Ouray Elopement Guide: How to Elope in Ouray, Colorado

Ouray, tucked in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, is a picturesque town with incredible natural beauty. Its stunning alpine vistas have earned it the nickname of the “Switzerland of America,” and with the towering mountains surrounding it, it’s easy to see why! Along with gorgeous nature, the town also features quaint Victorian-era storefronts with shops, galleries, and cozy cafes. Ouray is the perfect place to elope for couples who dream of running away to the mountains to tie the knot, and this Ouray elopement guide will tell you everything you need to know!

What’s in This Ouray Elopement Guide

The Best Time for an Ouray Elopement

Ouray truly does have four season fun, but like any mountain town in Colorado, the weather changes pretty dramatically from season to season. Before you decide when to elope, it’s definitely important to know what you’re getting into.

Summer is definitely the most popular season for elopements in Ouray, because the weather is sunny and warm, perfect for outdoor activities and adventures. In the mountains, snow often doesn’t melt completely until around mid July, so for hikes or high elevation adventures, we recommend waiting until later in the season! 

July is also a good time to see wildflowers bloom, as they usually peak around this time. But, one thing to keep in mind about summer elopements in Ouray is that rain storms are common this time of year. They tend to happen in the afternoon, and usually pass quickly, but it’s best to start early if you’re hiking in the mountains.

Fall is an amazing time for an Ouray elopement too, and if you love fall foliage, the aspen leaves peak in September! In early fall, the trails are usually still snow free, and the weather is warm enough for outdoor adventures but not too hot – but snow starts to fall in the mountains close to the end of October, so be prepared with layers and keep in mind that weather is a little less predictable this time of year. 

Ouray is stunning in the winter – the town looks like a snowglobe, and the mountains are capped with snow. But of course, it’s cold! If you want to elope in the winter, there’s still plenty to do, like backcountry skiing and ice climbing.

Spring can be a good time for an Ouray elopement if you want fewer crowds around! The weather starts to warm up, but you can still expect snow in the mountains. 

The Best Places for an Ouray Elopement

Ouray has an incredible amount of scenery, and tons of really epic places to exchange vows! Here are a few ideas for places to elope in Ouray, Colorado.

Alpine Lakes

Saying your vows on the shores of a lake tucked in the mountains is an absolutely magical way to begin your marriage, and Ouray has plenty of alpine lakes. Whether you want to do a long hike, or find a lake you can drive up to, you’ll find the perfect place to tie the knot! Clear Lake is one you can drive right to the shores of (with a high clearance 4×4), while Ice Lake is a gorgeous spot that requires a strenuous hike. 

Million Dollar Highway

The Million Dollar Highway is a stunning scenic drive that goes from Silverton to Telluride, with Ouray along the way. It’s a beautiful drive, with tons of places to stop, lots of 4×4 trails, and tons of hikes! It’s a truly incredible place to find the perfect elopement location in Ouray.

Ouray Perimeter Trail

Amongst the many options for hiking is the Ouray Perimeter Trail, a 5.6 mile loop that goes around the town, through mountains, waterfalls, and bridges. It’s a unique hike that gives you views of both the town and the mountains, with lots of amazing places to stop for an elopement ceremony! 

What to Do During Your Ouray Elopement

You’re a rebel against the wedding industry – doing your own thing, getting married your own way. So your elopement day can be absolutely anything you want it to be, and Ouray is the perfect place to plan that apic outdoor adventure. Here are a few ideas for things to do during your Ouray elopement!

Ice Climbing

If you elope in Ouray in the winter, one unique thing you can do is go ice climbing! It’s exactly what it sounds like – climbing walls of ice. Ouray even has a dedicated ice park, a unique spot where you can climb, whether you’re an expert or you want to take a guided tour. 


One of the best things to do in Ouray is hiking, as there are so many absolutely stunning trails. You can go chase waterfalls, summit mountains, or whatever your heart desires! There are plenty of trails to choose from, with varying levels of difficulty.

Rent a 4×4

A 4×4 is a great way to get to more places, and Ouray has plenty of trails only accessible with a high clearance, 4×4 car. You can hire a guide to take you to the best spots, or rent a car and have your own adventure!

Where to Stay When You Elope in Ouray

You’ll need somewhere to stay during your elopement, and Ouray has plenty of lodging options!

Hotels & Inns

There are several historic hotels and quaint inns in the small town of Ouray, which make for perfect stays in town. There’s the Beaumont Hotel, a luxurious mountain getaway that’s been around since 1886, and the Alplilly Inn, a family owned bed and breakfast that’s located right in the heart of town.


Airbnb is a great place to find places to stay, with plenty of options for your Ouray elopement. You can stay in a quaint riverfront cabin, a house in the mountains perfect for hosting friends or family for a small reception, and there are so many more options in and around town. 


Another option for places to stay during your Ouray elopement is pitching a tent and camping! There are so many beautiful backcountry locations in the area, and camping is a great way to experience more of the outdoors when you tie the knot.Ouray Elopement Packages

Colorado is the perfect place for an elopement in the mountains, and Ouray is one of the absolute best towns to set off on an adventure. If you want to hike to an alpine lake on your wedding day, walk down an aisle of grass and dirt, or have s’mores around a campfire to celebrate getting married, we can’t wait to make it happen!

As your elopement photographer and videographer team, our job is to help you plan the perfect day – that means location scouting, custom recommendations, and so much more. If you’re ready to elope in Ouray, contact us!

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