Imagine if instead of tying the knot in a traditional venue, you could spend your wedding day climbing mountain peaks, hiking tree-lined trails, and exchanging vows on top of the world, with no one else around?
We think your wedding day should be a reflection of who you are as a couple – and if you’re anything like us, who you are includes a lot of trails, peaks, and scenery! The good news is that your day can be everything you want, and we want to help you make the dream come to life. So if the idea of eloping on top of a mountain makes your heart skip a beat keep reading this mountain elopement guide. We’re sharing the best places to elope in the mountains all over the country!
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The Best Places to Elope in the Mountains in Colorado
We might be a little biased, but if you’ve seen the peaks and valleys and stunning scenery of Colorado, you know why! As Colorado locals, this is our absolute favorite place for a mountain elopement. The options are basically endless, but here are some of the best places to elope in the mountains of Colorado.
Rocky Mountain National Park
This is the most popular place for a mountain elopement in Colorado, and getting a permit can be competitive! But, eloping in the national park, amongst the wildflower meadows, alpine lakes, and jagged mountain peaks is an experience you’ll never forget. Want to elope here? Check out our RMNP guide.
San Isabel National Forest
You probably have never heard of San Isabel National Forest, but trust us when we say it has some of the states most beautiful scenery. Containing 19 of Colorado’s 53 fourteeners San Isabel has an array of scenic options for your mountain elopement. Hiring locals like us to help you find a perfect elopement spot in lesser known places like this is always the best way to go! Contact us to start planning!
Breckenridge is a mountain town in Colorado, located at the base of the Tenmile Range in the Rocky Mountains. In the winter, it’s an epic place to ski – and in the summer, the hikes are some of the best! Learn how you can Elope In Breckenridge and have the best mountain elopement!
Combining luxury and outdoor adventure, Aspen is one of the best places to elope in the mountains! The main attraction is the Maroon Bells – with their jagged, red-tinted peaks are the most photographed mountains in North America, this is definitely one of the most scenic, best places to elope in the mountains. And after a day of mountain adventures, you can relax and enjoy a meal at a high end restaurant!
Telluride is a former mining town nestled in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The town is tucked in a box canyon, surrounded by forested mountain peaks. You’ll find endless outdoor adventures amongst the wild landscape, and plenty of history in town!
Crested Butte, Colorado
Crested Butte is definitely one of the best places for a mountain elopement in the winter! The winter wonderland is a hub for skiing, so if you want to hit the slopes, or snowshoe the trails, on your wedding day, this Rocky Mountain location is perfect. In the fall, the aspen trees turn shades of orange and yellow, making the wilderness of Crested Butte stunning before the snow piles up too!
Did You Fall In Love With Colorado? Don’t Worry, We Did Too!
The Best Places to Elope in the Mountains in Wyoming
Wyoming is an incredibly underrated destination for outdoor adventures – so eloping in this remote state means you’ll be able to find more private, secluded places to say your vows!
Grand Teton National Park
The grandeur of Grand Teton National Park is something you have to see to believe – the craggy peaks, lined up and set behind meadows and aspen trees are absolutely jaw dropping. You’ll find alpine lakes, wildflowers, and wildlife amongst the mountains, with adventures around every corner.
Routt National Forest
The mountain peaks of Routt National Forest are lesser known than those in the national park, so this is one of the best places to elope in the mountains for privacy and epic views! The mountain range contains grasslands, crystal clear lakes and rivers, and plenty of wilderness to explore.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole valley is home to the town of Jackson, where you’ll find outdoor adventures all around! There are three ski areas, and Grand Teton National Park is just a few miles north of town. This is an amazing place to explore the surrounding mountains when you elope, with cozy spots to stay in town!
The Best Places to Elope in the Mountains in California
California has just about every landscape and type of scenery you can imagine – and that includes mountains!
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite is one of the most iconic spots in California, and a popular mountain elopement location. The granite mountain peaks of Half Dome and El Capitan tower over the valley, and you’ll find hiking trails covered in pines and greenery!
Lake Tahoe spans both California and Nevada, offering an incredible getaway any time of year. The clear blue water draws kayakers and paddle boarders in the summer, and the surrounding mountains are great for hiking and skiing! You can elope by the water, or hike to a mountain summit to say your vows with views of the lake below.
Mammoth Lakes is a mountain town close to Yosemite National Park, where you’ll find some of the most incredible peaks! In the winter, this is a popular skiing destination. In the summer, it’s a hikers paradise with alpine lakes, and as a bonus, there are natural hot springs pools tucked in the wilderness!
The Best Places to Elope in the Mountains in Washington
The Pacific Northwest boasts some of the most incredible peaks! In Washington, you’ll find the best places to elope in the mountains.
