With Colorado being one of the top elopement destinations in the world, it’s no surprise that many of the places you might be considering for your elopement will require permits. Locations such as Sapphire Point, Maroon Bells and Rocky Mountain National Park will require a permit, while others like Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs currently don’t require a permit.
Do your permit research before you plan for your elopement because the last thing you’ll want is to deal with a park ranger on your wedding day! (P.S. Permits are something I help all my eloping couples with, so get in touch if you have a question about a specific location.)
Colorado is one of the most beautiful places in the world, with a huge collection of 14ers, wildlife, world-class skiing and everything else Colorado has to offer. That said, tourism is huge in Colorado. With tourism comes – you guessed it: tourists! If you want to be completely alone for your elopement, you are likely going to want to consider a longer hike or a less popular location, especially during peak tourism months.
Places like Maroon Bells are constantly welcoming people to visit and if you don’t want a huge crowd for your ceremony, it’ll be a better idea for you to consider an adventure elopement with a little bit of a hike. Alternatively, you can always pick less popular locations like Grand Lake to reduce the chances of big crowds.
Dogs are often super important to my couples, but unfortunately, you can’t bring dogs with you everywhere in Colorado for your elopement! There are some parks, such as Rocky Mountain National Park, that don’t allow you to bring pets onto the trails for their safety (as well as your own). So, if bringing your dog is a deal-breaker for your elopement location, you’ll definitely want to check to see if dogs are allowed wherever you are considering.
Check out this adorable Sapphire Point elopement with the couple’s husky dog.
Are you the type of person who loses their breath with the view from the top of a mountain peak? Or, perhaps you think that the middle of a forest, surrounded by giant pine trees is the most magical place. Maybe, you have always loved water and feel most at peace next to a river or lake. I urge you to really consider what type of scenery you want to be surrounded by. The good news is Colorado has pretty much every kind of scenery you can think of: valleys, peaks, lakes, forests, waterfalls, open fields, and even desert. You name it, and Colorado most likely has an option for you. (Except the ocean. I have yet to find one of those in this awesome state!
With all the beauty that the Colorado Rockies have to offer, there are actually some locations that are inaccessible during the winter months. Locations such as Independence Pass and Trail Ridge Road close because of the snow and ice and are only available during the summer and early fall months. Other locations, such as Maroon Bells, are flooded with tourists in the fall seeking a peek at the changing aspen leaves.
If you’re unsure about which month to elope, here is a blog post that walks you through every month of the year in Colorado and which is the best month to elope.
I love utilizing the internet to find elopement locations, whether it’s on the research side or on the social side of scouting.
Google is a fantastic tool for scouting elopement locations, especially Google Maps with street view and Google Earth Pro. I love using these tools because they’re constantly being updated and they help with planning out timing of elopements with sunrise and sunset.
Social Media is another incredible asset for anyone trying to decide on where to elope – especially on Instagram! I recommend looking up hashtags, such as #locationWedding or #locationElopement that way you can see what it actually looks like in photographs. Pinterest is another valuable social media that serves as a search engine for scouting the perfect elopement location!
Aside from Google, there are some amazing hiking and trail websites that you can use for research. Those include:
Many of those websites also have Trail Apps for your phone, in addition to CoTrex.
Finally, utilizing travel guides is always a wise research method. I personally love to use: