Best Places to Elope in Colorado | Jen Dz Photography

Best Places to Elope in Colorado in 2021

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I'm a Colorado-based destination elopement photographer who helps couples have unforgettable elopements in the Rocky Mountains and destinations worldwide.

I'm Jen Dz

As the popularity of elopements has exploded in recent years, Colorado has risen to be one of the top elopement destinations in the U.S. and for very good reason! Not only is Colorado full of epic scenery, killer craft beer, and friendly people, it’s also conveniently located smack dab in the middle of the country and served by a major airport with direct flights from just about everywhere. It’s also one of the few places where you can self-solemnize your elopement (that is, get married with no witnesses or officiant!), making it the perfect spot to get married. The tricky thing about a place this perfect? Picking a spot can be a challenge! So let’s talk about the best places to elope in Colorado!

As a Colorado elopement photographer and resident of this great state since 2007, I know this place like the back of my hand and have helped tons of couples have awesome days in the mountains I love. Not all locations are created equal, though – lets chat about it!

10 Best Places to Elope in Colorado

Telluride

  1. Telluride may be a bit of a haul from Denver but it is something super special. Telluride sits at the end of box canyon and is surrounded by giant cliffs. At the end of the canyon, visible from pretty much anywhere in town, is Bridal Veil Falls, the tallest freestanding waterfall in Colorado. Telluride is a bustling resort town that is on the pricier side but for a splurge, the vibe can’t be beat. Bonus: dogs are super welcome in Telluride and can even ride the free gondola to the top of the mountains!

couple eloping at San Sophia Overlook in Telluride Colorado

Breckenridge

  1. In a lot of ways Breckenridge is the best of all worlds when it comes to elopements. It’s an easy two hour drive from Denver International Airport but a world away in terms of scenery. It’s surrounded by jagged mountains and offers loads of lodging, dining, and activity options. Want to go hiking? There’s tons of it here. Want to hit the slopes? There are five world class resorts within a short drive. Love to sample tasty brews? Outer Range in nearby Frisco is one of the best breweries in Colorado. The options are endless!

Crested Butte

  1. I’ve spent a lot of time in a lot of places in Colorado and if I could pick up and move ANYWHERE CB would be at the top of the list. Crested Butte is known for having incredible wildflowers, tons of hiking, and some of the best mountain biking in the U.S. (check out the famed 401 Trail – its one of my favorites!). Grab a coffee at Camp 4 Coffee and some Secret Stash Pizza to cap off your trip!

couple eloping next to waterfall in Crested Butte, Colorado

San Juan Mountains

We’ve already talked about Telluride but the mountain range that surrounds it deserves a mention of its own. The San Juans are far and away the most beautiful mountain range in Colorado. Ouray, Silverton, and Ridgway are picture perfect mountain towns and the peaks that surround them are rugged and wild. This is the perfect place for a Colorado Jeep elopement or to hike high up to an alpine lake. The San Juans are a bit of a haul from Denver (but easily accessed by flying into Montrose, Telluride, or Durango) but 100% worth it!

colorado jeep elopement in the mountains above telluride

Great Sand Dunes National Park

When people elope in Colorado they generally picture tall peaks and snow but a Great Sand Dunes National Park elopement offers something wildly different! The Dunes are SO FREAKING COOL. Hike up into the hills (be ready for a workout!) to say your vows and then sandboard back down. This is also an epic spot for stargazing!

Boulder

Want an elopement location close to Denver with a hip quasi-urban vibe? Boulder is for you! Boulder is a bustling college town nestled right up against the foothills. The high peaks of the Indian Peaks are a short drive from Boulder – you can hike for your elopement and then cruise to town to eat at any one of the incredible restaurants on Pearl Street (need recommendations? Ask!). Boulder also tends to stay much warmer than the mountains so its a great spot for a warmer winter elopement.

couple eloping at lake isabelle in boulder, colorado

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods is a classic for a reason! This park near Colorado Springs has rocky desert vibes on the edge of the mountains. Colorado Springs is easily accessed from Denver and warmer and sunnier in the winter than a lot of other locations in Colorado making it a perfect spot for a Colorado elopement!

