Colorado’s diverse landscape is home to some of the most beautiful towns in the Mountain West. Forests, mountains, meadows, rivers, waterfalls, and ski slopes surround these towns and offer couples a chance to escape, unplug and experience an elopement unlike any other. After years of exploring, photographing, and spending time with adventurous couples, here’s my guide on the best places to elope in Colorado.
This mountain town is known for its laid-back atmosphere and world-class hiking and skiing trails. Located 4.5 hours from Denver International Airport, Crested Butte is the ideal elopement location for couples looking to unwind and celebrate with a quiet, nature-centric ceremony.
Beautiful alpine lakes, wildflower fields, and endless evergreen groves surround the quaint and historic downtown. Colorful buildings line the main strip, where couples can enjoy brunch after a Sunrise elopement or go brewery hopping with friends the night before the big day. While I’ve got some super-secret, off-the-grid locations up my sleeve for this place, here are a few of my favorite spots to include in your Crested Butte elopement.
Mount Crested Butte
Incredible views and slopes lie atop Mount Crested Butte. Crested Butte was voted the #1 ski area in Colorado, with lower crowd levels than Breck or Vail, it’s perfect for a Winter elopement. During Winter, you and your partner can say your vows, ski down the slopes, and celebrate your love with hot ciders.
During Summer, Crested Butte Ski Resort offers couples scenic lift rides up to the peak. Lush green grasses cover the once-snowy slopes, providing you and your partner with a romantic ceremony location with endless views. I promise it’s just as beautiful in Summer as in Winter.
This dog-friendly location offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic shot of the Rocky Mountains. I LOVE Peanut Lake because it’s a low-stress, easy hiking adventure that’s fun for furry friends. You’ll need to stroll along an intermediate, 6.4-mile trail to access the lake. Crowd levels are low here during weekdays, so if you and your partner want a quiet and dog-friendly location, all without sacrificing lake AND mountain views, consider Peanut Lake! This is a must-visit for dog owners on my list of the best elopement locations in Colorado.
If you and your partner are visiting Crested Butte in Summer, wildflowers will be abundant! Click the link to see some of Crested Butte’s best wildflower hikes here. The Lower Loop Trail is a great accessibility-friendly trail option that is fit for wheelchairs, strollers, or any partner or family member that may have accessibility needs. If you plan to elope in Crested Butte in July, you may arrive in time for the Crested Butte Wild Flower Festival! The Lower Loop Trail is my favorite accessibility-friendly spot on my list of best places to elope in Colorado.
Taylor River Lodge
Taylor River Lodge is a luxury mountain retreat comprised of 8 cabins, a main lodge, and a bathhouse. After a long day of hiking, couples can relax in the lodge’s steam room, sauna, indoor pool, or hot tub. While the main lodge includes other enjoyable amenities like a full bar and luxe seating area with a fireplace, the property also offers a s’mores bar, fire pit, climbing wall, casting pond, and a private view of the Gunnison River.
Oh Be Joyful Campground
Oh Be Joyful Campground is just 5 miles outside Crested Butte along the Slate River. A footbridge allows campers to access the nearby Oh Be Joyful Creek, which features hiking trail access, beautiful waterfalls, towering evergreen forests, and wildflowers fields in Summer. While reservations are required to stay at this campground, each site includes a fire ring and picnic table for visitors’ convenience. Adventurous couples looking to include camping in their elopement experience won’t be disappointed with this quintessential Colorado campground!
Campfire Ranch Micro Cabin + Campsites
The tagline of this accommodation is “Camping, Easier” and couldn’t be more accurate. Campfire Ranch is unlike any other accommodation in this blog. For starters, the ranch provides FREE, unlimited firewood to help you and your partner stay warm while using your fire ring at your campsite. Campfire Ranch also offers complimentary coffee, beer, and seltzer. If you’re interested in exploring the activities around Crested Butte, the ranch also offers a service called Adventure Concierge. From dog sledding to snowshoeing in Winter to hiking and white water rafting in Summer, Campfire Ranch will arrange any adventure with a local guide.
Known as the “Switzerland of America,” Ouray is full of off-roading trials, hot spring pools, waterfalls, wildflower fields, and amazing breweries that line Ouray’s historic Main Street. Ouray is 2 hours from Grand Junction Airport and 6 Hours from Denver International Airport. If you’re road-tripping into Ouray from the South, you’ll find yourself on Million Dollar Highway from Silverton to Ouray. This stunning drive alone is reason enough to make Ouray your elopement location. Along with Million Dollar Highway, here are some of my favorite places in Ouray!
