Top 10 Secret Spots to Elope in the Mountains of Colorado
Our Favorite Off-the-Beaten-Path Places to Say "I DO!" in the High Country
There are so many reasons the state of Colorado has some of the most popular elopement locations in the country - iconic backgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park, amazing views from Sapphire Point, and a gorgeous desert-meets-mountain landscape at Red Rocks. Plus it's beautiful year round, there are amazing lodging and dining options, you can enjoy endless activities...the list could go on and on but that's for another blog post!
But one of the best things about eloping in the mountains of Colorado is that you can head off just about any dirt road or scenic byway and find secret spots that are equally as amazing as the famous (and sometimes crowded) locations you see often on Instagram and Pinterest.
If you’re looking for a mountain elopement location a little more off the beaten path and private, look no further because these are our top 10 secret spots to say “I do!” in Colorado.
1. Boreas Pass - Breckenridge
This stunning spot, with views that rival all of the fan favorites, is seasonally accessible by vehicle, with unique landscapes like aspens, pines, historic buildings, and meadows. We love that the area provides easy access for those who want it and off-road/hiking options for those who want to get away. Plus its close proximity to Breckenridge, one of the most popular towns in the mountain region, gives this location bonus points as an amazing place to continue your wedding celebration.
2. Yankee Boy Basin - Ouray
The San Juan mountains surrounding Ouray are known for their high alpine environment and rugged peaks, giving the town the very deserving nickname of “Switzerland of America." Any location in the range feels like trekking through the Alps! Accessible only by hiking or 4x4, the Yankee Boy Basin is a stunning spot for a summer elopement when the wildflowers are in bloom and the experience of getting there makes for an incredible all day elopement adventure.
3. Twin Lakes - Leadville
Although the quaint mountain town of Leadville rarely makes most elopement location list, we think it should! The gorgeous blue lakes under tall mountain peaks make a stunning backdrop to a summer or fall wedding. Although the Twin Lakes are frequented by boaters and fishermen, a quick hike up to an overlook spot or out to the lakeshore will give you total peace and quiet to say your vows.
4. Bridal Veil Falls - Telluride
Like Ouray, Telluride feels like a charming European village tucked into the mountains of Colorado. Main Street (arguably the most beautiful street ever!) is known for the iconic "downtown" photo with mountains in the background, but if you hike up to the top of Bridal Veil Falls, you’ll have a gorgeous view back down on the town and of the surrounding San Juans. And if you're up for more of an adventure, hiking trails can take up past the falls into the Bridal Veil Basin and Telluride's high alpine Blue Lake.
5. Green Mountain Reservoir - Heeney
Green Mountain Reservoir sits at the base of the Gore Range, arguably one of the most ruggedly beautiful and underrated mountain ranges in the state. A campsite or day spot along the lake during the summer and fall months gives you a gorgeous ceremony space for an intimate elopement. Plus you can stay for the weekend to enjoy the waterfront!
6. Shrine Pass - Vail
Totally on top of the world! If you stop at the top of Vail Pass, you’ll have amazing views to both the east and the west. But a few miles off of the main road is Shrine Pass, popular in all seasons and accessible by car or 4x4 in the summer and by snowmobile in the winter. Now that’s a mountain elopement experience!
7. John Denver Sanctuary - Aspen
Although we love Maroon Bells and it doesn't get more ironically "Colorado mountains" than that, the Bells are sometimes impossible to book due to their popularity. The lesser known John Denver Sanctuary is conveniently close to downtown Aspen adjacent to the Rio Grand Park and is absolutely stunning in the summer and fall! While not as off-road as some of our top 10 locations, the site is very tranquil with views of the mountains surrounding Aspen and a stunning park along the river.
8. Rabbit Ears Pass - Steamboat
Steamboat is one of our favorite mountain towns and should be on every elopement location (in our opinion)! The area is full of hiking destinations, 4x4 roads, and wintertime snowmobile and snowshoe trails for exploring. You'll have to get far off the main roads to get the astounding mountain views that some of the other sites have, but Rabbit Ears Pass is the perfect place for an adventure elopement in any season.
9. Ute Pass - Silverthorne
Are you sensing a trend? Any mountain pass is a great option! But we love the view of the Gore Range in particular. Another unlikely location candidate but one of our personal favorites! Ute Pass Road between Silverthorne and Kremmling has WOW views, summer and fall hiking and horseback riding trails, and complete peace and quiet. If you head off the main road, you're unlikely to see anyone for miles.
10. Blue Lakes - Breckenridge
Blue Lakes south of Breckenridge (not to be mistaken with Blue Lake in Telluride) is absolutely stunning and has the high alpine feel so many people love within easy access of the road. While it’s popular with summertime hikers, it’s not as popular for elopements throughout the year. You can seasonally enjoy waterfalls coming off the lake and wildlife in the area, so we say yes to this location as a secret spot for eloping in the mountains during any season.
Colorado is full of amazing elopement locations. Get adventurous, head off the beaten path, and find a spot that's so truly YOU!