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      ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK WEDDING GUIDE

      I have captured elopements in five different National Parks, but Rocky Mountain National Park is one of my absolute favorites. Placed right in my backyard of Colorado, the park is complete with alpine visas, gushing waterfalls, stunning rock ledges, open meadows, and breath-taking alpine lakes, which means… there are plenty of options when selecting your perfect ceremony backdrop! 

      As Rocky Mountain National Park has became a popular destination for wedding ceremonies, they have put in place a handful of rules that must be followed by those wishing to get married in this beautiful National Park .



      TIPS FOR CHOOSING YOUR CEREMONY SITE

      While some couples might be perfectly fine with having their ceremonies in those designated locations, some might have their set their sights on locations that are NOT on the approved list, and eloping offers a fun loophole! If you decide to elope to Rocky Mountain National Park, you can have your ceremony at one of the assigned locations AND take photos in a different spot later in the day. This is great for couples wanting to incorporate friends and family that need an accessible location but still seeking a bigger hike or different backdrop for their wedding day photos. The photography permit covers you for a full 24 hours for as many locations as you’d like, so don’t be discouraged if you have your heart set on somewhere else in the park for your adventure elopement, we would have PLENTY of time to capture it all!

      Below you will find your ultimate Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement Wedding Guide along with the designated ceremony spots, and some of my favorite hidden gems!


      Rocky Mountain National Park 3m Curve Elopement

      WHAT TIME OF YEAR TO GET MARRIED IN RMNP?

      Rocky Mountain National Park is an all year destination for your elopement depending on how adventurous you are! The best time for hiking elopements is May through October when the trails are clear of snow. Most of the trails are available for snow shoeing during the winter if you are into the winter vibes! This park is very accessible for couples year round.


      Chasm Lake Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement Locations
      Chasm Lake

      10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ELOPING IN RMNP

      1. In order to have your ceremony at Rocky Mountain National Park, you must obtain a Wedding Permit ($250) This permit allows you to get married in one of the assigned spots, as well as including a photography permit. You can find find the permit information here.
      2. Rocky Mountain National Park is a very popular location not only for elopements but weddings as well, so book your date ASAP! (Pro Tip: Look into a weekday elopement so you can get as much privacy as possible)
      3. There are thirteen designated wedding ceremony locations within Rocky Mountain National Park. There can be no more than two elopements/ceremonies per location- per day. There can be no more than six ceremonies within the park per day.
      4. Be prepared for traffic, and plan accordingly! Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most popular parks in the entire US with over 4,590,492 visitors last year according to NPS.gov . Make sure you are packed and well prepared so you can hit the parking lots and trails early to avoid the crowds and lines.  
      5. Estes Park is the closest town to Rocky Mountain National Park, which has plenty of lodging options including: Air BnB’s, log cabins, and even the Stanley Hotel from the Shining! 
      6. Timeliness is KEY for your big day so make sure to have your it perfectly mapped out! Elopements usually last about 4-8 hours depending on what your day entails.
      7. If good photography is important, you’ll want to avoid the mid day hours, from 10-3, when the light is harsh and blown out. Sunrise and sunset are the best time for lighting and for avoiding the midday crowds!
      8. The weather in Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park is somewhat crazy and unpredictable. It can be snowing one minute and then bright and sunny the next, so be prepared and make sure to bring layers, rain coats, gloves, wind breakers, etc. to insure that you’ll be comfortable and able to be in the moment!
      9. Do you enjoy wildlife? This is a great park to spot deer, elk, mountain goats, moose, and even beavers if you’re lucky!
      10. There are no pets allowed on the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. Consider other locations in Colorado that are pet friendly if you want to include your furry friends!

      Sky Pond Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement Location
      Sky Pond

      PHOTOGRAPHY PACKAGES

      Elopement Pricing:

      $6,500 – Payment plans available.
      ⇻ All day coverage.
      ⇻ Location ideas.
      ⇻ Lodging suggestions.
      ⇻ Maps and permit information.
      ⇻ Celebratory drink.
      ⇻ Vendor recommendations.
      ⇻ Next day teasers.
      ⇻ Online gallery with rights to download and print.
      ⇻ Unlimited consulting with all 24/7 availability.


      TEAM

      My name is Sean, and I can’t wait to help create your Colorado adventure elopement! I’m a Colorado-based free spirit who has dedicated my life to exploring this wild world and connecting to the people in it.

      I know firsthand what an important and personal decision this is—my wife and I eloped to Northern Ireland. You’re trusting me to capture this amazing day, and I make it my responsibility to make sure you have an incredible experience from start to finish.

      My passion has led me here, where I can follow my heart and share my love for the outdoors with others on their wedding day. It’s truly an awesome experience, and I’m stoked every time I get to document your day.

      When I’m not photographing couples, I love to go exploring with my wife and our corgi. Our dream is to own an Airstream and take Vows and Peaks on the road!

      Sound like the perfect match? Reach out so we can get started on your epic Rocky Mountain National Park elopement!

      Colorado Elopement Photographer

      ABOUT RMNP CEREMONY LOCATIONS


      LILY LAKE DOCK

      Are you looking for views of the tallest 14er in the front range of Colorado? Then Lily Lake Dock is the perfect backdrop for your elopement! Located just 6.5 miles from Beaver Meadows Visitor Lodge on Highway 7, Lily Lake Dock features a lake, 360-degree mountain views, a walking trail, and is wheelchair accessible! 

      • Ceremony size (max.): 10
      • Number of vehicles (max.): 10 

      Special Restrictions: A vehicle limit of 10 applies from the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day.

      Lily Lake Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement Location
      Lily Lake
      Vow Ceremony Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement

      3M CURVE

      3M Curve is 3.5 miles from the Beaver Meadows Visitor Lodge and features a large rock outcrop overlooking mountains, meadows, and moraines. This is great for couples looking to incorporate a small ground of friends and family on their day.

      • Ceremony size (max.): 15
      • Number of vehicles (max.): 3 
      Rocky Mountain National Park 3m Curve Elopement

      BEAR LAKE NATURE TRAIL

      The Bear Lake Nature Trail is 11 miles from the Beaver Meadows Visitors Lodge and has mountain views, and aspen trees. This location is extremely busy all year round and has date requirements for all ceremonies! (see below)

      • Ceremony size (max.): 20
      • Number of vehicles (max.): 5 

      Special Restrictions: No ceremonies are permitted at Bear Lake Nature Trail from the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day Weekend, and ceremonies on weekends are notpermitted year-round.

      Bear Lake Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement Location
      Bear Lake
      Bear Lake Nature Trail Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement Locations

      HARBISON MEADOW PICNIC AREA (West Side, Grand Lake)

      Harbison Meadow Picnic Area features a large meadow with lake views with wildlife frequently in the area! This is a great place to catch deer or even moose! This location is on the west side of the park and is adjacent to Trail Ridge Road which has big views of the rocky mountains. A great spot for sunset photos.

      • Ceremony size (max.): 60
      • Number of vehicles (max.): 10

      Special Restrictions:A vehicle limit of 10 applies from the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day.

      Trail Ridge Road Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement Locations
      Trail Ridge Road

      LILY LAKE TRAIL & LAKE PICNIC AREA

      Located off Highway 7, just 6.5 miles from Beaver Meadows Visitor Lodge, both the Lily Lake Trail and Lily Lake Southside Picnic Area are accessible by a ¼ mile hike up the trail. Once you get to the location, you will be greeted by a knoll overlooking the lake,aspen trees and Longs Peak! 

      • Ceremony size (max.): 20 (Lily Lake Trail) & 30 (Lily Lake Southside Picnic Area)
      • Number of vehicles (max.): 10 

      Special Restrictions: A vehicle limit of 10 applies from the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day; Gated access allows two vehicles to drive up to the site for an additional $50


      HIDDEN VALLEY

      Hidden Valley is one of the most beautiful locations, especially come the warmer months! Located 6 miles from Beaver Meadows Visitor Lodge, this ceremony location features aspen and pine trees, summer wildflowers, a wooden foot bridge and is wheelchair accessible!

