How To Plan A Moab Elopement

Often referred to as a “desert oasis,” Moab’s breathtaking red rock formations, surreal sunsets, and small-town charm make for an ideal elopement location for adventurous couples. We’ve written the ultimate Moab elopement guide filled with thoughtful advice, educational information, tips, tricks, AND even included some of our favorite elopement spots! 

Best Time For A Moab Elopement

We mentioned that Moab is often referred to as a desert oasis. While Moab offers stunning desert views year-round, it can get hot in the summer months. From late June to August, Moab can reach over 100°F, so planning your elopement for Spring (March-May) or Fall (September-November) is best! During the Spring, temperatures average in the 70s. It’s a comfortable temperature for any elopement attire, and certain wildflowers begin to bloom during springtime. During the fall, temperatures return to the 70s. There’s a refreshing feel to the air, and fall colors transform the La Sal Mountain Range into a picturesque landscape — perfect for portraits and ceremony snapshots. 

The best time for your elopement is sunrise or sunset. Temperatures and lighting are more favorable during these times of day and usually help ensure low crowd levels. Speaking of crowd levels, the best time of the week to schedule your elopement is on a weekday, preferably Monday-Thursday. Since Moab and its surrounding parks are tourist destinations, locals and visitors frequent these locations on weekends. Planning your elopement for a weekday ensures you’ll have a little more privacy for vows and photos!

Be Prepared When Eloping In Moab’s Desert

Even in the spring and fall, weather conditions in Moab can be unpredictable. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you and your partner be as prepared and safe as possible during your Moab elopement!

Avoid Scheduling Elopement Activities During The Middle Of The Day

Heat exposure and direct sunlight in Moab’s desert can be intense. Watch out for heat stroke symptoms, and bring plenty of water and salty snacks! We recommend avoiding elopement activities during the middle of the day when temperatures are at their highest.

Lastly, the late summer monsoon season brings violent storm cells, which often cause flash floods. Beware of flash floods and stay vigilant of the ever-changing weather conditions that come with being in Moab’s desert.

All About Moab’s Accessibility

Although Moab is located in remote Southeastern Utah, there are some great travel arrangement options that can make traveling to your Moab elopement that much easier!

Fly into Moab Canyonlands Regional Airport 

Located just 21 miles northwest of Moab, this airport offers flights to and from Salt Lake City under Delta Airlines. United Airlines also operates daily flights to and from Denver at this airport. Alamo rental car agency is conveniently located on the property, so you and your partner can get to and from the airport stress-free!

Fly into Grand Junction Regional Airport in Colorado

Utah’s state line is 35 miles from Grand Junction Regional Airport in Colorado. Moab is just a short 2.5-hour drive from this airport, which offers three airline services: Allegiant, American Airlines, and United. Grand Junction Regional Airport offers flights to and from Dallas, Phoenix, Denver, Los Angeles, Mesa (AZ), and Las Vegas. Some flight services are seasonal, so check flight schedules before setting an elopement date! Hertz and Enterprise are two rental car agencies near Grand Junction Regional Airport, so getting to and from Moab is a breeze!

Fly into Salt Lake City International Airport

If you’re interested in seeing more of what Utah offers, fly into Salt Lake City International Airport and rent a car! This airport has over half a dozen on-property rental car options. Grab some yummy road trip snacks before heading out on a scenic 4-hour drive from Salt Lake City to Moab.

Road Trip!

Pack up your vehicle and head out on a once-in-a-lifetime road trip across the U.S. with your partner! This is a great option for adventurous couples looking to create a truly unforgettable elopement experience.

Best Elopement Locations In And Around Moab

Arches National Park

Arches National Park is located just 5 miles north of Moab and is most notably known for its brilliant red rock arch formations (the perfect backdrop for vows if you ask us)! If you’re planning on visiting Arches for your elopement, there are a few technical details you’ll need to plan out ahead of time.

Since Arches is a popular National Park, timed entry reservations are required to enter the park (usually between April and October). You’ll also be required to purchase an entrance pass. This can be done in one of two ways: America The Beautiful (annual National Park Pass) or Private Vehicle Pass. The America The Beautiful Pass costs $80, but you can use it all year if you plan on taking more trips to National Parks in the future. It’s also a great option if you plan on visiting Canyonlands National Park while you’re in the area. The Private Vehicle Pass is just $30.00/car and can be purchased online or in person. 

Additionally, depending on your guest count, you’ll need to secure a permit with Arches National Park for your elopement. Depending on your guest count (if any), you’ll need to purchase either a special event or wedding permit. 

Lastly, you may want to think twice about hosting your elopement in Arches if you plan on including your dog in your ceremony. Arches and many other National Parks have strict rules for dogs. Unfortunately, pets are only allowed on roads, parking lots, and in designated campgrounds, and they must be leashed at all times when outside a vehicle. Click here to learn more about Arches’ permits, timed entry reservations, and park passes!

Canyonlands National Park

Located just 30 miles southwest of Moab, the Colorado River rushes through this mountainous desert landscape. Decorated with red rock canyons and sagebrush, you and your partner will have the adventure of a lifetime exploring Canyonlands. Before planning your elopement in Canyonlands, you’ll need to ensure you have secured all necessary permits and paid all fees. Unlike Arches, Canyonlands doesn’t require a timed entry reservation, but you do need to purchase an entrance pass. As mentioned above, a Private Vehicle Pass is $30.00, and an America The Beautiful Pass is $80. You’ll also need to obtain a special use or wedding permit, depending on the number of guests (if any) that you choose to invite. Much like Arches, there are strict rules for dogs. Click here to learn more about Canyonlands’ event permits, timed entry reservations, and park passes!