Mount Baker is one of the most iconic peaks in the state (after Mount Rainier, of course!), and offers tons of incredible views. Artist Point is one of the best mountain elopement locations, offering easily accessible, but absolutely breaktaking, views. There are several trailheads that start at Artist Point as well, each offering a unique view of Mount Baker.
North Cascades National Park
This is the least visited national park in Washington – but the views are incredible! There are countless mountain peaks, and the North Cascades are known for the alpine lakes that hide amongst the mountain scenery. You’ll find more secluded locations, making this the perfect place for an elopement!
Mount Rainier National Park
Washington’s most famous peak can be seen from the city, but there’s nothing like getting up close! The national park offers miles of hiking trails and scenic overlooks, and if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can backpack to the summit!
The Best Places to Elope in the Mountains in Montana
Considering the state’s name comes from the Spanish word for mountain (montaña), you can bet that Montana is one of the best places to elope in the mountains!
Glacier National Park
The views in Glacier are absolutely epic, and the park has one of the most incredible scenic drives in the country. But, hiking the trails will get you to even more beautiful places – and you’ll likely spot some mountain goats too!
Bitterroot National Forest
The Bitterroot National Forest spans Montana and Idaho, and offers some of the most incredible, most wild and remote mountain scenery! There are over 1.5 million acres to explore, and the glacier carved mountains and canyons are just breathtaking.
Whitefish is a town just outside of Glacier National Park, offering places to stay during your elopement, and trails to explore. Flathead Lake in Whitefish is another gorgeous mountain elopement location if you don’t want to face the national park crowds!
The Best Places to Elope in the Mountains in Alaska
Alaska is one of the most wild, remote places in the country – and if you want to elope in the mountains, with a wedding ceremony that’s adventurous and one of a kind, this is the perfect place!
Denali National Park
Denali National Park is six million acres of rugged wilderness surrounding the 20,310 foot tall peak of Mount McKinley – the tallest summit in North America. Around the park, you’ll find spruce forests and glaciers, and incredible wildlife amongst the mountains.
Wrangell St. Elias National Park
This national park is the biggest in the United States – and one of the most underrated! There are countless hiking trails and glaciers to explore. Nearby, you’ll find the Ultima Thule Lodge, the ultimate remote elopement destination. With no developed roads to the lodge, it’s an incredible getaway and a place to stay while you explore the mountainous wilderness of Alaska.
The capital city of Alaska, Juneau, is a major port town with gorgeous scenery. It’s the perfect home base for exploring the surrounding wilderness, and offers a gateway to the mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls. In town, you can find breweries and local restaurants to relax in after a day of adventures!
Tips for Your Mountain Elopement
Eloping in the mountains comes with some challenges that couples planning a traditional wedding don’t face – and while the adventure is well worth it, there are a few extra things to think about! Here are some tips for planning your mountain elopement.
The Best Time to Elope in the Mountains
When it comes to choosing your elopement date, if you want to elope in the mountains, you’ll need to plan around the weather! In general, the best time for a mountain elopement is summer – high elevation areas in the northern hemisphere are often snow covered until July, but you should definitely confirm after you’ve chosen your elopement location, as conditions can vary and the mountains can be unpredictable!
A winter elopement in the mountains can be stunning – and a great way to avoid the summer crowds! But, you’ll need to be prepared to elope in a winter wonderland. Make sure the roads to your location are accessible in the winter, and that you’re ready with warm layers and winter hiking gear.
Spring and fall can be gorgeous as well – depending on the location, you’ll likely experience fewer crowds, and if you elope in late spring or early fall, you have a chance at good weather conditions. This can be a great time to explore some lower elevation spots!
Be Prepared for Mountain Weather
No matter when you elope, we recommend being ready for any weather when you’re exploring in the mountains. Being up in higher elevation, weather changes are more dramatic and less predictable. In Loveland Pass in Colorado, for example, it’s not too uncommon for snow flurries to fall in July.
Often, you can start your hike in warm, summer conditions, and as you gain elevation you can find yourself in fog, snow, wind, or rain! It also gets colder as you climb higher, so even in the summer, it’s important to pack layers. While you’re hiking, you might be feeling toasty – but once you stop moving, it doesn’t take too long for the chill to set in.
We recommend base layers for cold weather elopements – wearing thermal leggings under your dress or your pants can do wonders for keeping you warm! For dress wearers, a shawl, cape, or jacket on top is an easy layer that can be removed. Luckily, suits lend themselves perfectly to layering, but we recommend adding a puffy jacket to your pack just in case.
Some other things you can bring to stay warm include hand warmers, gloves, hats, and maybe a backpacking stove so that you can make a hot beverage at the summit!