Yankee Boy Basin
Rent a Jeep or bring your own and explore the beautiful backcountry of Ouray for your elopement! Ouray Mountain Adventures rents Jeeps and other off-roading vehicles for couples looking to unwind and celebrate their love with a little thrill. While Yankee Boy Basin is my favorite trail, here’s a great off-roading Ouray guide full of other locations in and around Ouray. There’s nothing like riding off in a getaway 4×4 after saying I Do on a mountaintop! This is the most adventurous ceremony location on my list of the best places to elope in Colorado.
Top of the Pines
If you’re planning an intimate wedding with family and friends, Top of the Pines has one of the most stunning wedding venue views I’ve seen. When you reserve your date here, your rental package includes exclusive use of the campground and newly renovated pavilion for two nights, three days. It’s a great ceremony location choice for couples with family members and friends that also love the outdoors! There’s nothing like a big camping sleepover full of laughter, good food, and love.
The Imogene Hotel
The Imogene Hotel is a boutique accommodation that overlooks downtown Ouray and the surrounding mountains. The guest rooms each have their own character, decorated with different types of stones, tiles, woods, and brick. The hotel also includes a rooftop bar with firepits, a whiskey bar warmed by a wooden fireplace, and a private sauna. The Imogene’s romantic, relaxed atmosphere will be the perfect addition to your elopement or intimate wedding plans. This is easily the most fun accommodation on my list of the best places to elope in Colorado.
Glamping at its finest! Basecamp 550 offers tents, tiny homes, and RV sites for visitors. Glamping tents include a queen pillow top bed, electricity, a mini fridge/microwave, and a fireplace heater. While the tents don’t include ensuite restrooms, there is a bathhouse with warm showers and restrooms. The tiny homes are fully furnished and include a bathroom. If you and your partner are road-tripping to Ouray with a van or airstream, this accommodation also features safe, luxurious RV hook-up sites with various amenities such as water, washers/dryers, an outdoor kitchen sink, gas grills, and more. This camp is my top recommendation for Van life couples on my list of the best places to elope in Colorado.
If you want to learn more about Ouray, read my blog, 10 Reasons To Elope In Ouray, Colorado.
One of the most famous ski towns in the United States. Telluride is known for its brilliant mountain views, exceptional five-star accommodations, world-class slopes, and delicious restaurants and breweries. While it was once home to 19th-century gold miners, the town now sees more than 200,000 tourists each year. Along with a vast array of activities, festivals, and events hosted in Telluride each year, couples can luxuriate in some of Colorado’s finest experiences. From The Madeline Hotel’s spa to wine-tasting at Bon Vivant. Here are some of my favorite Telluride locations for intimate weddings and elopements!
Another dog-friendly hiking trip that ends with a lake! The Hope Lake Trail is a 6-mile out and back with over 1,500 ft. elevation gain. While this hike is moderately challenging, it pays off with a seriously incredible view. As you ascend, you’ll see flowing creeks and wildflowers in Summer. While it is possible to complete this hike in Winter, spikes are required. Once at the top, you and your partner can say your vows at the edge of Hope Lake, full of love and happiness beneath the humbling peaks of the Rockies.
Bridal Veil Falls
The name of this location isn’t the only reason why it’s one of the most fitting spots for an elopement in Telluride. Bridal Veil Falls is located at the end of a quick out-and-back, 2-mile hike. While there’s some elevation gain, you and your partner will be in for an incredible sight once you reach the top. A 365 ft. free-falling cascade tapers down a cliff side in the shape of a bridal veil. If you’re considering this location for your elopement, it’s best to plan for a late Spring/Summer date, as the snow melt that fuels the falls is at its peak.
Black Bear Pass passes Bridal Viel Falls and offers couples peaks into the valley that’s home to Telluride. Last Dollar Road is another off-roading trail just outside of Telluride. It’s a hidden gem that showcases Colorado’s red, yellow, and orange foliage in Fall and widespread yellow and purple wildflower fields in Summer. If you’re dreaming of a colorful Colorado elopement, Last Dollar Road has plenty of pull-off locations worthy of your dream elopement.