Rocky Mountain National Park

Of course Rocky Mountain National Park has to be mentioned in any list of the best places to elope in Colorado! I don’t need to tell you how magical this park is but what I SHOULD tell you is that they have some pretty strict rules about where and when elopements can happen. If you are lucky enough to reserve one of their wedding sites (required for even two person elopements) you can do your ceremony there and then hike anywhere for photos!

couple walking on frozen lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

Sapphire Point Overlook

Sapphire Point is one of my favorite places to suggest for couples who are planning intimate weddings in Colorado. If you’re going to have a handful of guests, Sapphire Point is perfect for you! Located just outside Breckenridge and Silverthorne, this little pavillion can be rented hourly. It overlooks beautiful Lake Dillon and is easily accessed by a short hiking trail.

Aspen

Aspen is swanky but, damn, it is gorgeous! This posh ski town is full of shops and restaurants and surrounded by epic scenery. Spend the morning fly fishing the Gold Medal waters of the Frying Pan River and then head up to Independence Pass for your ceremony. It’s perfect.

couple in wedding attire in cave in Colorado

Loveland Pass

Loveland Pass is one of the best elopement locations in Colorado due to its insane scenery (that is easily accessible by car) and proximity to both Denver and Summit County. Sunrises and sunsets up here can be MAGICAL and unless the weather is awful, the pass can be accessed year round. It can be incredibly cold up there so be sure to pack layers and bring some hot chocolate (whiskey works too)!

couple eloping in winter on Loveland Pass in Colorado

Deciding Where to Elope in Colorado

Figuring out where to elope in Colorado isn’t just about finding cute towns and epic scenery. There is a LOT more that goes into it! While I don’t think there are necessarily bad decisions (I mean, this is a pretty magical place …) there are some other things to keep in mind …

bride and groom walking along river at Colorado elopement

Distance from Denver

If you are planning on flying in to Denver (or if you live on the Front Range) you will have to decide how far you are willing and able to go. While some of the best places to elope in Colorado (like Telluride and the San Juans) are way out west, there are options (like Breckenridge) that are much closer. Depending on your budget, there are other airports (such as Montrose, Grand Junction, Durango, and Telluride) that may get you to where you need to go faster.

Weather

Colorado weather is notoriously fickle. It can be warm and sunny in Boulder in February but snowing in May. Having said that, if you REALLY want a certain kind of weather picking the right time and place for it is (mostly!) possible. Locations that are lower in elevation are generally much warmer and dryer in winter than the mountains.

couple in wedding clothes hiking to top of mountain at Colorado elopement

Affordability

Costs of lodging in Colorado vary WIDELY depending on where you go. From super swanky ski towns like Aspen and Telluride to beautiful but more affordable places like Breckenridge and Estes Park, take a good look at the price of AirBnBs in your suggested location before you book.

Pro Tip: Many expensive towns have more affordable options nearby. E.g. Aspen is super pricey but nearby Carbondale and Basalt are more affordable. Need suggestions? Ask!

Activities

Having an idea of what kinds of activities you want to do will help you narrow down your choices. Want to ski? You’re obviously looking at one of the ski resort tows. Want to mountain bike? Head to Crested Butte. Love hot springs? The San Juans and Steamboat Springs have awesome ones! Don’t really care what you do? Beautiful scenery and hiking opportunities are everywhere!

Town Amenities

Are you bringing friends and family who need lodging or have specific diets? Do you want to go to celebrate your elopement at a nice restaurant or spa? Do your research! Towns in Colorado range from super tiny to mega resort towns so there are options to fit every budget!

Hopefully helped you narrow down your choices on the best place to elope in Colorado. If you have any questions or need some help, shoot me a message! That’s what I’m here for! 🙂

couple in wedding clothes in canoe at mountain elopement

 

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