      • Ceremony size (max.): 100 (specific times)
      • Number of vehicles (max.): 20 (anytime)

      Special Restrictions: Ceremonies may not occupy picnic sites; Call for availability


      SPRAGUE LAKE

      I absolutely love a great water backdrop and Sprague Lake certainly does not disappoint. Located 7 miles from the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center on Bear Lake Road, this wedding location gives a dramatic view of the mountains and lake, and features a dock, knoll, wooden foot bridge, and is wheelchair accessible. Keep in mind, this area can get very busy, so consider a sunrise ceremony if a prive and intimaty ceremony is important to you!

      • Ceremony size (max.): 15 (summer) & 30 (winter)
      • Number of vehicles (max.): 3 (summer) & 10 (winter)

      Special Restrictions:A vehicle limit of 10 and ceremony size applies from the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day and all ceremonies must not occupy the picnic sites.

      Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement

      UPPER BEAVER MEADOWS

      Upper Beaver Meadows is one of the closest wedding locations to the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center (1.5 miles). This location features views of the Continental Divide and open meadows. An absolutely breathtaking spot for couples looking to catch the sunset colors off the mountains for their photos.

      • Ceremony size (max.): 60
      • Number of vehicles (max.): 10

      Special Restrictions: No vehicle access in winter

      Continental Divide Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement Locations
      Continental Divide

      MORAINE PARK AND VISITOR CENTER

      The rustic Moraine Park Visitor Center Amphitheater is a beautiful ceremony backdrop in itself, but the wedding location also features stunning pine trees, a view of Morain Park and Longs Peak, and the cutest wooden benches. Approximately 2.5 miles from the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center on Bear Lake Road.

      • Ceremony size (max.): 60 (summer) & 100 (winter)
      • Number of vehicles (max.): 10 

      Special Restrictions: A vehicle limit of 10 applies from the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day.


      ALLUVIAL FAN BRIDGE

      The Alluvial Fan Bridge is 7 miles from the Beaver Meadows Visitor Lodge on Old Fall River and features a river with large boulders, a waterfall, a small wood foot bridge, and aspen trees. Keep in mind this location is very busy during the late summer and fall months when the colors are changing!

      • Ceremony size (max.): 20
      • Number of vehicles (max.): 5 

      TIMBER CREEK AMPHITHEATER

      For those looking for a more intimate amphitheater setting for their ceremony, the Timber Creek Campground Amphitheater is located on the west side of the park and has partial views of the Colorado River. This location is wheelchair accessible and there is a large campground located nearby if you want to incorporate Smor’es and star gazing into your trip!

      • Ceremony size (max.): 20
      • Number of vehicles (max.): 5

      Special Restrictions: Limited parking


      COPELAND LAKE (Wild Basin Area)

      Copeland Lake is 13 miles from Beaver Meadows Visitors Lodge off Highway 7 in Wild Basin and features a lake with mountain views and a forested area with some aspen trees. 

      • Ceremony size (max.): 30
      • Number of vehicles (max.): 10

      Special Restrictions:A vehicle limit of 10 applies from the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day.


      ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK WEDDING LOCATION MAP


      LET’S ADVENTURE IN RMNP!


      Comments

      I love how thorough this is! Perfect blog for someone looking to elope in the Rocky Mountains

      These are such great tips! Rocky Mountain NP is an amazing place to elope so I hope that this encourages more couples to do so!

      This is such a helpful list! I wish I had known about this when I got married!

      This is such a helpful article for couples and photographers alike! I had no idea how much planning went into an RMNP wedding.

      great tips and really helpful information on how to elope in rocky mountain national park!

      This information on eloping in RMNP is GOLD! You did such a good job laying out the information!

      Such great tips for couples eloping!

      Love all these tips for couples looking to elope in Rocky Mountain National Park!!

      Such a beautiful place, def a bucket list item!

      So many amazing tips! I really want to visit Colorado now!

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