The Madeline Hotel
The Madeline is a luxury, five-star ski-in / ski-out resort located at the base of Mountain Village. With a variety of lavish offerings like suites, spa treatments, and award-winning restaurants, you and your partner will be able to fully relax and indulge in the many activities the hotel offers. The Madeline Hotel was voted one of the best hotels in Colorado, is dog-friendly, and can also double as a ceremony location for an intimate wedding. Lastly, the spa also offers special wedding day spa services for couples and wedding parties to help make the day extra special. This hotel is the most luxurious accommodation on my list of the best places to elope in Colorado.
Architectural Masterpiece Airbnb
A luxe Airbnb nestled amongst aspen trees with floor-to-ceiling windows. You and your partner will feel at home in this modern, rustic mountain getaway. This home includes a wood-burning stove, record player, hot tub, and high-quality music system. This accommodation is just a few minutes from Telluride. It would be a perfect accommodation for music junkies that want to blast their favorite playlist while getting ready for their elopement or intimate wedding.
There’s one word that comes to mind when I think of Breckenridge, and it’s FUN. Besides skiing and snowboarding, there are many activities to do in Breckenridge while on your elopement trip. First, I love that Breck is a super walkable town, with shuttles to and from other nearby cities like Silverthorne and Frisco (which offer SO many great restaurants, breweries, and events on their own). I also love the overall vibe of the town. It’s a popular ski area for people in their mid-late 20s and early 40s. Breck’s main street comes alive at night with twinkle lights, laughter between friends and family, and live music. You and your partner can spend your entire elopement day skiing in Winter or hiking in Summer and then celebrate you’re I Do day with delicious drinks and dinner.
The Blue Lakes Trail is an easy, 1 mile out and back hike that leads to a clear, subalpine lake just outside of Breckenridge. For couples looking to include their dog in their elopement, good news! This beautiful location is pet-friendly, but be aware — you may spot some mountain goats along your journey! This location is best for hiking elopements in Summer or Fall, as Blue Lakes Road does closer in Winter. In Summer, wildflowers are abundant along the trail. A waterfall also spills into the lower lake from the upper lake. In Autumn, orange and yellow aspen leaves peak through the dense evergreen forest surrounding the lower lake, and snow dusts the nearby Quandry Peak. Whether you say your vows lakeside or at the overlook near Blue Lakes Road, you’ll get epic elopement photos with some of Colorado’s best landscape views.
Sapphire Point is an overlook with views of Lake Dillion and the nearby peaks of the Rockies. This spot can be rented for up to 35 people and requires the purchase of a three-hour permit for $110. It’s easy to obtain as it can be reserved online. While the reservation process is convenient, dates fill up fast as it’s a popular spot near Breckenridge to elope! I’ve seen couples elope with just themselves and then invite a private chef to cook them a Sunset dinner. The possibilities are endless at this location, even though it’s a small area on the side of a mountain. This location has one of the best views on my list of best places to elope in Colorado.
Mohawk Lake is a hidden gem right outside of Breckenridge. It’s a really quiet ceremony location, especially on a weekday. In the Fall, the autumn colors from the trees reflect off the lake beautifully. In Summer, the surrounding shade provides the perfect area for picnics. This lake can be accessed via the Spruce Creek Trail and is dog-friendly. I recommend arriving early, though! The parking lot is smaller, and spots can go quickly on nice days, especially on weekends!
High Point Hideaway
A rustic, cozy A-Frame with a hot tub?! Say less. High Point Hideaway is an accommodation escape unlike any other. You and your partner can enjoy an entirely private cabin fully equipped with a grill, wooden swing, fireplace, hot tub, washer/dryer, stocked kitchen, and lounge area. You probably will never want to leave once you enter High Point Hideway. The aesthetic of the A-Frame is immaculate and can also double as a ceremony location just outside of Breck.
Megan, anotherA-Frame? Yes, because it’s too beautiful and too unique not to share with you. Bhava Cabin is LUXURIOUS. It has a cool, modern exterior with a warm, upscale interior. It’s only 10 minutes from Breck and features a hot tub, entertainment floor, ski rack, bar, and more. It’s not only dog friendly but sleeps up to 8 people. If you’re considering an intimate wedding in Breck, this is the perfect accommodation to share or celebrate with family/friends. This A-Frame is the classiest accommodation on my list of the best places to elope in Colorado.
Buena Vista is a charming, quiet mountain town just 2 hours southwest of Denver. Rolling mountain roads and ranches overgrown with sagebrush make for the most beautiful drive into Buena Vista. The town lies in a vast valley surrounded by the Sawatch Mountain Range, a group of 14,000ft mountains called the Collegiate Peaks. Even in the early weeks of summer, snow-dusted peaks create a picturesque backdrop over the mountainous countryside. Here are a few of my favorite locations in Buena Vista.