What to Wear for a Mountain Elopement
Along with staying warm, you’ll also need to think about comfort on your elopement day! When shopping for your elopement attire, think about being comfortable first – you’ll be moving around a lot more than you would during a traditional wedding, so be sure you can move freely! For dresses, stick to looser skirts – and for suits, make sure they fit well.
For hikes, especially in warmer weather, choosing lighter fabrics will help keep you cool, and will also be easier to carry, whether you’re wearing it or packing it! If you plan to elope in the winter or in the snow, heavy fabrics can help you stay warm. And of course, don’t forget the layers.
Another important thing to think about is if you’re hiking, whether you want to wear your elopement attire the entire way, or if you want to pack your clothes and change at the top. For shorter hikes, we recommend wearing your ceremony attire – but for longer hikes, it can be a little cumbersome, so packing it can be a better option. Don’t worry – we’ll help you pack! But when you’re shopping, it can be helpful to keep this in mind. Fabrics that don’t wrinkle will help keep your outfits looking good after they’ve been in your hiking bag – so look for dresses and suits that will hold up!
The last, but possibly most important, aspect of choosing your elopement attire is the shoes! There’s nothing worse than getting a blister on a hike, or wearing shoes that hurt your feet – and you especially don’t want that on your wedding day! For mountain elopements, hiking shoes are definitely the best option. Choose something waterproof, sturdy, and comfortable, and if you get new shoes, be sure to break them in before the big day!
Leave No Trace in the Mountains
We love being outdoors, whether we’re exploring for fun or with an eloping couple – and one of the most heartbreaking things is seeing trash on the trails, or even seeing places close due to overuse and damage to the ecosystem.
Luckily, we can prevent this! People can have a bigger impact than we realize, and by being informed and educated about how to Leave No Trace, we can all do our part to protect these places we all love.
Leave No Trace (LNT) is a set of 7 principles created by the Center for Outdoor Ethics to help us preserve the environment. Following these principles, and learning about the specific guidelines for your mountain elopement location, will ensure that we can keep exploring, and couples can keep eloping!
Here are the 7 principles.
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Others
Many outdoor locations require a permit for your elopement! These rules vary depending on where you choose for your mountain elopement, so it’s important to do some research, and to get the proper permits, if required.
National parks typically have the strictest regulations and permit requirements, as they tend to be busier. Some places have pre approved locations where you’re allowed to have a ceremony, some places have limits on the number of people who can be involved, some places only require a permit if you have over a certain number of guests, and other places don’t require permits at all. Getting a permit is part of Leave No Trace, as it ensures that the park or forest rangers know what’s happening and that you’re aware of the rules for the location. Permit costs vary, but are usually around $100 – $300, when required.
As elopement photographers, we help our couples with every part of the elopement day, including getting the right permits! The process can be confusing sometimes, but don’t worry – we’ve got your back.
Safety in the Mountains
Exploring the backcountry, and being in the mountains, always comes with some added safety concerns. With quickly changing weather, remote locations, and long hikes, it’s important to prepare and be ready for emergencies.
The first way to stay safe exploring outdoors is to bring layers and warm clothes.
Next, always bring more water and food than you think you need! Staying hydrated and fed is important, and will also make you feel better.
Make sure you have the proper hiking gear, and that you choose a hike or location that matches your experience level. If you’ve never done a long hike, don’t make your elopement day the first time! Choose a hike you know you can physically handle. Some hiking gear you’ll need include shoes, a headlamp (even if you don’t plan to hike in the dark, be prepared in case things take longer than expected), extra layers, sunscreen, and a first aid kit. While it’s always good to expect the best, it’s important to be prepared for emergencies!
You should also bring a way to navigate – downloading offline maps for the trail you’re on is essential, as it can sometimes be hard to find your way in some less developed wilderness areas. You will often lose cell phone service in the mountains, so having your route available offline is definitely a must.
Mountain Elopement Packages
We never dreamed of an aisle and a big wedding – and we’re passionate about helping adventurous couples like you have a wedding day that truly suits them. One packed with adventures, scenery, and once in a lifetime experiences.
With our mountain elopement packages, we help our couples find the best places to elope in the mountains – because every couple is different, and every elopement is unique! Whether you want an easily accessible scenic overlook, or a long backpacking trek, or you want a little bit of both, we’ll work with you to find the most amazing spots.
Ready to elope in the mountains? Contact us to learn more about mountain elopement packages!
Meet Your Mountain Elopement Photographers
We are Laura + Hugo and this is us in a scary glacier cave in Alaska! We are so excited you landed on our guide because that means you are about to go on one of your biggest adventures. Planning an elopement is super fun because the possibilities are endless, but it can still be overwhelming. We assist couples with planning help and photographing the entire thing! We would love to help you with your mountain adventure. Contact us to get started!