well as the links to permits and other information. Thanks for sharing!
Ok this blog is gold. There is so much information in here. Seriously everyone looking to elope in Colorado needs to find this blog. I’m already married, but am legite going to refer back to this when I travel to Colorado! Thanks for being so specific and thinking ahead. PS: Your blue tones are everything.
Oh my goodness what a fun list of places to elope. I love your vibrate editing too!
So many gorgeous locations to elope in Colorado! The San Juan’s are my favorite!
Colorado is such an insanely beautiful state! There are so many incredible spots to elope, this is such a helpful post!!
I absolutely adore the way you document the beauty of Colorado! Those landscapes are stunning! Thanks for such a comprehensive article!
I absolutely love your guide! So informative, great tips for couples. Your images are gorgeous!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the locations that you chose! I am partial to CB (I went to college in Gunnison) but each and every one of these locations are drop dead gorgeous!
Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful article. Thanks for providing these details.