Fourmile Recreation Area
The Fourmil Recreation Area is another great location for couples looking to include activities in their elopement experience! From snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in Winter to hiking, horseback riding, and off-roading in Summer and Fall, this 100,000-acre National Forest recreation area hosts endless adventuring possibilities. The recreation area’s scenery is incredible, with views of the Collegiate Peaks and the Arkansas River. This is the most activity-packed location on my list of the best places to elope in Colorado.
A dog-friendly location for adventurous couples that LOVE hiking. Hope Pass is a 12,600ft mountain pass in the Sawatch Mountains near Twin Lakes (about 40 minutes Northwest of Buena Vista) and runs along the Continental Divide Trail. This elopement location is specially reserved for couples that love a hiking challenge. The trail is either a 5.2-mile out and back from Sheep Gulch or a 9.12-mile out and back from Willis Creek with a 2,600ft elevation gain. Keep this in mind when choosing this elopement location. If you’re not yet acclimatized or don’t do well with high-altitude activities, this ceremony location, although beautiful at the top of the pass, is steep and requires a lot of heavy breathing.
Cottonwood Pass is the highest paved mountain pass over the Continental Divide. From Buena Vista, the road climbs quickly to its summit of 12,126 feet. It then winds its way down to the massive Taylor Park Reservoir. The drive is beautiful in Summer and even more so in Fall when autumn colors arrive. Cottonwood Pass features many viewpoints, camping spots, and trailheads, some of which are accessibility-friendly. This pass does close during the Winter or during times of dangerous weather. On a beautiful sunny day, which is most days in Colorado, Cottonwood Pass offers couples amazing viewpoints for vows.
The Surf Hotel
This boutique hotel is a romantic mixture of European elegance and Colorado coziness. Located in downtown Buena Vista, the hotel features the most adorable cottages and river-view hotel rooms. The spaces include French-inspired furnishings and other delicate European touches, making you and your partner feel instantly at home. While this hotel feels luxurious, the price point is approachable and well worth the investment. The lobby bar and restaurant are warm and rustic, featuring a large brick fireplace to cozy up next to with a drink (the cocktails and mocktails are AMAZING).
If you’re interested in an intimate wedding venue with a view but don’t want to actually be IN nature, The Surf Hotel offers a beautiful ballroom and courtyard available for event bookings. As a pro tip, this is one of Colorado’s most popular hotels and venues, so a weekday ceremony or elopement may be something to consider! Definitely, my favorite accommodation when it comes to the best places to elope in Colorado.
While this Airbnb is 40 minutes outside Buena Vista, it’s worth mentioning if you and your partner are planning a Hope Pass hiking elopement. With panoramic evergreen views and a wood-burning stove, Alpenglow Cabin is the perfect mountain retreat for you and your partner.The hot tub on the cabin deck has an INCREDIBLE mountain view with overhanging string lights. Since the cabin is just near the National Forest, it’s isolated, quiet, and ideal for unplugging and reconnecting with the love of your life.
Collegiate Peaks Campground
Eleven miles west of Buena Vista, Collegiate Peaks Campground is a more outdoorsy and rustic option for Summertime elopements. It’s a nice, quiet campsite to pitch a tent, roast marshmallows, and listen to the relaxing sound of the nearby Cottonwood Creek. Couples staying here will have access to hiking trails and opportunities for wildlife viewing. This campground is my top wildlife spotting recommendation on my list of the best places to elope in Colorado.
Steamboat Springs is a favorite destination among Colorado locals. With a wide range of outdoor activities, including skiing and hot springs, you and your partner may want to extend your elopement stay to more than just a few days in this area. While Steamboat is a 3.5-hour drive from Denver International Airport, there are lots of sightseeing pull-offs and fun stops along the way that makes the trip well worth your time! Here are some of my favorite locations to add to your elopement plans once you get to Steamboat Springs!
I love a romantic Sunrise or Sunset lake elopement. The intimate and sweet moments couples share always melt my heart. Luckily, there are SO many mountain lakes in and around Steamboat Springs. From Gilpin Lake to Hahn’s Peak Lake, you may need help choosing just ONE lake. So here’s a list of some of the best lakes Steamboat Springs offers. Maybe you’ll even be inspired to plan a lake-hopping elopement!
