Updated: Nov 30
TIPS + LOCATIONS TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR COLORADO ELOPEMENT
RAE ANN PHOTO | ELOPEMENT & WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER | NEW ENGLAND & BEYOND
Here is where I'll share a few adventurous locations to elope in Colorado. Colorado is one of my favorite states to elope in because not only is it a self-solemnizing state which makes it super easy to elope in but it is also a diversely beautiful place filled with elegant mountains, sparkling lakes and rivers and beautiful wildflowers. I made this elopement guide to help you find the best place for you as well as go over all the things you need to know to elope in Northern Colorado! Colorado is one of my favorite locations to travel to and it's actually so so easy to elope in!
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!!
There are so many locations in Colorado and so many great trails to go one but my favorite ones are up North.
Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest
- Steamboat Springs/Kremmling
Fish Creak Falls
Rabbits Ear Pass
- Pearl Lake State Park
- Steamboat Lake State Park
Mount Zirkle Wilderness
- Gilpin Lake
- Gold Creek Lake
Flat Tops Wilderness Area
National Parks in Northern Colorado
- Rocky Mountain National Park
Berthoud Pass - This pass is a well-maintained switchback pass leading directly to Winter Park and Winter Park Ski Resort.
In the Spring + Summer its abundant with wildflowers.
Fish Creak Falls - This 283 foot waterfall is just 5 miles outside of Steamboat Springs, one of my favorite places in Colorado to visit.
Pearl Lake State Park and Steamboat Lake State Park are two lakes just north of Steamboat Springs and are beautiful areas to elope in.
Rabbits Ears Pass - Is a pass in the Rocky Mountains where US 40 crosses the continental divide. Unfortunately over the years the ears on the rabbit have since crumbled like any other monument but it's still such a cool view.
Flatirons - Located in Boulder, CO these are slanted, reddish-brown sandstone formations that make up a portion of Boulder’s foothills. There are lots of beautiful, well maintained trails that lead around grassy fields. Be careful of the small cacti in summertime.
Flatiron Loop Trail - 2 mile loop
Woods quarry - 2.5 mile loop
Chautauqua trailhead + park
Mount Zirkle Wilderness - located in Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests is home to 70 lakes, high mountain peaks including the 12,180 foot-tall Mount Zirkel
- Gilpin Lake - 9.7 mile hike out and back
- Gold Creek Lake - 6.5 mile hike out and back
My two cents for long hikes is the longer the hike the more secluded of a location you'll get. And I'll make it fun with some music, breaks, photos and good views.
Flat Tops Wilderness Area - The flat tops are a beautiful area to elope in! In the summer there are lots of wild fire weed from past forest fires. Here is a list of popular hikes in the area. It is free to camp at the designated campsites.
Devil's Causeway/Loop trail - 6-10.2 miles depending on how far you hike
Little Causeway lake - 3.3 miles
Mosquito Lake via Bear River trail - 5.9 miles
Stillwater Reservoir to Flattop - 5.6 miles
Smith Lake Trail - 1.6 miles
There are no bathrooms
Things you can do during your elopement
Rent a jeep and take it off-roading
Canoe or Kayaking
Have a backcountry meal
Ride in a helicopter
Skiing/Snowboarding in the Winter/Spring
White river rafting
How do we elope in Colorado?
Head to your local county clerk’s office where you’re looking to elope in. Make sure to bring your ID and $30 license cost. Sign and complete the marriage license. You must file your license and bring it to your county clerks office or mail within 63 days of signing and 35 days of purchasing.
Colorado is a self solemnizing state so the only thing needed is yourselves. No officiant or witnesses needed. You can even have your dog sign your marriage certificate. If you decide to elope in a National park you may need a permit. My elopement packages cover national park fees and I will take care of the application process for you!
National Parks in Colorado
Great Sand Dunes
When should we elope?
Summer - While this season is some of the best weather it's often the busiest season with tourists coming from all over. Summer is also when wildflowers like Columbines start to peak between June and August.
Fall - You will see the changing in color of the aspen trees and summer crowds will start to wind down. This will lead to more spots being less populated.
Winter - Some may consider this to be the off-season but most if not everyone who lives in Colorado will be hitting the slopes and taking in the gorgeous winter landscape. If you're a Winter lover you will love Colorado in Winter and will be the ideal time to elope if you love winter activities.
Spring - You will start to see all the flowers blooming and closed trails becoming more available for hikers.
What if the weather is not great?
I've photographed weddings and elopements in all types of weather so it really doesn't matter to me. My best advice would be to prepare for anything. Depending on the month rainfall happens between March to October with the highest rainfall month being May.
I would avoid wearing long trains if you don't want a dirty dress. But I always tell my eloping couples that your dress will get dirty regardless and that's ok!
Since you will be flying me out to Colorado, I will offer you full wedding/elopement coverage. Full day coverage starts at $4000 with flight travel included to Denver - 25% retainer and signed contract to book. I have permanent accommodations in place for Denver/Steamboat elopements. Travel/accommodation fees will apply for Southern and Western Colorado.
6+ Hours of Coverage Example:
9:00 am Breakfast + coffee at a local cafe
10:00 am Back to Airbnb to get ready for ceremony
3:00 pm Ceremony at Chautauqua park
3:30 pm Photos on path and in grassy field
4:00pm Champagne toast on the trail
6:00pm Sunset photos at Chautauqua Park
8:00pm Back to Airbnb for dessert and after-party
9:00pm Head back out again for starry night photos
4 Hours of Coverage Example:
3:00pm Meet at an Airbnb for a few getting ready photos and a first look outside
4:00pm Ceremony at Chautauqua park
5:00pm Toast & sunset photos on top of the pass
Flowers: Yarrow and Spruce, Lady Southwest, Fairytale floral
Bakery: Alire Modern Bakehouse
Jeep rentals: Turo Jeep Rentals, Rocky Mountain Jeep Rental
HOW DO WE BOOK YOU AS OUR COLORADO ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER?
Just head to my contact page and fill out a form or you can email me at email@example.com when you're ready to start planning. If you're planning for a weekday there's no rush but if you would like a weekend date, let me know ASAP!