Dead Horse Point

Just 30 miles southwest of Moab, Dead Horse Point is known for its brilliant night sky. Perfect for a sunset elopement, followed by some stargazing, Dead Horse Point soars to 5,900 feet in elevation. Pets are welcome at Dead Horse Point; however, they must be on a six-foot leash and accompanied by an owner. The only location pets are not allowed in Dead Horse Point is on the Intrepid Trail System. Dead Horse Point is a state park, so entrance fees and permit costs are slightly lower than at national parks. There is a $20.00 Vehicle Day-Use Pass (per vehicle and up to 8 passengers), or you can buy the Utah State Park Annual Pass for $100 if you plan on visiting other Utah State Park locations. You’ll need to apply for a special use permit to elope in Dead Horse Point. The application fee is $10, and the Special Use Permit starts at $50. Click here to learn more about Dead Horse Point’s permits and park passes!

La Sal Mountain Range

Located 30 miles southeast of Moab, La Sal is Utah’s second-highest mountain range. With an abundance of hiking and mountain bike trails, campsites, lakes, and other activities, La Sal is a haven for outdoorsy couples looking to add adventure to their elopement experience. Le Sal is dog-friendly in many areas, but always research your desired Moab elopement location before setting anything in stone! Click here to learn more about La Sal Mountain Range. 

Bureau of Land Management Land

BLM land is abundant in Moab. Moab’s BLM manages 26 campgrounds in the area, most available on a first-come/first-served basis. Ken’s Lake campsite is one of the only campgrounds that require a reservation in the area, but for a good reason. The views from this campsite are unbelievable, and activities like swimming, paddle boarding, boating, and fishing are available at Ken’s Lake Recreation Area. This campground also has on-campsite access to a few hiking and off-roading trails! Pet owners, good news, Ken’s Lake is dog-friendly! This is a great elopement location if you’re inviting a few guests and want to celebrate with fun events after the ceremony! Click here to learn more about Moab’s BLM land and to reserve campsites.

The Red Earth Venue

Red Earth Venue is a wedding and event venue located in Moab, Utah. The venue is situated on a private ranch and offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscape, including the La Sal Mountains and the Moab Rim.

Red Earth Venue has a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces available for events, including a large tent, a covered patio, and an outdoor stage. The venue can accommodate up to 250 guests and has a variety of rental options, including tables, chairs, linens, and other event essentials.

Red Earth Venue is a great option for couples looking for a unique and scenic location for their wedding or other special event. The venue is located just a few minutes from downtown Moab and is convenient to many of the area’s outdoor attractions. Prices for rental of the venue vary depending on the time of year and the services you require, so be sure to contact the venue directly for more information.

Under Canvas

Under Canvas is a luxury glamping company that is located near Arches National Park and offers a variety of accommodation options, including tents, tiny homes, and safari-style tents, all of which are equipped with comfortable beds, private bathrooms, and other amenities! If you’re looking for a super unique elopement experience, this is a great spot!

How to Legally Get Married in Moab 

To get legally married in Moab, Utah, you have to obtain a marriage license and have the marriage solemnized by an authorized officiant. To complete the application, the date of the ceremony and the officiant’s name must be provided. When arriving in Moab, we recommend visiting the Grand County Clerk’s Office as soon as possible to apply for a marriage license. You can download the marriage license application online beforehand, but don’t sign it until you are with a county clerk employee at the county clerk’s office. At the county clerk’s office, you and your partner will be required to pay a $40 marriage license fee and provide a current picture ID with proof of age.

You can get married as soon as you and your partner obtain your marriage license. The license is only valid for 30 days before it expires, so the marriage must be solemnized within that time frame. An authorized officiant must solemnize the marriage, and the officiant must sign the marriage certificate. The officiant must also file the certificate and the marriage license with the Grand County clerk’s office.

Activities Ideas for Your Moab Elopement

Another great aspect of Moab is all of the activities the surrounding areas have to offer. If you and your partner want an unforgettable Moab elopement experience, consider planning one of the following adventures:

Sample Moab Elopement Timeline

In need of some planning inspiration? Here is a sample Moab Elopement timeline that fits perfectly with our 4-hour Mini Package!

4:00 am – 5:00 am: Get ready!

5:00 am: Grab your elopement packs & head to the trailhead in your rental Jeep. We’ll meet you there!

5:30 am: Meet with us + Hike up to your elopement location

6:00 am: Ceremony

6:15 am – 8:15 am: Sunrise photos, portraits & celebratory drinks

8:30 am: Short hike down to the parking lot

8:45 am – 9:30 am: Epic getaway car pictures in rental Jeep

Meet Us In Moab!

Hi we’re Laura & Hugo-Endless elopement possibilities await you and your partner in Moab! We hope this guide inspired you to begin planning a Moab Elopement of your own. By the way, elopements in Moab are kind of our thing! If you are looking to create an epic experience, get help with location suggestions, get a timeline curated for you that makes sense, and get some dope photos, we are your peeps! Contact us to schedule a zoom call. If you haven’t already, check out our pricing too. We can’t wait to meet you in Moab!

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