Vista Verde Ranch
While Vista Verde could technically double as a luxury ranch resort accommodation, I couldn’t help but list it under my favorite ceremony locations near Steamboat Springs. You and your partner can experience a stress-free, private ranch ceremony with a few friends and family and enjoy views of mountains, rivers, and miles of aspen trees. Elopements here start at $450 and can include add-ons like ranch activities, lodging, and culinary adventures.
Mt. Howelsen Airbnb
This accommodation is a small and cozy condo in the heart of Steamboat Springs. With a stone fireplace to keep you warm and incredible views of Mt. Howelsen to keep you inspired, this peaceful location is near restaurants, breweries, and hiking trails.
Gravity Haus is a boutique hotel with sister locations in Winter Park, Breckenridge, and Vail. It’s a ski-in/ski-out accommodation at the base of the Steamboat Gondola and features a heated resort-style pool, hot tub, gear storage area, eatery, and bar. It’s also dog-friendly and conveniently located near all of Steamboat Springs’ best city offerings.
The highest incorporated city in North America — this Victorian-era gold rush town lies 10,151ft in the air. Located near Mt. Elbert, the highest summit of the Rocky Mountains, visitors are transported back to the wild west as they drive through downtown Leadville. While many modern luxuries exist in and around Leadville, the city has taken great care of its historic buildings and homes. These structures are now home to shops, restaurants, and small businesses. Surrounding Leadville, you and your partner will find many dazzling blue lakes, hiking trails, and the Copper Mountain Ski area (a Colorado favorite just under 30 minutes away).
A beautiful out-and-back trail for a hiking elopement just outside of Leadville. Mayflower Gulch is dog-friendly and has some rock-climbing opportunities along the hiking trail. In Summer, soaring mountain tops surround the lush green gulch, making for an epic elopement backdrop. This is a 6-mile, moderately challenging route with a steady incline, so bring lots of water and be mindful of the altitude!
A beautiful place for a Sunset or Sunrise elopement, this lake was once a turquoise mine. Dense turquoise deposits have helped preserve the lake’s vibrant color and makes for a picturesque elopement spot. Located right outside Leadville, couples can pack a breakfast picnic or celebratory champagne bottle in their hiking packs and wander around the lake’s beautiful shores before saying their vows at Turquoise Lake. This is my favorite lake location on my list of the best places to elope in Colorado.
The Timberline Leadville
This spot is a great location if you’re inviting friends to join your intimate wedding or elopement. Located in the heart of downtown Leadville, this unique accommodation features three lodging options, but my favorite is The Loft. The Loft is a renovated space in a historic building that The Timberline now calls home. The Loft sleeps seven people and is accented with exposed brick. It features three bedrooms, an area to store hiking boots and packs, a washer/dryer, a full kitchen, hosting space, and beautiful views of the historic downtown. The Timberline is perfect for getting ready photos and a small after-ceremony champagne toast with family/friends.
If you and your partner are looking for the most unique elopement location in Colorado, you’ve come to the right place. Freight is an old train depot that’s been converted into a wedding venue and hotel. While the venue and hotel are fascinating structures in and of themselves, the story behind Freight is really what makes this place so unique.
Built in 1884, this spot was nearly abandoned before Freight took over. The location was rebuilt around the phrase, “First, the miners came to work in the mine. Then came the ladies who worked on the line.” The venue and hotel’s mission is all to honor the working women of Leadville that persevered through the Wild West’s harsh working conditions. Their stories inspired the building of luxury western cabins on the property. All are named after female sex workers that left a powerful mark on Leadville’s history.
The women-led organization that runs this venue and hotel keeps inclusivity and equality at the heart of their operations, so LGBTQ+ individuals and all diverse couples are warmly welcomed and safe here. This is my favorite inclusive venue and accommodation location on my list of the best places to elope in Colorado.
Where Will You Elope In Colorado?
Need help deciding which Colorado location(s) may be the right choice for your elopement or intimate wedding? I’ve spent the last few years exploring the Rocky Mountain towns of Colorado with couples on epic elopement adventures, and I’d love to help you plan a dreamy elopement of your own. While the guide you’ve just read doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all Colorado has to offer, I hope it inspired you to start planning an elopement of your own.
If you need help planning an elopement or intimate wedding, you can check out my travel calendar here and work with me to plan your elopement here. You can also check out my blog on How To Elope In Colorado, where I dive into the specifics of a Colorado elopement (did you know your dog can be your officiant in Colorado?!). I’m excited to help create and capture incredible memories with you and your partner. The mountains are calling! Todd and I can’t wait to meet you there.